Summer catching-up links: Sudan, elections, Zanzibar, Ushahidi, etc

As the summer continues, so does the sporadic and irregular nature of the posting around here. Seems like summer calls for a more relaxed approach to life – or at least to my blogging duties, and I hope also to your demands as readers… So, given that I have been up and down for most the month, able to keep up with what’s been going on, but not necessarily able to sit down calmly and write this down, I’ll try to get back into the routine by rounding up some of the stories, news and blog posts that have drawn my attention lately:

– After the presidential elections Sudan went largely off the international media radar, but this does not necessarli mean things are going smoothly either in Darfur or in South Sudan. For example Sahel Blog a few days ago echoed concerns that President Al-Bashir may want to delay the independence referendum, until the international border is agreed. And in Darfur, the Economist reports on the problems the UN mission faces, and in the Making Sense of Sudan Blog,Tag Elkhazin is writing a three-piece article on “Why is the Doha process failing? Who is responsible?”
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Kikwete and Zanzibar President Karume
– And still on the topic of contentious territorial/constitutional arrangements, Shurufu’s blog (which I only recently came accross and is highly recommended) carries a very interesting article titled: “Will Zanzibar become Kikwete’s Northern Ireland?” in which the author muses whether the improvement of the Zanzibar situation in the run-up to November’s election are the result of Kikwete’s dealings in the selection of candiates for the mentioned elections.

– Election dates have been set for two of the countries that have been postponing them: first, in Guinea a date has finally been agreed (September 19th) for the second round of the election, and both candidates seem satisfied with it;. Also, Côte d’Ivoire has also set a (let’s hope final) date for the elections – October 31st – which have been delayed six times in the past five years.
Also a few days ago, the DRC electoral authority announced the calendar for the legislative, presidential and local elections. A timetable that has angered opposition members as it delays local elections and extends Kabila’s mandate over the Constitutional term, as Jason writes at Congo Siasa.

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– Some news from ICT’s innovators Ushahidi. The project has come full-circle from its origins in the Kenyan election violence in January 2008, and back to Kenya again, this time with the launch of Uchaguzi to monitor the referendum for the new constitution, which fortunantely was a perfectly peaceful affair.

– And Ushahidi has also been in the news with their launch of a simplified crisis-mapping service, labelled Crowdmap. An example of this new service at work, is the mediafreedom crowdmap created to map opinions, views, and events on the threat to media freedom in Africa – after some of the recent developments (blogged before, here).

– Finally, back to Kenya, where Kumekucha shares his opinion on the post-referendum situation and his view of what he considers to be the largest potential “spoiler” in the quest for the implementation of a new constitution, and democratic progress: “Deadly Daniel”

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