Top stories of the week (11-15 June)


Lesotho After May 2012 General Elections: Making the coalition work (ISS News)

On Friday 8 June, Thomas Thabane succeeded Pakalitha Mosisili as the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho, not by winning elections but by building a coalition government with the support of the opposition. The outcome of Lesotho’s 2012 general elections was historic for three main reasons.

Firstly, the country moved from a single party majority government under the Lesotho Congress Party (LCD), led by former Prime Minister Mosisili since 1997, to a coalition government. Mosisili, who led the newly created LCD splinter party, the Democratic Congress (DC), to a significant win of 48 parliamentary seats (218 366 votes out of a total of 551 726) fell short of winning an outright parliamentary majority, leading to his defeat.

The second reason for the significance of these elections is that the coalition, which unseated and relegated the ruling DC to opposition status, was itself produced by opposition parties in the minority.

The third point to highlight is that the parliamentary opposition numbers are now far more significant than during the previous parliament, which was characterised by a fragmented and weakened opposition.


AU moves summit to Ethiopia after Malawi snubs Bashir (Reuters) Sigue leyendo

Música de buen rollo para el domingo

Ayer echaron una mano de 100.000 millones de euros a España (esperemos que no al cuello).

Las especulaciones sobre lo que se nos viene encima sin embargo, no deberían impedirnos disfrutar de un día soleado como este. Y qué mejor manera de hacerlo que con esta banda sonora: Afrofunk in Abidjan 1976-1981.

¡Feliz domingo!

Top stories of the week (4 – 8 June)


Nigerians search wreckage after plane crash kills 153 (Reuters)

Nigerian emergency services recovered more bodies on Monday from the smouldering, ash-covered wreckage of a plane that crashed in the commercial hub Lagos, killing all 153 people on board.
President Goodluck Jonathan declared three days of national mourning and ordered an investigation into the cause of Sunday’s accident, in which a McDonnell Douglas MD-83 flown by privately owned domestic carrier Dana Air crashed into the iron roof of an apartment block in the Lagos residential suburb of Agege.
His office said he was scheduled to visit the crash site on Monday afternoon.
“This is really a horrific moment for us here and we sympathise and give condolences to all the victims and families. (There are no) words to express our pain and grief,” Lagos state governor Babatunde Fashola said at the crash site.
“It is saddening, it is simply too much.”
The airline said on Sunday 147 people had perished, but in a list published overnight, there were also six crew members on board, taking the total to 153 killed. An unknown number of people may have been killed on the ground.

Photo: AP


UN Security Council’s June Programme of Work (What’s in Blue) (emphasis mine) Sigue leyendo

Introducing…Amil Shivji

Tired of everyone – including some rather awkward choices – attempting to rebrand, write about, speak for Africa(ns)? If so, here’s an antidote:

Word on the street: is an independent project started by Amil Shivji that puts the spotlight on Tanzanian citizens and their opinions on everyday issues. It is a weekly series that offers us an insight into what the common Tanzanian citizen has to say.

On this (the second) episode, Demere Kitunga, a publisher at Soma Book Cafe talks about what 50 years of independence means to her and where Tanzania is now.

You can suscribe to the series here. Sigue leyendo

Top stories of the week (28 May-1 June)


Mali Tuaregs, Islamist rebels agree to merge, create new state (Reuters)

Mali’s Tuareg rebel National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and Ansar Dine Islamist militants have agreed to merge and create an independent Islamic state in the north of the country, a rebel spokesman said on Saturday.

The deal between MNLA, which has said it wants an independent secular state in the north, and the al Qaeda-linked Salafist Ansar Dine, which had wanted to impose Sharia across Mali, may complicate international efforts to stabilise Mali after a March coup that plunged the country into chaos.

“The agreement reached this evening will see the merging of the two movements – the MNLA and Ansar Dine – to create an independent Islamic state,” MNLA spokesman Mohamed Ag Attaher told Reuters by phone from Gao, in the north of Mali where the deal was signed.

UPDATE – Mali rebels split over sharia in new state

An agreement between northern Mali’s MNLA Tuareg rebels and the al Qaeda-linked Islamist group Ansar Dine to create an Islamic state in the Azawad desert has hit trouble over how strictly to impose sharia, Islamic law, MNLA sources said on Tuesday.

The separatist MNLA wants a moderate form of sharia, while Ansar Dine would like to impose a more hardline version, using punishments such as the amputation of hands and heads for certain crimes, the sources said. (…)

“We want sharia similar to that in Mauritania or even Egypt. This point must be clarified,” Ibrahim Ag Assaleh, an MNLA official in the northern city of Gao, told Reuters by telephone. (…)

A second MNLA source confirmed that a disagreement had emerged, centred on what form of sharia to impose. “The strict application of sharia, for example by cutting off hands, we don’t agree with,” the second source said.

An Ansar Dine official was not available, but the group has said it wants to impose a strict version of sharia in Mali and would be willing to cut off hands and heads if the Koran required it.


Photo: AFP

Ruling party wins Lesotho vote but has to share (Mail & Guardian) Sigue leyendo

Top stories of the week (21 – 25 May)


Malawi: President Promises to Lift Ban on Homosexuality” (Global Voices)

Just months after the Zambian netizens were up in arms against UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon for asking the country to be tolerant of homosexuals, President Joyce Banda says that Malawi will lift the ban on homosexual acts in the country angering some Malawi netizens over the pronouncement.

In her first national address Joyce Banda told Parliament that  her government will repeal laws that discriminates against people based on sexual orientation.
“The indecency and unnatural acts laws shall be repealed,” she said.

Sigue leyendo

White man’s burden 2.0

Glen Newey at the London Review of Books’ blog:

Biometry and eugenics co-emerged partly because of the white man’s burden – the need to police native populations who all looked the same – and to align measurable physical characteristics with the divide between ‘fit’ and ‘unfit’ races (Galton advocated colonising Africa with Chinese immigrants to replace the indigenous ‘lazy, palavering savages’). Biometrics weathered the last century better than eugenics. As of now a new divide looms between the creditworthy, who can create their own virtual identities via ‘identity 2.0’ accreditation, and migrant populations whose identities get fixed biometrically, mainly in order to keep them out.