By CIA – CIA World Factbook, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=610267
For the past week, Gabon has been facing a major political crisis, sparked by disputed poll results. According to Reuters, incumbent President Ali Bongo was reported to have won with 49.80 percent of the vote. Challenger Jean Ping, in those official polls, had just missed the mark with 48.23 percent. Ping and his allies immediately began to protest the results, and Ping declared himself President last Friday (Reuters). They argue the result was rigged (Frontera News). The European Union’s election observers also have noted anomalies (La Jeune Afrique). Bongo has served as President since 2009, when he came into power following the death of his father, the previous President. The opposition candidate, Ping, once represented Gabon as a diplomat, including service as Chair of the African Union Commission (an interesting piece on his background is online at The Star). The week’s protests have been violent, resulting in a number of deaths (estimates vary widely, but most are well under 100) and over 1000 arrests (Reuters). The National Assembly building was set on fire last week (BBC) and there were reports of looting (Reuters). Global Voices has a useful roundup of some of these events and early reactions.
The seriousness of the crisis has attracted the attention of the international community. The US, EU, France (which has economic interests in this former colony) and others have urged transparency with the election results (Reuters). Today (September 6), the African Union announced its intention to act as mediator. Chad’s President Idriss Deby is expected to lead talks (Reuters).
Most African states are more vulnerable and less prepared to address climate change challenges than the rest of the world. This observation is supported by a wide variety of sources, including […]
Source: Africa’s Regional Powers Are Key to Climate Negotiations – But Will They Cooperate?
Colloquium – Su Zheng, Li Yinbei, Ma Chengcheng, Sun Yan
Exploring Music in China’s New African Diaspora—An Innovative U.S.-China Team Research Project
This Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Location: Freeman Center for East Asian Studies
Time: 4:15 p.m.
Since the 1990s, African traders and investors have made their way to China as a result of the rapid surge of China-Africa trade. There are now somewhere between 30,000 and 200,000 African migrants living in Guangzhou. Su Zheng led a research team of threegraduate students from Shanghai Conservatory to explore music in Guangzhou’s African communities. They will present their research on various African diasporic music scenes in Guangzhou and discuss the theoretical and methodological issues that arose in this innovative cross-cultural, cross-national team research process.
Su Zheng is associate professor of Music at Wesleyan University. LI Yinbei, MA Chengcheng, SUN Yan are graduate students in ethnomusicology from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, China.
Best news of the day: the British Navy is using Brittany Spears songs to scare off Somali pirates.
Kevin Heller reports on Opinio Juris:
This is an unconscionable tactic, one that does not befit a country that considers itself civilized. Need I remind the British Navy that torture is illegal under both international and UK law?
The British Navy should also be aware that international law does not completely forbid belligerent reprisals. If the Somali pirates begin to fight back by blaring One Direction at oncoming British ships, the Navy will have no one but themselves to blame.
CNN is reporting that at least 1 American was among the wounded and that Americans are alleged to be among the attackers.
Before its Twitter account was suspended, Al-Shabaab issued a list of nine names it said were among the attackers. It said three were from the United States, two from Somalia and one each from Canada, Finland, Kenya and the United Kingdom.
A senior State Department official said that the United States was trying to determine whether any of the attackers are American. While they were still working to verify the claims, authorities said they were becoming more confident that American citizens may be involved.
via More gunfire after Kenyan forces assault Nairobi’s Westgate mall – CNN.com.
For now, this link is streaming live coverage of the sad events in Kenya that are still unfolding.
World News | Reuters.com.
An op-ed from a good friend and colleague. As the quote below suggests, our reaction to the Benghazi attacks has had some unfortunate consequences.
The Road from Benghazi by Mieczysław Boduszyński – Project Syndicate.
After the Benghazi attacks, I grieved not only for my fallen colleagues, but also for the loss of the chance to deepen a relationship that had, in Qaddafi’s final years, consisted mainly of counterterrorism efforts, limited commercial relations, and historical issues, such as the 1988 Lockerbie bombing. Stevens, who championed a more comprehensive approach, would have been devastated to witness the fortress that the US embassy became after his death.
Not sure about the accurateness of this, but Africa and Asia do not seem particularly happy…
The Happiest — And Most Miserable — Places In The Whole World In One Map – Business Insider.