Somaliland: The Strains of Success

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ICG – Nairobi/Brussels, Africa Briefing N°113: OVERVIEW Somaliland’s hybrid system of tri-party democracy and traditional clan-based governance has enabled the consolidation of state-like authority, social and economic recovery and, above all, relative peace and security but now needs reform. Success has brought greater resources, including a special funding status with donors – especially the UK, ... Read More »

Challenged Ambitions: Turkey’s Africa Policy and the G20

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An economic slowdown and rocky politics might slow, but are unlikely to stop, Ankara’s ambition to broaden its profile in Africa. © Chatham House – Dr Alex Vines OBE, Research Director, Area Studies and International Law; Head, Africa Programme Turkey is continuing a long-term push to increase its profile in Africa. Today, before a G20 ... Read More »

Turkey’s Refugee Scam

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Turkish government allows African migrants easy access to Europe’s borders. FrontPageMag – Stephen Brown As if Europe’s refugee burden wasn’t crushing enough, the British newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, reported recently that Turkey is deliberately adding fuel to the spreading fire. According to the Telegraph, the European Union border agency, Frontex, is claiming that Turkey is ... Read More »

CAR clashes in Bangui after Muslim taxi driver killed

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Deadly clashes broke out in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR), after a Muslim motorbike taxi driver was killed. BBC – About 20 people have been killed with at least 100 others wounded in the violence. UN peacekeepers took up positions as the fighting spread from the city’s only Muslim neighbourhood to ... Read More »

Finally, 241 women and children abducted by Boko Haram are free.

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Wonderful news. Military forces have rescued 241 women and children kept captive by Boko Haram. Mamamia – Nigeria’s military said on Wednesday they had freed the prisoners following a raid on two camps controlled by the radical Islamist terrorist group, CNN reports. The raids took place on Tuesday and destroyed both camps, army spokesman Col. Sani Usman told Nigerian newspaper ... Read More »

Journalists’ release but a first step, says rights group

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The human rights group Liberty Victoria is overjoyed at the news of the release of two journalists from an Egyptian prison. Al Jazeera staff Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy were pardoned by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and released from prison in Cairo yesterday. Liberty President George Georgiou SC said today, “Images of the men being ... Read More »

Syria war spurs opening of ‘doomsday’ Arctic seed vault

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As Aleppo gene bank built to safeguard global food supplies is at risk, researchers request frozen seeds from Svalbard. Syria’s civil war has prompted the first withdrawal of seeds from a “doomsday” vault built in an Arctic mountainside to safeguard global food supplies. The seeds, including samples of wheat, barley and grasses suited to dry ... Read More »

Central African Republic: From Armed Groups to Communal Violence

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International Crisis Group As the crisis in the Central African Republic deepens, the country is experiencing increasing instrumentalisation of religion, societal divisions and collective fears. In this video, Crisis Group’s Central Africa Project Director Thierry Vircoulon explains how the inter-communal tensions between armed groups in CAR, which straddles the mainly Muslim Sahel and the predominantly ... Read More »

Central African Republic: The roots of violence

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ICG – Nairobi/Brussels – Africa Report N°230 – The full report is currently available in: French. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS Crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR) is longterm and characterised by sporadic surges of violence against a backdrop of state disintegration, a survival economy and deep inter-ethnic cleavages. Armed groups (including the anti-balaka and ... Read More »

Burkina Faso coup: Junta insists on staying on

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The general who led a coup in Burkina Faso this week insists on remaining in power until polls are held, according to a document seen by the BBC. BBC – Gen Gilbert Diendere made the proposal at talks brokered by West African mediators in the capital Ouagadougou. On Saturday one of the mediators had spoken ... Read More »

Mozambique declared landmine free, healing war wounds

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Maputo: Mozambique declared itself free of landmines on Thursday, ending two decades of work to rid the country of a legacy of war that killed or maimed thousands of people, many of them civilians. Manuel Mucari The effort to rid the Southern African nation of landmines was spearheaded by the HALO Trust, a British charity that ... Read More »

Are Muslims Fatalists?

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“According to God, your age is written on your forehead.” An Arabic proverb “Sit on a beehive and say this is fate.” Another Arabic proverb[1] After a building crane fell into Mecca’s Grand Mosque on Sep. 11, 2015, killing 114 and injuring 394, the mosque’s Imam Abdul Rahman Al Sudais visited the injured and, as ... Read More »

Egypt’s super-reserve find and Cyprus

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A discovery of what is estimated to be 30tcf of natural gas in Egypt’s EEZ is especially important, for the Eastern Mediterranean region.  The discovery will have a significant effect on Cyprus’ energy developments, with experts expressing the opinion that the Cyprus-Egypt agreement could potentially sink. SigmaLive – Nicolas Zannettos The largest reserve in the ... Read More »

Eni ‘supergiant’ gas field discovery a gamechanger: CEO

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Eni’s discovery of potentially the world’s largest natural-gas field off the Egyptian coast will be a gamechanger for Egypt and the Mediterranean in terms of energy stability, the CEO of the Italian energy giant told CNBC on Monday. CNBC – Arjun Kharpal | @ArjunKharpal On Sunday, Eni said in a press release that it had ... Read More »

Thailand destroys ivory stockpile amid junta crackdown

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Thailand destroyed more than two tons of ivory on Aug. 26 – a victory for animal rights groups fighting against the trade in a country renowned for being a hub for illegal tusks. Hurriyet – BANGKOK – Agence France-Presse The ceremony, in which 2,155 kilograms of raw tusks and carved trinkets were fed into an ... Read More »

South African team may have solved solar puzzle even Google couldn’t crack

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Pioneering technology to deliver the cheapest, small-scale concentrated solar power plants in the world could revolutionise the renewable energy market The Guardian – Jeffrey Barbee in Stellenbosch It is a problem that has so far stumped even Google’s brainy engineers – how to generate cheap solar electricity using a small-scale array of mirrors to concentrate ... Read More »