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On the Margins Roundup (September)

[Image of the harbor at Moroni, Comoros. Image from Woodlouse/Flickr.] [Image of the harbor at Moroni, Comoros. Image from Woodlouse/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 info@jadaliyya.com.] 

Somalia

The European Union announces more than €124 million to increase security in Somalia The EU announced an additional support of more than 124 million euros to the African Union Mission in Somalia.

Polio Outbreak in Somalia Threatens East African Region In 2012 there were just 250 cases of polio worldwide. In the past three months, there have already been over 100 new reported cases in Somalia.                                                                                                                                                                                    

Electronic transfers improve Somalia economy “I don’t like customers paying me in cash...I will need bags and a wheelbarrow to carry the money from the ten goats I sold today.”

Rape cases soar in Somali camps It is estimated 1,700 women were raped in camps for displaced people in the capital, Mogadishu.

Humanitarian Bulletin Somalia Report from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affair on the difficult current humanitarian challenges facing Somalia.

At Least 15 Are Killed After 2 Blasts in Somalia Two bombings killed at least fifteen people at a popular restaurant in Mogadishu, the latest in a series of deadly attacks that have undercut recent security gains.

Mogadishu is Heaven. Mogadishu is Hell With each report coming out of Mogadishu, optimists and pessimists prop up their narrative.

Female genital mutilation: 'Mothers need to say no' Faduma Ali, eighty-six, still remembers the pain of being circumcised at eight. Horrific as it was, she allowed her own daughters to go through the same ordeal. But when it came to her granddaughters, she decided to step in and stop it.

Crazy Town After decades of civil war, Somalia is awash in mental illness and without a single trained psychiatrist.

Britain’s Somalis: the road is long Somalis fare much worse than other immigrants; what holds them back? 

Mauritania

Alive and Well in Mauritania? Slavery and its Stubborn 'Vestiges' Are there still slaves in Mauritania? Legally, no. Are large numbers of ex-slaves and their descendants still trapped in exploitative systems? Yes.

Southern Mauritania: Impunity Leads To Unrests; Arrests The Southern Mauritanian city of Kaedi is currently under siege by government security forces following recent violent unrests.

The Fight Against Child Domestic Labour In Mauritania, Terre des hommes (Tdh), fights to protect children from the worst forms of abuse and to ensure that their fundamental rights are respected.

Mauritania, Niger sign defence pact Sahel-Saharan states threatened by al-Qaeda and other extremists are banding together to shore up security.

Mauritania Sets Election Date Mauritania will hold national legislative and municipal elections in October, but the opposition has already threatened to boycott the election.

Mauritania, the Most Amazing Place You’ll Probably Never Visit Blogger Mitchell Kanashkevich describes her recent trip to Mauritania, which she enjoyed despite danger warnings of terrorists. 

Comoros

World Bank Approves Funds to Help Improve Electricity Supply and Reliability in Comoros The World Bank approved a $5 million grant to help reduce power costs and improve stability of electricity.

Escape to Mayotte, the French Banlieue in the Indian Ocean The solution to the hundreds of Comorians attempting to enter French-owned Mayotte each year lies not in security but development.

Djibouti

AfDB Seals $7.5bn Power Deal with Djibouti The African Development Bank and Djibouti signed a 7.5 million dollar agreement for a project to enable access to reliable, renewable and affordable source of energy.

Can Djibouti become the hub for logistics in East Africa? Positioned along one of the world’s busiest shipping routes, Djibouti has gained significance as a gateway to Africa.

Dangerous Deadlock in Djibouti Despite an unprecedented degree of openness in the last election, its contested outcome by the opposition has created a dangerous current political deadlock.

Djibouti Promises More Military Aid to Occupied Somalia Djibouti plans to provide further support to the Somali government with military facilities and training. 

Other Countries:

Mali

Mali's new President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita sworn in Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has been sworn in as Mali's new president at the Supreme Court in the capital, Bamako.

Al-Qaeda’s Resurgence in North Africa? This paper examines how chaotic environments in North Africa are giving new breathing space to a splintered terrorist organization.

A Handbook on Mali's 2012-2013 Crisis This Handbook provides resources that help explain and contextualize the intersecting crises that destabilized Mali in 2012-2013.

Will the U.S. Go Back to Training Mali's Military? After an election, the West African nation starts to recover from a year of political instability.

U.S. Lifts Restrictions on Bilateral Assistance to Mali With democratically elected President Keita inaugurated in Mali, U.S. resumes bilateral development aid.

Mali after the Election: Priorities of China and the U.S.  The rebirth of a democratic Mali opens a new chapter for engagement by the U.S. and China, each having a declared policy to strengthen engagement with Africa.

Mali’s new president brings hope of renewal, but old problems remain “No one should be fooled by this apparently quick reversal of fortune. Mali is far from being out of the woods.”

For Mali’s New President, Corruption Issue Lingers Mali’s greatest enemies now are corruption and impunity at every level of the state, which experts and activists say laid the groundwork for the country’s recent implosion.

Turmoil in the Sahara Timeline of the crises in Mali and Algeria, which have raised the possibility of drawing an increasing number of foreign countries into direct involvement.

Infographic: Mali Election 2013 Will Mali's election help solve a moribund economy and prevent future conflicts?

Letter to President Keita Human Rights Watch wrote a letter to the newly elected President on addressing human rights issues.

Education is Key to Mali Reconstruction Getting hundreds of thousands of Mali children back in school can help bring peace and stability.

Faire du porte à porte pour ramener les enfants à l'école Story of a teacher in Timbuktu, who is fighting to get children in school.

UNICEF gears up to help over 500,000 Malian children return to school Under the leadership of the Malian government and in collaboration with partners, UNICEF is mobilizing teachers and parents to get children back to school and give them an improved education.

Mon Pays, Vieux Farka Touré "I wanted to pay homage to our musical heritage. For me it’s a statement for the world that this land is for the sons and daughters of Mali, not for al-Qaeda or any militants".

Mali: Straight out of Conflict into Exploration Mali can barely be called post-conflict, yet oil exploration deals are already being cut in the north. So what can we expect?

Critics say Mali coup leader should face trial for abuses, not promotion to 4-star general After handing power back to a civilian transitional government, the former captain has become a four-star general. 

South Sudan

South Sudanese still struggle to return About 40,000 displaced Sudanese are no longer citizens of the north, but they still aren't living in the South.

Human Mortality in Darfur: What is Unspoken, and What This Silence Means “Khartoum had threatened those collecting data and had made clear its intense hostility to any further analysis of the number of dead in Darfur.”

The SPLM and the Rise of Autocracy in South Sudan “The hope for a democratic government that the people of South Sudan once had is slowly fading.”

'There Will Not Be North Without South and No South Without North' Interview with activist, Omer Hussein, on his personal message of peace to the leaders of Sudan and South Sudan.

Kiir-Bashir Summit Averts Oil Shutdown Between Sudans Following a summit between the leaders, Sudan announced that it will no longer prevent the flow of South Sundan's oil through its infrastructures.

Sudan's Worst Floods for 25 Years Leave 500,000 Facing Destruction and Disease Forty-eight people have been killed and more than 500,000 affected by the worst floods in Sudan in quarter of a century.

A Gathering Swarm: Could Locusts Escalate Tensions Between the Sudans? Sudan could be liable for environmental damage to South Sudan if it fails to tackle its locust problem.

South Sudan Street Survivors, General Paolino After 40 years of writing and singing protest songs, General Paolino has had the honor of releasing one of South Sudan's first ever albums.

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