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On the Margins Roundup (December)

[Image of the Volo Volo Market in the northern district of Moroni, Comoros Islands, the city's second largest market. Image by David Stanley/Flickr.] [Image of the Volo Volo Market in the northern district of Moroni, Comoros Islands, the city's second largest market. Image by David Stanley/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

Kenya airstrike "destroys al-Shabaab camp linked to Westgate" Kenya says it has devastated a rebel camp in Somalia used to train militants who attacked the Nairobi mall.

Briton arrested for "spying" in Somalia Authorities in the African country say they have arrested a British and a French national for "illegally gathering classified information" while posing as NGO workers.

Mapping Mogadishu's Revival The government aims to engage in urban planning, raise revenue to fund civic programs and settle land disputes, as people return to their former homes after decades of conflict.

Crude Findings: the Forgotten Factor in the Fall of Somali Piracy Private security and improved naval tactics have been central to the fall in piracy, but so have the changed onshore conditions and the lure of oil.

Ethiopians Told to Keep an Eye Out for Al-Shabaab Activity The government warned that al-Shabaab could target Ethiopia next. What could this mean for relations between Ethiopians and the country's Somali minority?

Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon loses confidence vote Abdi Farah Shirdon has lost a vote of confidence in parliament after thirteen months in office, in what is seen as a blow to efforts to stabilize the country.

In prison with al-Shabab: What drives Somali militants? After a year locked up in Uganda with self-confessed Islamist militants, a Kenyan human rights lawyer is able to give clues as to what drove those behind Kenya's deadly mall siege, writes the BBC's Will Ross.

How safe is going home to Somalia Xenophobic and criminal attacks on Somali shopkeepers in South Africa are leading thousands of Somalis to return home in light of the newly perceived improvements. 

Mauritania

IRA President Biram Dah Abeid Wins UN Human Rights Prize Biram Dah Abeid has received the United Nations Human Rights Prize for his actions against slavery, a practice which mainly targets the Haratin people.

Journal Afrique - Biram Dah Abeid, l'invité de France24 Biram Dah Abeid, Mauritanian activist against slavery speaks after the Award of Human Rights in 2013 awarded by the United Nations.

Mauritania just witnessed the biggest march in the country's history, against regime and elections Picture showing the largest demonstration against the regime since the country’s independence.

When hosts go without: how to aid refugee camp hosts When and how should aid agencies helping refugees also try to assist vulnerable host populations?

Les priorités pour les électeurs mauritaniens Voter priorities following Mauritania elections.

Mauritania Islamists "trailing in poll results" Mauritania's ruling party was leading in nationwide polls held last month, while a closely-watched Islamist party trailed behind.

Abu Dhabi agrees thirty million dollar loan for Mauritania road project The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development signed a loan agreement worth thirty million dollars with Mauritania to finance a vital road located with Mali's boundaries.

Mauritania elections: the hard choice Will the upcoming elections resolve Mauritania's political crises?

Mauritania Confronts Long Legacy of Slavery “Vestiges, they are talking about ‘vestiges,’ when people are still in chains,”

لقاء حصري مع أبو حفص الموريتاني، المفتي السابق للقاعدة   أبو حفص، واسمه محفوظ ولد الوالد، كان أحد أهم ثلاث شخصيات في القاعدة بعد أسامة بن لادن، والظواهري. كان يرأس الهيئة الشرعية؛ أي أنه كان بمثابة مفتي القاعدة في .بداياتها.

Iran Makes Last Stand in Mauritania Why President Hassan Rouhani seeks a stronghold in the critical region.

Slavery in Mauritania: A deafening silence from the African Union Why is the African Union distressingly silent on the slavery problem in this West African country?

Mauritania opens camps for Syrian refugees Mauritania opened a camp in the capital, Nouakchott, to host Syrian refugees fleeing clashes in their country.

Mauritanian police beat protesters urging poll boycott Mauritanian police crushed a protest held by hundreds of youth demanding a boycott of upcoming elections, wounding several. 

Comoros

Comoros’ Next Chapter – Revitalizing Growth in a Post-Conflict Environment Video on what it takes to revitalize private sector growth in a post-conflict country.

