Vol. II Issue. 28
Libya: defeat for Muslim Brotherhood
Research Assistant at Observer Research Foundation.
13 July 2012
The moderate National Forces Alliance of Mahmoud Jibril scored a landslide victory over rival Islamist parties in Libya's first free national election. Final official results are not due until next week. But with a large majority of votes counted, Jibril's alliance had unbeatable leads in Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi.
A new 200-head assembly is due to pick a prime minister and cabinet before preparing for full parliamentary elections next year. Speculation is growing that Mr. Jibril could emerge from the process as Libya's next leader, potentially as president if a new constitution chooses that form of government.
Source(S): Reuters Africa, July 13, 2012.
Mali: U.S commits $10 million
United States President Barack Obama has authorised the release of 10 million dollars in emergency funding to help with the refugee crisis in northern Mali. The U.S. aid will be routed through the United Nations' refugee agency, UNHCR. The U.N. has called for 153 million dollars in assistance for the Malian refugee crisis, but till now has received just 22 percent of that.
The U.S. funding is not earmarked for any particular use or group of refugees, and comes in addition to 17 million dollars pledged earlier by the United States. According to the most recent statistics, nearly 230,000 Malians are thought to have fled to neighbouring countries, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Niger, in addition to some 155,000 who are internally displaced within Mali.
Source(S): All Africa, July 13, 2012.
ECOWAS: India seeks investments
India is now seeking investments from the 16-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Over 200 business leaders, accompanying Mr. Anand Sharma, Indian Minister of Commerce, Industry and Textiles, converged at Accra International Trade Fair in Ghana, for a three-day 'India Show', from July 9 to11. According to the Indian High Commissioner to Ghana, H.E Mr. Rajinder Bhagat, West Africa with its strong economic fundamentals holds great promise for the future.
The fair was put up by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), with the support of Ministries of Commerce and Industry and External Affairs. Ghana was chosen to hold the 'India Show' because of its economic and political stability; rich natural resource base, a modern, vibrant and fast growing financial sector, and as gateway to the ECOWAS market of 240 million people, the Indian High Commissioner explained.
Source(s): All Africa, July 12, 2012
Angola: Iran wishes to boost relations
Iran's minister of Information Technology, Reza Taghipour has announced that Iran wishes to boost its relations with Angola. The Iranian minister said so at the end of a meeting, in Luanda, with Angola's State secretary for Co-operation, Exalgina Gamboa, who informed that Iran's President has invited his Angolan colleague, José Eduardo dos Santos, to participate in a summit in Iran.
There are talks of a joint commission being set to develop the bilateral relations
Source(s): All Africa, July 12, 2012.
Ethiopia: controversial loan approved
The World Bank approved a $684 million loan for a 1000-kilometer transmission line that would supply power to Kenya from Ethiopia's controversial Gibe III dam. The loan was approved on July 12. The building of the line has been contested by various NGOs and organisations as according to the Human Rights Watch (HRW) it will undermine the rights of indigenous peoples and damage the environment.
According to HRW, the World Bank's board of directors approved the loan without applying the Bank's social and environmental standards to the Gibe III dam, a power source for the transmission line. Gibe III could devastate ecosystems that support 500,000 indigenous peoples in the Lower Omo Valley in Ethiopia and around Kenya's Lake Turkana. In 2011, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)'s World Heritage Committee called on the Ethiopian government to immediately halt all construction on the dam, which will impact several sites of universal cultural and ecological value. In August 2011, the Kenyan parliament passed a resolution asking for the suspension of dam construction pending further studies.
Source(s): All Africa, July 13, 2012.
Sudan, S. Sudan: adopt strategic approach to conflict
Sudan and South Sudan delegations in Addis Ababa agreed to adopt a new strategic approach to facilitate a quick progress in the stalled talks on July 07. The new approach will mainly focus on the establishing a demilitarized buffer zone along their troubled border, in addition to others as mandated by both the African Union roadmap and the United Nations Security Council resolution 2026.
The chief negotiator between the two, Thabo Mbeki, arrived in Khartoum where he met president Omar al-Bashir to discuss the prospects of the talks in the upcoming weeks as the parties are tied by a UN resolution demanding to conclude the process before 02 August. The implementation of security arrangements agreed by the two countries since November last year was key issue to pave the way for comprehensive solution for the outstanding issues. However, the difference over a map demarcating the buffer zone hampered the process.
Source(s): All Africa, July 07, 2012.
Rwanda, DR Congo: agree to eradicate armed groups
Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda have agreed a plan to "eradicate" armed groups in eastern Congo. The document was signed in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa by foreign ministers of nearly a dozen regional states, who met on the sidelines of the ongoing African Union summit.
They agreed to tackle a rebellion in Congo's North Kivu province, where the latest fighting began in April, displacing more than 100,000 civilians according to the U.N. and raising tension between Congo and Rwanda. The agreement will required the region to request an international force to eliminate both the Tutsi-led M23 rebel movement and the predominantly Hutu FDLR insurgents. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has told Rwandan President Paul Kagame he is concerned about reports that dissident Congolese troops are receiving support from Kigali officials. The Rwandan government has consistently denied backing the rebel movement.
Source(s): Reuters Africa, July 12, 2012.
The report has been prepared by Priyanka Mehrotra, Research Assistant at Observer Research Foundation.