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Africa Watch
Boko Haram in Nigeria and all the Al-Qaeda aligned terrorist groups across Africa and Middle-East continue their operations, re-equipped and strengthened by the weaponry and military materiel of Libya, their operational exit from Afghanistan and Pakistan freeing-up experienced and trained personnel, global funding from various source. In this posting we provide a closer look at al-Shabaab organization. U.S. Terrorist Most Wanted poster offering rewards of between $3m and $7m for the leaders of the Islamist militant groups in West Africa. - READ MORE
Americas View
In this section we present the official U.S. government statements, public opinion polls and general comments America makes about Africa, with the intent to keep Africa officialdom aware of the Africa temperament in the USA –and to see “What America Sees” – This posting has an opinion piece by Michael O'Hanlon, a senior fellow and director of research for the foreign policy program at the highly influential Brookings Institution, proving an assessment of the United States military presence in Africa.-READ MORE
Africa Comment
After a year locked up in Uganda with self-confessed Islamist militants, a Kenyan human rights lawyer is able to give clues as to what drove those behind Kenya's deadly mall siege. PLUS - Did France pay a ransom to al-Qaida for the release of their French prisoners? -READ MORE
Insight
Anti-Balaka fighters in the CAR are trying to "ethnically cleanse Muslims" PLUS - Has Western-Type Democracy really worked for Africa? And the big question: What is Democracy? -READ MORE
Briefing
The rivalry between Sunnis and Shiites is 1,320 years old. The events of today are closely related in expressing the ideological conflict between the two main branches of Islam – we present their differences. Followed by the unanswered questions about the Nairobi Terrorist Attack. Who knew what and when? Mass failure into Liberian University shocks a Nation. Nearly 25,000 school-leavers failed the test for admission to the University of Liberia, one of two state-run universities. DRC: Rape as a weapon of war –first hand report-READ MORE
Profile
Profile of Ghana President, John Dramani Mahama – PLUS eight other noteworthy African politicians Michael Sata, Blaise Compaoré, President of Burkina Faso, Somalia Prime Minister; Re-elected President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Al-Bashir, President of Sudan; Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, President of Nigeria; Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa; Sharif Ahmed, President of Somalia-READ MORE
Africa Inc
Many of the fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa. The continent's future appears to be bright, but do growth figures reflect an improving quality of life? Our Africa, Inc. postings and coverage provide a good background for those conducting their “due diligence” for doing business and investing in and with Africa. If you have any specific questions about investments, business or finance with Africa, our business and finance editors are at your service.-READ MORE
Interviews
Kenya Jihadist meets a reporter who is an atheist; the interviewee is Abubakar Shariff Ahmed, better known by his nickname, Makaburi. It means "graveyard" in Swahili. Ask around in the Majengo area of Mombasa and people will know where he lives. But ask around too much and you are likely to have a problem -READ MORE
The Arts
A picture of African migrants standing on the shore of Djibouti City at night, their glimmering phones held aloft to catch a weak signal, has won the World Press Photo prize. New film - Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom review -READ MORE

 

Africa Kitchen
Morocco and its saffron crop. France's cherished culinary tradition holds big attraction for foreign visitors. But few tourists realize that many chefs and most kitchen staff in Paris and other big cities are immigrants from Africa. Report of a great restaurant in Somalia, Mogadishu, prior to a terrorist attack, then rebuild and then bombed again. Review of a classic Nairobi restaurant Carnivore – Plus a great Senegal food article which appeared in the “Saveur” magazine, courtesy of Peirre Thiam, our chef colleague. Link to the U.S. based African Dinner website listing African restaurants in all the major metropolitan areas of the U.S-READ MORE
Book Review
"Foreign Gods, Inc." a new must-read book by a Nigerian author reviewed. Nelson Mandela's autobiography turned into a film – our review. From orphan to author, the self-help guru is turning the spiritual world upside down by exploring a new concept, African Spirituality. “Our ancestors believed in African deities and gained their strength to survive one of the worst atrocities in American history," Followed by a review of a book by the President of Ghana “My First Coup D’Etat” – and a review of a 19th Century travel book of West Africa by Mary Kingsley, published in 1892, a must read before your visit to Sierra Leone - READ MORE
Career Info
The African Times/USA presents Career Opportunities as a community outreach resource to our readers and site visitors. World Bank seeking new talent; Africa Development Bank’s new career program is outlined; U.S. White House internship information, a way to work with the U.S. President; Fulbright Scholarship availability and contacts for US and non-US applicants -READ MORE
Travel
WARNING! The following is not a place to visit at this time, but you should put it on your Africa travel bucket list, because when all will become peaceful it will be the top Africa destination. Plus a report on the assistance the world organization UNWTO will be providing to Libya tourism -READ MORE

