Commentary: Can AMISOM Protect Somalia’s Sovereignty?

May 9, 2012 by

For more than two decades, Somalia’s sovereignty has been in limbo- or in an utterly defunct status. Though there are many causes, a particular one stands out exponentially: volatile security. For no nation can claim, or (like in Somalia’s case) reclaim its sovereignty while dependent on another country, coalition, or a peace-building force for security. And though road-based security has been a top priority, it has been an objective made difficult by the many hurdles along the way!

Sudan’s Oil War

May 7, 2012 by

Since the January 2011 referendum vote for independence and subsequent separation the following July, militia violence has been increasing across the borderlands. Hostilities were initiated by Sudan as a means of destabilizing the newly formed South Sudanese government. The situation continued to escalate with both sides funding and arming paramilitaries to conduct cross-border raids.

Peace Corps Diary: Ethiopia 1962-1964 Part 11

May 7, 2012 by

Aba Gebre Meskel (Father Servant of the Cross) was the morals teacher/orthodox priest assigned to our Haile Selassie 1 Secondary School in Gondar, Ethiopia. My sense was that he arrived at about the same time as the twelve of us. Even without his turban he was very tall. As our nearest neighbor we saw a lot of him and gained a deep respect for his views and good works.

Emerging Powers vie for Influence in Africa

May 4, 2012 by

The end of the Cold War resulted in the strategic disengagement of western countries, including the United States, from Africa. They continued their trade, aid and assistance relationship with Africa, but once the threat of communist expansion disappeared, the West interacted with the continent in a different way. This change permitted an opening for a variety of emerging countries to expand their ties with Africa.

A New ‘Rough Patch’ in US-South Africa Relations

May 4, 2012 by

The US-South Africa bilateral relationship over the past eighteen months has been a diplomatic minefield. Issues include everything from military equipment and nuclear energy/weapons to oil, communication companies and the global north versus the global south. The most recent, and the most serious issue regarding US-SA relations is Iran.

Opening the Other Eye: Charles Taylor and Selective Criminal Accountability

April 27, 2012 by

From all that we know Charles Taylor deserves to be held criminally accountable for his role in the atrocities committed in Sierra Leone during the period 1998-2002. Taylor was then President of Liberia, and did his best to encourage violent uprisings against the governments in neighboring countries so as to finance his own bloody schemes and extend his regional influence.

Hidden Hands behind Sudan’s Oil War

April 27, 2012 by

Once again Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir waved his walking stick in the air. Once again he spoke of splendid victories over his enemies as thousands of jubilant supporters danced and cheered. But this time around the stakes are too high. An all out war against newly independent South Sudan might not be in Sudan’s best interest.

YPIA Announces its 2012 Top 5 Young Hollywood Celebrities (Under 40) Helping Africa

April 24, 2012 by

YPIA is happy to announce its 2012 top five young Hollywood celebrities who take time out of their busy schedules to assist the African continent. This is an annual award and serves as a precursor to the May release of YPIA’s top 35 under 35 project. These under 40 years old ‘megastars’ often help shine light on topics that would otherwise go unnoticed by most of the general public. And for that, we thank you.

Africa Needs its Own BRICS aka KENSA

April 23, 2012 by

The recent BRICS summit at the end of March 2012 led to a substantial amount of controversy surrounding South Africa’s membership. Various political analysts were seen on television and in newspapers all answering a similar question to this one: Given its economic, military and population numbers, is South Africa really worthy to be part of such a group? When analyzing the facts and figures, the blunt answer is no.

The Calculus of Egypt’s Presidential Race

April 23, 2012 by

“President Hosni Mubarak has decided to step down from his position as president of the republic.” Uttered by former Vice President Omar Suleiman on the evening of February 11, 2011, these words set in motion jubilations by millions of Egyptians celebrating the ultimate triumph of their will over the obstinate dictator. Although the previous eighteen tumultuous days had united the overwhelming majority of Egyptians regardless of political orientation, religious persuasion, economic class or social strata, the ultimate victory of the revolution was not inevitable.

Goldman Prize for Kenyan River Activist Ikal Angelei

April 16, 2012 by

Ikal Angelei, the founder of Friends of Lake Turkana in Kenya, receives the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize in San Francisco today. The award will honor an activist who is defending the interests of 500,000 poor indigenous people against a destructive hydropower dam, and has successfully taken on many of the world’s biggest dam builders and financiers.

Water Crisis in Africa

April 16, 2012 by

Remarks by Ambassador David H. Shinn before the GWU International Affairs Society on 9 April 2012.

Commentary: Somali’s Compete for Foreign Domination

April 12, 2012 by

The 23 March 2012 death of Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed – former president of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia (TFG) – sparked an intense debate about his political legacy. President Yusuf left an indelible mark on the history of Somalia. Some present him as a national hero and honest broker; others see him as a dictator, a corrupt politician, and a tribalist. These diametrically opposing views were the result of President Yusuf seeking military support from Ethiopia to establish his rule in south central Somalia. As a result, Ethiopia dominated the internal and external affairs of Somalia.

The Logic of Unintended Consequences: The ‘Mess in Mali’

April 11, 2012 by

The intentional misreading of UN security council resolution 1973 resulted in NATO’s predictably violent Operation Odyssey in Libya last year. Not only did the action cost many thousands of lives and untold destruction, it also paved the way for perpetual conflict - not only in Libya but throughout North Africa.

Peace Corps Diary: Ethiopia 1962-1964 Part 10

April 9, 2012 by

As I write this I am listening to a 16 minute “bootleg tape”, now a CD, of the concert Martin Benjamin and I performed on March 9, 1963 (49 years ago) in a talla bet (beer house) in the arada (market) of Gondar, Ethiopia. Marty was the lead on the guitar and I just did my best to follow along. I doubt either of us would be described today as a couple of aging rockers. The flavor of the concert was Kingston Trio, aka “Gondar Duo”.

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