Africa

Why the US Navy has 10 ships, 130 aircraft and 9,000 personnel in the Mediterranean

Two deployed aircraft carriers, heading opposite directions, met up in the Mediterranean Sea to do some high-end ops and snap some selfies to commemorate the event. Mark D. Faram Marine Corps Times The event happened after the carrier John C. Stennis strike group transited the Suez Canal, entering the Mediterranean, where the Abraham Lincoln strike group awaited. The combined strike groups means that, right now, more than 130 U.S. aircraft, 10 ships and 9,000 sailors and Marines are now operating ... Read More »

Addressing the Rise of Libya’s Madkhali-Salafis

Adherents of a Salafi school, the Madkhalis, are gaining prominence on both sides of Libya’s divide, causing concerns about puritanical agendas imposed through military and… ICG Negotiators should ensure that rebuilt security forces are politically neutral and secure the Madkhalis’ pledge to respect pluralism. What’s new? Madkhali-Salafis, followers of an ultra-conservative Sunni Muslim doctrine originating in Saudi Arabia, have gained great influence across Libya, including in key armed groups and… Although they helped fight ISIS and provide security, their rise ... Read More »

A Warlord Rises in Libya

And Trump is praising him. Kathy Gilsinan The Atlantic A warlord’s forces swept across a fractured country and fought the internationally recognized government to a stalemate outside the capital city, and another Arab nation suddenly faced the specter of military rule. And in a recent, ambiguous statement issued after a phone call with the man in charge of that offensive, President Donald Trump seemed to signal he would be fine with that. Trump has repeatedly expressed support for authoritarian rulers ... Read More »

A Modern-Day Exodus

An unbelievable Passover story of how an estranged Jewish-South Sudanese-Ethiopian family reunited in Israel. Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman – JPost A. Y. Katsof stood at passport control in Addis Ababa, a short, white Jewish man with two black kids. He held his breath as the airport official looked him up and down. An Israeli flag metal lapel pin shone from his jacket collar. “Are these your children?” the airport official asked in suspicion, glaring down at the stoic seven- and 11-year-old children. ... Read More »

Charting a Way Forward in Sudan’s Unfinished Transition

Omar al-Bashir is out as president of Sudan, but protesters suspect that the military-led transition is a game of musical chairs. ICG A new curfew raises the spectre of bloodshed. International actors should press vigorously for civilian leadership of a process that must promise further-reaching change. Late at night on 10 April, after defying the most sustained protest movement in Sudan’s modern history for months, Omar al-Bashir finally lost his hold on power. In an early afternoon announcement on state ... Read More »

Averting a Full-blown War in Libya

Fighting between forces loyal to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and allies of the UN-backed government in Tripoli threatens a bloodbath and a regional proxy war. ICG Libya’s international partners should urgently take steps to avoid a major battle and get both sides back to the negotiating table under a new format. A dangerous military confrontation is underway in Libya between east-based forces loyal to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and armed groups allied to the UN-backed government in Tripoli. So far, international ... Read More »

World powers demand halt to Libya advance

Libyan forces under Khalifa Haftar battled their way to the south of Tripoli on April 5, prompting the U.N. Security Council and the G7 to demand a halt to the military advance on the capital. TRIPOLI- Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Haftar, commander of the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA), launched an offensive on April 4 to take the capital, held by a U.N.-backed unity government and an array of militias. The lightning assault was ordered as U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was in Libyafor a ... Read More »

Opinion: Deadly effects of Rwandan genocide still felt today

The Rwandan genocide began 25 years ago. However, the deadly repercussions are still being felt. Dirke Köpp Deutsche Welle One only has to look to the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, writes Dirke Köpp. Stroll through the Rwandan capital, Kigali, today and you’ll encounter well-kept streets, new skyscrapers and business centers — a modern city. And yet, 25 years ago, these same streets — and roads throughout the country — were lined with hundreds of thousands of corpses. The putrid ... Read More »

The Hidden Cost of Al-Shabaab’s Campaign in North-eastern Kenya

Four years after attacking a university, Al-Shabaab has sustained its campaign, forcing many teachers, nurses and officials to flee north-eastern Kenya, one of the country’s most neglected regions. Abdullahi Abdille ICG Authorities must do more to tackle insecurity, reopen schools and counter the risk of increased militant recruitment. On 2 April 2015, four gunmen belonging to Al-Shabaab, the Somalia-based affiliate of al-Qaeda, began shooting on the campus of Garissa University College, the only major institution of higher learning in north-eastern Kenya. ... Read More »

Why are Kenyans starving in food-secure Kenya?

The country has more than enough food to feed its population; yet dozens are starving in its drought-stricken north. Patrick Gathara Al Jazeera As a biting drought cuts through a swath of suffering across much of the north and northeastern parts of Kenya, imperilling nearly a million people, government officials and journalists have been locked in an obscene public relations battle over… Despite the heart-wrenching pictures and footage of emaciated villagers published on newspaper front pages, broadcast on TV channels ... Read More »

Spanish fireman faces 20 years in prison for rescuing migrants at sea

Italian authorities have accused Miguel Roldán of aiding human traffickers after he helped save thousands of people from drowning in the Mediterranean. NACHO SÁNCHEZ El Pais English version by Asia London Palomba. It is June 2017, and firefighter Miguel Roldán has been working for 18 hours on a migrant rescue ship in the Mediterranean Sea. A phone call warns him that another migrant boat is sinking. It is past 10pm and completely dark. He sets out with two of his ... Read More »

Egypt targets artists in ongoing crackdown on dissent

Egyptian actors Amr Waked and Khaled Abu El Naga face accusations of “high treason” in Egypt after criticizing alleged human rights violations by the Egyptian government at a March 25 meeting with US members of Congress in Washington. Shahira Amin Al-Monitor Waked and Abu El Naga also used their meeting with the US lawmakers to lobby against proposed constitutional amendments that would allow President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to remain in office until 2034 and would also, critics say, “enshrine military rule.” The controversial proposed ... Read More »

Algeria’s president might resign: Reports

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika might resign this week, the private Ennahar and El Bilad TV channels said on March 31, after mass protests and pressure from the army demanding he end his 20-year rule. ALGIERS- Reuters Hurriyet The reports come after the army chief of staff, Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaed Salah, renewed a call on March 30 for the Constitutional Council to declare the ailing 82-year-old Bouteflika unfit to rule. Seeking to defuse the demonstrations, Bouteflika said on March 11 he was dropping plans for a fifth term. ... Read More »

Switzerland to sue Nigeria over seized oil tanker

Authorities in Bern are considering legal proceedings after failed diplomatic efforts to secure the release of a Swiss-flag-carrying oil tanker, blocked in the bay of Biafra for over a year. SWI The San Padre Pio oil tanker, registered with canton Vaud shipping company ABC Maritime, was seized by Nigerian authorities in January 2018, who accused the ship and its crew of violating territorial waters and diesel smuggling. Over a year later, with diplomatic efforts to release the ship proven futile, ... Read More »

Jessie Simmons: How a schoolteacher became an unsung hero of the civil rights movement

Jessie Dean Gipson Simmons was full of optimism when she and her family moved from an apartment in a troubled area of Detroit to a new development in Inkster, Michigan in 1955. Valerie Hill-Jackson The Conversation With three children in tow, Jessie and her husband settled into a home on Colgate Street in a neighborhood known as “Brick City” – an idyllic enclave of single, working-class families with a shared community garden. The plan was simple. Like many African Americans ... Read More »