 

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Nigeria Is Out-Of-Control

That the Nigerian government, its military and the national police have obviously proven themselves unable to resolve the Boko Haram situation has become a sore fact. Not knowing how to tackle this menace has not scored this West African country high on the radar of the global war on terrorism. Recently, we noticed that the blame-game and cover-ups have already started, and by no less an institution than the Nigerian Presidency that wily nilly decided to fire the nation's top military brass.

This is however in contrast to the government's swift and efficient execution of the anti-gay law, which makes it unlawful to be gay in Nigeria.

The government seems to have better records and ability to identify the gays than they have had with Boko Haram. In one day after the signing of the gay law, 34 gays were arrested and prosecuted under the new law.

On the political front, it is obvious to all that the ruling party is in disarray – President Goodluck Jonathan is currently at war with his own People’s Democratic Party (PDP). As a result, five state governors have defected to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), as have 37 members of parliament, depriving the PDP of a House majority.

We realize that with Presidential election coming up next year, there has been posturing and maneuvers. It is also being speculated that President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to run after he is alleged to have assured members of his party that he would not seek another term, after his 2011 election victory, following the death of President Alhaji Umaru Yar'Adua whose term he completed.

What truly troubles The African Times is that with the Nigeria economy set to overtake South Africa as the continent’s largest and with the propensity to grow, the President is currently embroiled in a game of wits with the Governor of the Central Bank who is credited internationally with bringing about the Nigeria recovery from economic abyss. The Central banker’s only sin is that he asked the President’s team to account for the whereabouts of $50 billion USD of oil revenue!

We believe that there is dire need for a political, economic and social re-engineering in Abuja -- if Nigeria’s future is to be assured.

 


Debate - knowledge - opinions - ideas are all part of the AFRICA DIALOG. This is your opportunity to debate, come under the traditional village tree and become a part of the community.

We look forward to your comments:

editor@theafricantimes.com


 

 

C.A.R. Appoints Bangui Mayor It's New President

The devastated Central African Republic (CAR) has appointed Catherine Samba-Panza, the mayor of Bangui to be interim President. She is one of eight candidates who had to show they had no link to the Muslim Seleka rebels, or the forces behind the mainly Christian "anti-balaka" militia, who have terrorized the country. She was elected by the National Transitional Council about a week after former rebel leader Michel Djotodia resigned as President . "I am the President of all Central Africans, without exception," said Samba-Panza. "I appeal to my anti-balaka and Seleka children to listen to me and together lay down your weapons." According to the terms of a regionally-brokered peace plans CAR is supposed to hold elections by February 2015.


KENYA

Police stormed a mosque in Kenya's sea-coast city of Mombasa after worshippers (who allegedly sympathized with al Shabaab) defied a police warning not to meet and raised an al Shabaab flag. At least two people were killed and two officers seriously wounded in the clashes that ensued as police fired tear gas and live rounds over the crowd.

RWANDA

For several hours recently, a false rumor that the Rwandan President Paul Kagame had died spread like wildfire in the city of Goma, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo - prompting scenes of celebration. There is no love lost between the DR Congo and Rwanda - especially in the east of the DR Congo where Rwanda has been accused of meddling. So when rumors started that President Kagame had died, they met a receptive audience. Hundreds of people marched down the main street in Goma towards the Rwandan border to celebrate what was later confirmed to be entirely false rumors of his death. The marchers carried a fake coffin and a cross. Smaller scenes and cases of people honking their horns were reported in a number of cities across DR Congo.