IMF Concludes the Final Review Under the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement The completion of the review enables the disbursement of an amount equivalent to 2.4 million dollars.

Poll: Egypt worst on women's rights; Comoros ranks bestThomsen Reuters poll of women's rights in twenty-two Arab nations found that women had the best economic and social freedoms in the Comoros.

Djibouti

World Bank Prepares Djibouti’s Geothermal Project for Private Sector Expertise In this interview, the World Bank project team talks about Djibouti's geothermal investment project.

Djibouti Signs Power Deal With Shanghai Electric Djibouti has signed a deal with Shanghai Electric to construct a sixty-three KV power line that will link the Ali-Sabieh and Nagad regions of the country.

Repeated Arrests Used to Hound Journalists Reporters Without Borders is alarmed by a wave of arrests of journalists working for La Voix de Djibouti, and the increasingly violent methods used.

Ten Signs You Have Been an Expat in Djibouti Too Long (or just long enough) The author describes how life in Djibouti changes expatriates.

Djibouti Gives ‘Ethiopia’ Cargo Ultimatum The government of Djibouti has given a deadline of 15 January 2014, for challenging the manner in which cargo is released from its ports.

Mali

Party of President, Keita, Wins Parliamentary Election Malian elections officials said that Keita's Rally for Mali party had won the parliamentary elections, gaining sixty of the 147 seats in parliament.

Mali coup leader arrested on kidnapping charges General Amadou Haya Sanogo is accused of systematically torturing and executing soldiers who questioned his rise to power.

Insecurity in northern Mali strains relations between Bamako and France Government suspicious of links between Paris and Tuareg separatists as rebels regroup in northern town of Kidal.

Malian arrested for murder of American attache and four Saudis French forces capture man wanted in United States for the shooting of American diplomat in 2000 and sentenced to twenty years for other killings.

Malians vote amid tight security Observers report low turnout as country returns to constitutional rule following 2012 military coup.

Al-Qaeda claims journalists' killing in Mali Two French citizens were killed in response to country's military intervention, says al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

Mali voters stay home amid Islamist threats Recent spike in attacks from al-Qaeda-allied militia raises fears that keep polling stations half-empty as Mali votes in parliamentary elections. 

South Sudan

South Sudan Needs Respected Outside Mediation “Too much has been invested in South Sudan since its independence for it to fail so soon.”                                                                                                            

The “Coup” Attempt in South Sudan: What we know An analysis of the current situation in Juba by Eric Reeves.                                                                                                                                        

Thousands of people are seeking refuge in the UN mission in South Sudan Video on the soaring numbers of those seeking assistance from the United Nations Mission in South Sudan in the capital Juba,

South Sudan struggling to meet basic needs of its people  United Nations official says world’s youngest nation struggling to meet needs of its people, and that the United Nations will adjust its humanitarian strategy accordingly.

Technology and Atrocity Prevention in the 21st Century Google+ Hangout Recap: Akshaya Kumar talks using tech to fight atrocity in Sudan & South Sudan.

United Nations urges death penalty moratorium following reported executions The United Nations human rights office called on South Sudan to stop the use of the death penalty, stressing that the lack of fair trials.

Juba acknowledges US role in training security forces South Sudan has acknowledged the importance of the United States involvement in training of its army and other security organs in the country.

Youth participation in democracy and good governance in South Sudan “When children are assured of survival and health, provided with a good education, protected from war and violence, and when youth participate in the democracy and development of their countries, then Africa will be set to claim the twenty-first century” 

Where is South Sudan in achieving United Nations Millennium Development Goals? The author examines how well the goals to reduce child mortality, to improve maternal health and to combat HIV/AIDS are met.

Meet Apuk Mayen, South Sudan  A former refugee, Apuk is a senior diplomat from South Sudan working to increase women’s participation in formal peace processes between Sudan and South Sudan.

South Sudan, World's Newest Honeymoon Destination "We were made to feel very welcome from the outset and got to see a country that is pristine in terms of the environment and magnificent scenery.”

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