News in Africa: 11/15/2012

Various diplomats are urging Morocco and Western Sahara to enter serious negotiations to avoid outright conflict. Because of continuing unrest in Mali, there are fears that this instability will spread, igniting smoldering hostilities between Morocco and Western Sahara.

For more background information on this conflict between Morocco and Western Sahara, go ahead and check the Wikipedia article here for more info. I confess, I only recently learned about this (“past”) conflict myself and am rather upset that I hadn’t heard about it until the last month.

The UN published a report that connects Uganda to the rebel forces currently causing unrest in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Uganda calls these accusations baseless and, in response, is threatening to pull out support in Somalia, which would effectively cripple African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom). Approximately one third of Amisom’s troops are Ugandan, meaning that if they pull out, Amisom is likely to crumble and Somalia’s already fragile peace would evaporate.

I feel bad picking on Uganda twice in one week when there are so many other countries to talk about in Africa, but this video caught my eye. The video is a short news clip discussing an anti-homosexuality bill that is in discussion in Uganda’s parliament. The speaker of parliament expects the bill to pass by Christmas. Past versions of the bill have called for a death sentence for adults found guilty of raping young boys and has since been revised to life imprisonment.

Tuesday, the decomposed bodies of ambushed officers arrived in Nairobi, Kenya, following a failed operation to capture some cattle thieves in Samburu. The ambush happened over the weekend, but the bodies weren’t retrieved for four days. Out of 107 policemen who participated in the raid, 42 were killed, 9 were admitted to Kenyatta National Hospital, and 6 remain missing. Families are obviously outraged. More details in the link.

Props for creativity: residents of Cape Town’s suburbs are using paintball guns to keep baboons at bay. I know that animal lovers will probably hate me for supporting this endeavor, but I wholeheartedly cheer. (Also, the baboons have learned that paintball guns are not fun, so residents only have to shake them to get the critters to clear out.) (Also also, baboons are scary and mean and very dangerous.)

Baboon baring its fangs
Hence the paintballs.

Ok, I debated for awhile before bringing up this link which is a follow-up on the Kony 2012 madness that hit the world back in spring. Now, I know this isn’t African news, but it pertains to how westerners view Africa and how we so often think we need to “save” Africans. The author of this article highlights the fact that Invisible Children is promoting a new event (for this weekend) that will involve a global summit of world leaders, a march on DC, and a dance party. Oh yeah, nothing says, “Let’s boogie down” like trying to rescue child soldiers. *side eye* The IC event currently as +10k registrants, so I’m interested to see how the event itself comes together.

By Dormouse

Bilingual (and a half) white girl who spent thirteen of her formative years in Africa. She is a writer, mentor, coffee drinker, wife, cat owner, language lover, photography dabbler, aspiring speaker, and a lifetime student. She keeps her writing going over at

5 replies on “News in Africa: 11/15/2012”

I have very, very conflicting feelings about IC and the whole Kony 2012 thing. I have several fairly good friends who either work for or are heavily involved with IC and they are the epitome of hearts in the right place people. But the more I learn about everything, the more I just can’t support anything they’re about. I frankly just don’t know how to bring it up with them.

I have mixed feelings about IC as well. On the one hand, I do think that the people who started the organization and that the people who work there have their hearts in the right place. I think that their intentions are for restoration and continued peace in Uganda and for justice to be served. But…I think that they are coming at it from a very western perspective.

It was reading the backlash of many African writers, journalists, and activists that convinced me that IC isn’t doing the best that they can do in this situation. And a side note about non-profit organizations…I believe they should all be working towards the end goal of putting themselves out of a job, and I’m not entirely convinced that this is their goal. That is my opinion, and I could very well be wrong too.

I agree, it is a very Western perspective and I wonder how much they’re taking into account the feelings of the African journalist, activist, etc, you mentioned. Touchy, touchy subject (at least for me).

And I wholeheartedly agree with your side note about non-profits. One of my mentors whose lived and worked in Africa for many years and whose opinion I respect immensely basically said the exact same thing. At the end of the day, it’s a business and who wants to out themselves out of business?

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