Archive for December, 2012
By: Pambazuka News
By J. Paul Martin
Given the political and economic patterns set over the last 60 years, what can Africa expect over the next 20 years? If not more of the same, what needs to be changed?
Sixty years ago, emboldened by such figures as Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere and Leopold Senghor, Africans were enjoying the fresh air and the expectations of independence. The newly independent states boasted new constitutions, new universities and new social and economic plans for growth supported by strong development aid programs and optimistic populations.
Today the atmosphere is much less optimistic. Rather than planning for tomorrow, most Africans, if not also their governments, are more concerned with getting by today. Overseas aid has degenerated into a network of lotteries where African governments and NGOs scramble to fit into funding priorities set by Washington, Brussels and now China and India. (more…)
Mauritanian authorities prepare to deal with the consequences of a war against al-Qaeda in northern Mali.
By Jemal Oumar and Bakari Gueye for Magharebia in Nouakchott
[AFP/Abdelhak Senna] Military patrols guard the border area between Mali and Mauritania in light of recent al-Qaeda. manoeuvres.
Mauritania, like many of its Maghreb neighbours, has decided to reinforce the protection of its borders in light of recent developments in Mali.
Residents of Mauritanian border towns with Mali are growing increasingly apprehensive. (more…)
Written by Khalid Ibrahim Khaled
The Sahrawi refugee camps in Tindouf have never been as cordoned as they are today. According to a dissident close to the Sahrawi rebel singer Najem Allal, persistent rumors have been circulating for months about ongoing scheming to kidnap other Western volunteers operating in the camps.
The dissident, member of the Forum of Support to Tindouf Autonomists, said that the head of the Polisario Front, Mohamed Abdelaziz, has been informed by his security services of the plot and hurried to inform in turn the command of the Algerian Intelligence and Security Services (DRS). The DRS has ordered the Polisario leadership to raise the alert to the maximum level. (more…)
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
BY JEFF KAROUB
AP Photo/Carlos Osorio
DETROIT (AP) — Tossing and shivering below deck, Hussien Karoub felt ill. In the cold, crowded conditions, sleep came seldom. When it did, it didn’t last long: The cries of children and the moans of those even sicker than he was made certain of that.
It was approaching midnight somewhere in the North Atlantic, aboard a vessel carrying the 18-year-old Syrian and many fellow immigrants toward, they hoped, a better life. If nothing else, he knew it had to beat this arduous monthlong odyssey in steerage, enduring conditions that were, in every sense, below those in first and second class. (more…)
by Samer al-Atrush – CAIRO (AFP)
Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi downplayed on Saturday the country’s teetering economy before a newly empowered senate, and insisted that a new constitution that fuelled protests guaranteed equality.
Since the constitution’s acceptance in a two-stage referendum this month following weeks of often violent protests, the Islamist Morsi’s government has sought to downplay fears of a downturn amid a declining Egyptian pound. (more…)
The UN-Arab League envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, walks with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi prior to a meeting in Beijing on Oct. 31. (PHOTO AP, Takuro Yabe)
OSMAN EROL, BEIJING, (more…)
By Rafat Khalaf
A 12-year-old Moroccan girl gave birth to a baby boy after a Caesarean operation at Mohammed V Hospital in El Jadida district of Casablanca town, according to the Al Jarima website.
The news site said the girl was admitted to hospital after complaining of abdominal pain.
Her mother told a doctor at the hospital that her daughter had been duped by a grocery man.
The hospital called in the police which is investigation why the mother did not report to them earlier about the matter.
BY LOS ANGELES TIMES
Two friends and I just returned from an amazing 14-day tour of Morocco. It was a pleasure to leave details to knowledgeable, in-country experts and brothers Hamid and Youssef of Morocco Expert Tours. Although the value of a wonderful adventure is immeasurable, I saw a similar itinerary this month for group travel at several thousand dollars more than the $2,400 we paid for our trip. Morocco Expert Tours also does day trips and custom itineraries.
Morocco Expert Tours; http://www.moroccoexpertours.com
By: Said Temsamani
On December 25 Moroccan Ministry of Interior issued a communique announcing that Moroccan security services have broken up a six-member cell that recruited young Moroccans embracing with jihadist thought. According to the statement, the new recruits were sent to the camps of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb in Algeria (AQIM).
The jihadist cell was dismantled in the city of Fez, central Morocco, the statement added. It enlisted volunteers in coordination with one of its extremist elements operating in Algeria and facilitated their infiltration by joining the terrorist organization’s camps via Morocco-Algerian border. The ministry said a member of the cell was extradited from Algeria in 2005, after his attempt to reach the camps of the former Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), later renamed AQIM after its affiliation with al-Qaida network. (more…)
by Justin Green
Max Boot urges impatient observers to remember how long it took democracy to take root in the western world:
France, after all, transitioned from absolute monarchy by way of the French Revolution and its Reign of Terror. This was followed by numerous further upheavals that Berman does not mention, including the Bourbon restoration from 1815 to 1830, the July Revolution of 1830, the Revolution of 1848, the proclamation of the Second Empire in 1851, the creation of the Third Republic in 1870, the Vichy regime from 1940 to 1944, and, finally, in 1958 the overthrow of the Fourth Republic and the birth of the Fifth Republic which has lasted to this day. (more…)
The recent dismantlement of an al-Qaeda cell in Tunisia prompted Algerian and Tunisian authorities to take action.
By Monia Ghanmi for Magharebia in Tunis
[AFP/Abderrazek Khlifi] Tunisian authorities will co-operate with their Algerian counterparts to secure their common border.
Tunisia and Algeria want to strengthen security co-operation along their common land border to counter potential attacks from al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
The deal was struck during Algerian Interior Minister Dahou Ould Kablia’s visit to Tunis on December 24th, where he met with Interim Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali and Interior Minister Ali Larayedh. (more…)
Kuwait security forces have on several occasions used what appears to be excessive force to disperse largely peaceful protesters at a series of demonstrations over participation in the country’s political process since October 2012. Some demonstrators have been wounded, and the security forces have arrested many more.
In several statements the Interior Ministry justified the use of force on the grounds that protesters had blocked traffic, thrown stones at the police, and attacked them. However, Human Rights Watch interviewed more than 20 protest organizers, participants, rights activists, and witnesses, who said that demonstrations they took part in or witnessed were largely peaceful. They said that masked riot police used tear gas and sound bombs without warning to disperse demonstrations and beat protesters while arresting them for participating in “unauthorized protests.” (more…)
Al Bawaba News
The United Arab Emirates announced Wednesday that they busted a cell of Saudi and Emirati members plotting “terror” attacks in the two countries and other states.
The suspects “imported material and equipment with the aim of committing terror acts,” according to an official statement on WAM state news agency. The arrests came after coordination between security authorities in the two Gulf states.
“The security authorities in the UAE, in coordination with the related security parties in Saudi Arabia, announced the arrest of an organized cell from the deviant group that was planning to carry out actions against national security of both countries and some sisterly states,” WAM said. (more…)
By ADAM NOSSITER
“I myself cut off my brother’s hand,” said Aliou Touré, a police chief in the Islamist-held north of this divided nation. “We had no choice but to practice the justice of God.”BAMAKO, Mali — Moctar Touré was strapped to a chair, blindfolded, his right hand bound tight to the armrest with a rubber tube. A doctor came and administered a shot. Then Mr. Touré’s own brother wielded a knife, the kind used to slaughter sheep, and methodically carried out the sentence.
Such amputations are designed to shock — residents are often summoned to watch — and even as the world makes plans to recapture northern Mali by force, the Islamists who control it show no qualms about carrying them out. (more…)