UGANDA

Uganda's President has refused to approve a controversial bill that would see homosexuals jailed for life, saying there were better ways to "rescue" people from their "abnormality". In a letter to Parliament, Yoweri Museveni said gays would go "underground and continue practicing homosexuality or lesbianism for mercenary reasons", according to the independent newspaper, Daily Monitor. The anti-gay bill passed through the Ugandan Parliament after its architects agreed to drop a death penalty clause. The President said that homosexuality was caused by either "random breeding" or a need to make money. But he said improving the nation's economy would stop people becoming gay.

USA

The U.S. White House released the list of nearly 50 African countries who will be invited to attend a summit at the White House this August. Egypt, Sudan and Zimbabwe are not on the list. Egypt's Foreign Ministry spokesman said that a U.S. decision not to invite Cairo to a summit of African leaders was "wrong and short-sighted." U.S. State Department responded that Egypt was not invited because the country's membership to the African Union has been suspended. The African Union suspended Egypt's membership in July after the coup that ousted President Mohammed Morsi. AU Commission head Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said then that the removal of Morsi qualified as an unconstitutional change of government under the union's doctrine. There has been no official comment by Sudan or Zimbabwe.

NIGERIA

A Nigerian man has received 20 lashes after an Islamic court in the northern city of Bauchi convicted him of homosexual offences. Under Islamic law, courts can punish homosexual acts by stoning to death. But the judge said he took into account that the Muslim man, Mubarak Ibrahim, 20, carried out the acts seven years ago, and had stopped the practice. In Nigeria, homosexual acts are illegal under both Islamic and secular law and restrictions have been tightened. Recently President Goodluck Jonathan signed into law a bill which bans same-sex marriages, gay groups and shows of same-sex public affection. The new legislation applies throughout Nigeria.

LIBERIA

Liberia's Finance Minister says being named Africa's Finance Minister of the year by the London-based Banker magazine is recognition of the country's "new image". Amara Konneh said that Liberia's civil war, which ended in 2003, brought about a 90% collapse in the country's economy. Currently the economy is forecast to grow by about 6% a year from 2013-7, although most Liberians remain poor. Mr. Konneh acknowledged that his government had not been "as fast as [it was] expected to be" in improving the lives of Liberians, many of whom still live on less than $1 a day. "We're not proud of that, but it's something we are trying to change." Mr. Konneh noted one contributing factor to the govenement's lack of progress; Liberia's population had grown by 65% between 1984 and 2008.

NIGERIA

Additional eleven lawmakers from Nigeria's ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) announced that they will defect to the main opposition All Progressives Congress (APC). The announcement marks the latest in a series of defections that included 37 lawmakers in December and five state governors in November. In addition, a close ally of President Goodluck Jonathan, Bamanga Tukur, has resigned as chairman of the governing PDP. He had been under pressure to resign after the defection of the PDP governors to the opposition. Many observers describe the defections as a disintegration of the ruling party and the Presidents' support platform. Correspondents say the crisis in the PDP has centered on Mr. Jonathan's undeclared intention to contest elections in 2015. According to AFP news agency, the President assured party leaders in his speech that the party defections were nothing to worry about and by the end of March the internal crisis would be over.

SOUTH SUDAN

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, said his troops had joined forces with the South Sudanese military and helped loyalist forces flush rebels out of Bor, the strategic town near the capital of Juba that has seen some of the fiercest clashes since violence broke out in South Sudan in mid-December. Ugandan officials have previously denied that their troops have joined the fight, saying their forces were deployed in South Sudan mainly to aid civilian evacuations. The involvement of a foreign army in South Sudan's conflict escalates the crisis set off by a power struggle between President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, the fugitive former Deputy President who commands the rebel anti-government forces. Uganda's troop involvement in combat in South Sudan raises concerns that other regional countries could be sucked into the conflict, fighting their own proxy wars as has happened elsewhere on the continent, such as Congo. Currently there is a negotiated ceasefire, with South Sudan releasing seven of 11 rebel leaders held as part of the terms of a "cessation of hostilities." Rebel leader Riek Machar called for the release of the four rebel leaders, and denied he had started a coup in December. The released men were flown to neighboring Kenya. However, South Sudan's justice minister said the four remaining rebels will be put on trial for treason - potentially undoing an already fragile peace process.