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On the Margins Roundup (July)

[Mali's permanent representative to the United Nations, Oumar Daou, signs the Arms Trade Treaty during a ceremony at United Nations headquarters in New York, 3 June 2013. Image by Control Arms/Flickr.] [Mali's permanent representative to the United Nations, Oumar Daou, signs the Arms Trade Treaty during a ceremony at United Nations headquarters in New York, 3 June 2013. Image by Control Arms/Flickr.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Mali, South Sudan, Somalia, Mauritania, Djibouti, and Comoros Islands and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the On the Margins Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each month's roundup to] 


Donor Unfazed Despite UN Compound Attack Contrary to what Al-Shabab may have hoped, the United Kingdom and the European Union are undeterred in helping to rebuild Somalia.

Somalia: Country Analysis (June, 2013) PSC Report Report on the recent developments in Somalia and the progress being made in the consolidation of the state and restoration of normalcy in the country.

Lobsters, Beaches, and Bombs in Mogadishu … Not on President Obama’s Africa Menu The author explains why security concerns remain a major problem despite the progress of the past year.

Somalia: a ‘good news story’ that’s far from over The author’s analysis shows that while Somalia is on the “road to stability”, the country’s complexities risk being lost in the hype.

The Godane Coup and the Unraveling of Al-Shabaab The author describes what has gone wrong with Al-Shabab’s leadership and how conflicts are solved within the group.

Another Crisis in Somalia? The author analyses the dilemma facing the Somali government in welcoming the fleeing ex Al-Shabab leader, Hassan Dahir Aweys, as an honored guest. 

Barclays to cut Somalia’s remittance “lifeline” The author discusses the effects that  removing banking services from money transfer organizations has on the millions of Somalis who depend on remittances.

Somalia Central Bank a 'slush fund' for private payments A UN report shows that money at the Central Bank of Somalia is not used as a financing mechanism for government expenditures but rather as a 'slush fund' for the patronage system.

Gay Somali refugees face death threats "Warlords have made Somalia a death chamber for gays and lesbians." "It is against international law to force such groups back to Somalia, given the risks."

THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD FOR SOMALI REFUGEES The author shows how, amid daily security threats, the road for Somali refugees returning to their homes is still a long, dangerous and costly trek. 


Zeinab Kamil Ali : "C'est aux femmes de sortir de leur tanière" The Executive Director of the Ports Authority speaks in defense of the status of women and about the importance of education.

Djibouti Remote Monitoring Update June 2013 Report detailing how food insecurity is expected to rise in the upcoming lean season.

Former Journalist Jailed Again, Second Time in Two Months Reporters Without Borders is appalled by government opponent and former journalist Daher Ahmed Farah’s incarceration.

Population genetics analysis during the elimination process of Plasmodium falciparum in Djibouti Research detailing the risk of malaria reaching Djibouti

Djibouti-Addis Ababa Railway Construction Launched Djiboutian President and Ethiopian Prime Minister inaugurated construction of an 800-kilometre railway connecting Addis Ababa, Dewele and Djibouti City


Mauritania Gets $16.9m IMF Aid Facility IMF extends 16.1 million dollar loan to Mauritania for good economic performance, but poverty and unemployment are still a concern.

Cadre Stratégique de Lutte Contre la Pauvreté International Monetary Fund’s report on the poverty reduction strategy in Mauritania.

Social movements and unrest in Mauritania since the Arab Uprisings Hassan Ould Moctar highlights the democratic struggles of Mauritanian citizens.

Interview: Award-Winning Mauritanian Activist Ahmed Jedou Blogs for Change Ahmed Jedou discusses his opinion on the state of freedom in Mauritania and his struggle for a civil state in his country.

Men, women and children tortured to confess to crimes in Mauritania Amnesty International reports that Police in Mauritania use torture to coerce men, women and children to confess to crimes while in custody.

Comoros Islands

Comoros Islands children can go to school, thanks to Dubai Dubai Cares has completed a four-year project to boost education standards and provide opportunities for almost 60,000 primary pupils.

Iran, Comoros call for expansion of ties Iranian Foreign Minister called on Sunday for the expansion of ties with the African country of Comoros in various fields, including economic and cultural areas.

Other Countries 


Ambiance festive pour le premier jour de la campagne présidentielle The author reports on the Festive atmosphere for the launch of the presidential campaign.

Mali elections need to be free, fair and transparent Former U.S. ambassador to Comoros, John Price, explains why free, fair, transparent and inclusive elections are paramount for Mali’s future success.

Mali shouldn’t rush its elections The author argues that an early vote will yield an unstable government.     

Simmering Conflicts in the Sahara In a Q&A, Frederic Wehrey and Anouar Boukhars discuss the sources of instability and what can be done to address the simmering conflicts in the Sahara.

Mali Terrorism Threat Growing In examining the complex and multi-faceted root causes of the terrorist escalation in Mali, the author looks closely at the principal regional issues that contributed to the crisis.  

Le retour de l'armée malienne diversement apprécié à Kidal Protests rise as Mali troops enter Touareg-held town of Kidal.

UN plays with fire in Mali Simon Allison details how the United Nations peacekeeping operation in Mali will be one of the most difficult in the organization’s history, by its own admission.

Mali to get back stolen manuscripts Over one thousand ancient books and manuscripts stolen during Mali's conflict were recovered when armed rebels tried to smuggle them across the Algerian border. 

South Sudan

South Sudan: two years old but nothing to celebrate The author reports on the implications of the forceful intervention by vice-president Riek Machar in igniting a power struggle within South Sudan.

Why S. Sudanese Must Celebrate the 2nd Independence Anniversary with Pride “In spite of all the challenges we still face after the independence, there is always a reason to celebrate.”

More rough times ahead for South Sudan! Justin Ambago Ramba explores the current and future challenges facing South Sudan.

‘Friends of South Sudan’ go public with call for "significant changes and reform" in Juba  Pro-South Sudan activists in the U.S. have released a letter sent to president Salva Kiir  expressing concern over what they described as the "increasingly perilous fate" of the new state.

Oil Politics, Asian Suitors, and Alternative Pipelines in South Sudan The author examines the far-reaching ramifications of a deal to have a new oil pipeline that bypasses Sudan built by Toyota.

Solutions to Failed State Governments, the Case of Republic of South Sudan Dr. John Yien Tut gives his insight on how to improve the country’s status so as to move away from its reputation as being a failed state.

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