Happy New Year 2016 from Africa Agenda!January 1, 2016
In Case You Missed It: 1/04/16 – 1/10/16January 11, 2016
The most important in this week’s headlines out of and concerning Africa, for those who need help catching up.
In this week’s news, elections in the Central African Republic bring hopes for reconciliation, Cameroon’s President thanks the U.S. for their help in the fight against Boko Haram, and Somalia’s al-Shabab group uses footage of U.S. presidential candidate, Donald Trump in a propaganda video.
- Central African Republic Decides
After more than two years of civil conflict and instability, the citizens of the Central African Republic (CAR) went to the polls, December 30 in presidential and parliamentary elections.
The elections had been delayed several times because of conflict in the capital city Bangui. Recently technical issues also caused the elections to be delayed.
“CAR has been rocked by violence since March 2013 when a largely Muslim alliance of rebel groups known as the Seleka overthrew President Francois Bozize,” according to this Aljazeera news analysis.
“ The Seleka withdrew from Bangui after their leader Michel Djotodia stepped down from the presidency in 2014 and the group’s factions have entrenched themselves in the northeast, leaving the country effectively partitioned,” writes Crispin Dembassa-Kette of Yahoo News.
After the elections the challenge for the new leader will be to unify the country and to rebuild its devastated economy.
2. U.S. Helps Cameroon In Fight Against Boko Haram
As the fight against Boko Haram intensifies, the African nation of Cameroon welcomed direct United States involvement in the battle against the terrorist group.
Writing for the Voice of America (VOA) radio, Moko Edwin Kindzeka, who doubles as a journalist with state-run Cameroon Radio and Television (CRTV), states that Cameroon’s president, Paul Biya offered thanks to the U.S. for their “experience and expertise” in assisting Cameroon.
Citing remarks from Biya’s year-end message to the Cameroonian people, Kindzeka says part of U.S. assistance would involve American forces fighting alongside Cameroonian troops as well as the provision of training in the operation of surveillance aircraft.
“The U.S. military is setting up its first drone base in Africa and Cameroon believes it is likely to host it. Soldiers of the central African nation are learning how to use drones for surveillance from the U.S. Marines.”
3. Somalia Militant Group Cites Trump in Propaganda Video
Just as the U.S. presidential primary elections enter a new phase, al-Shabab, the Somali militant group known for attacks in the horn of Africa, is using language from GOP front-runner, Donald Trump, to boost its message against the West.
According to news sources, including the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the group posted a 51-minute video online, featuring Trump and citing his recent call to ban Muslims from entering the United States.