Sahel food crisis: The situation in Burkina Faso

Sahel food crisis: The situation in Burkina Faso
This is part of a series of posts, looking at the state of the Sahel food crisis. You can also find a regional overview and a report on the situation in Chad on this blog so far. On Tuesday, I was invited by Oxfam to look at one of their projects addressing the current food crisis in the wider region. A car took us from Ouagadougou, the capital, north to Kaya and from there to several surrounding villages. The dry season has the country in its hot and dusty grip now. Temperatures are above 40°C every day and it hasn’t rained for ...

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Why counter-terrorism failed as a foreign policy objective

Why counter-terrorism failed as a foreign policy objective
When news of the coup in Mali hit the airwaves last week, much was made of the fact that the apparent coup leader, Capt. Sanogo, received US army training. The captain, who used to be an English teacher before assuming leadership of Africa’s latest junta, proudly sports a US Marines pin on his fatigues and generally likes to brag about his several trips to the US for various trainings. Commentators who noticed this generally questioned the US military aid in the sense of if it is good that the troops which were trained then proceed to topple democratically elected governments. ...

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Waging Nonviolence: Why democracy prevails in Senegal but fails in Mali

Waging Nonviolence: Why democracy prevails in Senegal but fails in Mali
People took to the streets in Dakar, Senegal, yesterday, celebrating what many had feared would never happen: opposition leader Mack Sall gained around two thirds of the vote in the second round of the presidential elections, and incumbent Abdoulaye Wade accepted defeat, personally calling Sall to congratulate him. Meanwhile in Bamako, the capital of Senegal’s neighbor Mali, people were slowly starting to venture out to the streets again after a sudden coup d’état brought normal life to a standstill for several days. Why did democracy prevail in Senegal and not in Mali? Why were people in one country able to express the ...

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ThinkAfricaPress: Tuareg Rebels Capitalise on Mali’s Coup

ThinkAfricaPress: Tuareg Rebels Capitalise on Mali's Coup
While all eyes are on the coup d’état in Bamako, the situation in the north of Mali remains volatile. Taking advantage of the apparent confusion in the Malian army, Tuareg rebels have captured Anefis, a strategically important military base north of Gao. This has put them into a prime position to move on Kidal, one of the main cities in the north. The city is reported to be surrounded by forces of the rebel MNLA and Ansar Dine groups, with unconfirmed reports already talking of its capture. […] Read the rest on ThinkAfrikaPress! While all eyes are on the coup d’état in Bamako, the situation in the ...

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Upcoming articles

Just to fill the blank space: I’m working on several articles at the moment, which may be of interest to you. First of all, you will shortly find an analysis of the military situation in the North of Mali on ThinkAfricaPress. Mali will also feature in an additional article for Waging Non-Violence, that will focus on why Senegal succeeded where Mali did not. Finally, I’m also working on an article for this blog, looking at US (and EU) counter terrorism foreign policy and its contradicting results in the Sahel region. Watch this space! Just to fill the blank space: I’m ...

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Some more thoughts on the coup in Mali

Some more thoughts on the coup in Mali
  The situation is still very much in flux in Bamako, where a coup dislodged the government of President Touré from power at least temporarily. Here are some thoughts, reflections and questions that I’m stuck with after monitoring this coup for the last few days: This is a really amateurish coup ThinkAfricaPress has analysed this quite well. The coup leaders seem to be more surprised than anybody that they are “in power” now (whatever that means, see below). They are all junior officers and there is little indication that they got the support of the top brass of the army ...

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The coup in Mali: possible ramifications

The coup in Mali: possible ramifications
I originally planned to give you a roundup of what has happened in Mali since yesterday. But then I realized that several other people did this already and probably better than I ever could. Check especially here and here and here if you are looking for something like that. I will instead focus on something different: what are the possible effects of the coup? This is of course a highly speculatory question, as the coup is not even over yet (President Touré is still holed up in Bamako with an elite army unit guarding him). But I think that the ...

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Tuareg uprising is now an “Islamist Rebellion”

Tuareg uprising is now an
The African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council met in Bamako on Tuesday to discuss (among other things) the armed uprising in Mali. Just that it isn’t any armed uprising anymore, its now an “Islamist rebellion”. The ministers cited in the article put great emphasis on the involvement of a group called “Ansar Dine”, which demands that Sharia law is introduced in Mali. To the layperson, it may even look like Ansar Dine is the main faction inside the rebellion against the government. Oh, and “criminal groups” are also linked to the rebellion. Now, there is of course involvement of ...

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Sahel food crisis: The situation in Chad

Sahel food crisis: The situation in Chad
I’m currently writing a series of posts looking at the state of the Sahel food crisis. The first part, a regional overview, was published here. Over the coming days I will look at the other countries that are impacted by the food crisis, so come back if you like to know more! I’m beginning my country-by-country analysis of the Sahel food crisis with Chad, as it is this country that will probably bear the brunt of what is coming has already arrived. First the facts: parts of Chad have already descended into full-blown emergency, with thousands of children being admitted to ...

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Sahel food crisis: a roundup

Sahel food crisis: a roundup
This will be the first of a series of posts, looking at the current state of the food crisis in the Sahel. In this post, I will provide a short history of the current crisis and a general overview of the situation in the region. In future posts, I will analyze the state of various countries and their reaction to the upcoming famine. Forecasting a food crisis is no rocket science or guessing game anymore. All areas considered to be at risk of facing periodic food shortages are constantly monitored by regional and local early warning systems like the US ...

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