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On the Margins Roundup (July)

[Image of a South Sudan Independence Day celebration at Diversey Harbor Grove. Image by Daniel X. O'Neil/Flickr.] [Image of a South Sudan Independence Day celebration at Diversey Harbor Grove. Image by Daniel X. O'Neil/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.] 

Mauritania 

Mauritanian President Abdel Aziz re-elected Mauritanian President Abdel Aziz reelected in a controversial election with over eighty percent of the vote. 

ملفخـاصانتخابات 21يونيوفيموريتانياتدقآخرمسمارفينعشالديمقراطية June elections another nail in the coffin of democracy, according to a prominent blogger.

إقبالضعيفعلىالمشاركةفيالانتخاباتالرئاسيةفيموريتانيافيظلدعواتالمعارضةلمقاطعتها Participation in Mauritania’s elections is said to be low and the president was reelected without a major challenger.

جدلحولهدردمأبرزناشطةحقوقيةفيموريتانيا Mauritanian human rights activists plan to sue a prominent Salafi preacher accused of inciting violence against several activists.

Mauritania Elections - Aziz Victorious, but Opposition Primed for Future Confrontations Opposition is prepared for future clashes against Abdelaziz despite his reelection. 

Regional Security Role Shields Mauritania’s Aziz From Pressure to Reform The West’s strengthening of the military without pressuring him to be more inclusive only heightens the danger of political unrest. 

The Only Record Store in Mauritania In the crowded streets of Nouakchott, the country’s only record store is a haven for music and musicians (photos). 

IMF willing to continue cooperation with Mauritania In the aftermath of a controversial election, the International Monetary Fund has expressed willingness to pursue cooperation with Mauritania.

Somalia 

SOMALIA: Joint Press Conference on Failed Terrorist Attack on Villa Somalia Statement from the Somali president’s office after a failed attack on the presidential residence. 

The US has quietly kept a military presence in Somalia since 2007 The United States military forces have been secretly operating in Somalia since 2007.

Kenya Opposition Demands Troops Quit Somalia After Attacks Kenyan opposition politicians are insisting that Kenyan military forces be withdrawn from Somalia after attacks against them.

Al Shabaab’s foreign operations arm is busy recruiting in Kenya According to Mohamed Mubarak, Al-Shabaab is conducting recruiting operations in Kenya. 

Al-Shabaab’s Spies Running Circles Around the Somali Intelligence Service The author argues that Al-Shabaab is a step ahead of Somali’s intelligence services. 

Reveal death toll from Somalia war, says Raila “KDF soldiers are dying in Somalia. We only see coffins arriving in Kenya each day but they have not revealed the number of our fallen soldiers to date.” 

Globalization has not reached Somalia, but ‘junglification’ has “One would be hard pressed to find a single troubled country in Africa or the Middle East wherein foreign elements do not play overt or covert roles to tip the balance of power in favor of one outcome or another.”

U.N. monitors allege 'conspiracy' to divert Somali assets United Nations affirms that information gathered “indicates at the minimum a conspiracy to divert the recovery of overseas assets in an irregular manner." 

Comoros

Comoros’ population reject new top-up tax on mobiles Comorans have rejected a proposed tax on mobile phone sales, and have staged numerous protests since its enactment. 

UAE Hospital Opens on Comoros Island A new hospital funded by the United Arab Emirates has just opened in the Comoros.

U.S., Union of Comoros militaries sign Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement Officials from Comoros and the United States signed an agreement to increase flexibility of military exchanges. 

Djibouti

الأممالمتحدةتدعوإلىدعمجيبوتيلمواجهةآثارالجفافالمتكرر The United Nations asks for support for Djibouti to counter the effects of droughts the country has been suffering recently.

Djibouti In Legal Dispute With DP World Over Port Concession The government of Djibouti revoked a port concession it had granted to Dubai-based DP World.

Djibouti set to deploy extra troops to Somalia Djibouti plans to deploy an additional battalion of troops to Somalia to bolster the existing thousand-strong force it has in the war-torn country. 

Mali

Mali vs. the West Bridges from Bamako discusses conspiracy theories circulating in Malian political discourse.

Mali: Rebuilding Timbuktu - UN Agency Working With Mali to 'Keep Culture Significant' The United Nations is working with Malian government to rebuild Timbuktu following violence. 

Mali: Timbuktu's Turmoil Opens Up Historic Manuscripts Manuscripts relocated from Timbuktu because of the conflict have become more accessible to scholars due to their relocation.

Mali: Abdel Kader Haidara Awarded Germany's 2014 Africa Prize for Rescuing Timbuktu Manuscripts Abdel Kader is awarded German’s Africa Prize following his efforts to save manuscripts from Timbuktu. 

Mali peace talks start in Algiers after prisoner swap The author gives insightful comments on the Algiers peace talks.

Mali and Tuareg rebels swap prisoners ahead peace talks Mali's government and Tuareg rebels have exchanged prisoners in a goodwill gesture on the eve of peace talks.

Mali peace talks - in 15 seconds The Algerian government is hosting talks aimed at ending fighting in northern Mali. Watch the story being explained in fifteen seconds.

France ends Mali offensive, redeploys troops to Sahel France sets up anti-Islamist force in Africa's Sahel.

Jean-Yves Le Drian au Mali pour signer l'accord militaire franco-malien The author reports on France’s signing of a defense pact with Mali.

UN surveillance drones to be deployed The United Nations is set to use drones in Mali's volatile and vast northern desert region.

South Sudan

Q&A - Three years on, South Sudan is locked in a cycle of violence Violence in South Sudan remains widespread three years after the country achieved its independence.

South Sudanese President Sets Conditions for Ugandan Troop Withdrawal South Sudanese President Kiir says that Ugandan troops will be withdrawn only after a peace agreement. 

South Sudan: Machar Says 'Salva Kiir's War' Spoilt Independence Day Joy South Sudanese rebel commander argues that President Kiir’s actions ruined the country’s third independence day. 

With Eye on Oil, China Raises Security Profile in South Sudan China has agreed to deploy additional peacekeepers to South Sudan, significantly raising its security profile in the war torn country.  

UN Security Council Threatens South Sudan War Leaders The United Nations Security Council warned it is ready to consider "appropriate measures" against warring parties in South Sudan if they do not stop the violence.

Elders of South Sudan Push Salva Kiir to Adopt Peace Resolutions Elders organizing an inter-regional dialogue initiative will come up with resolutions to be passed to the president for consideration.

UN relief chief warns of looming disaster amid linked crises in Sudan and South Sudan Video of the United Nations relief chief briefing on the humanitarian situation in South Sudan.

 

South Sudan’s Machar unveils plan to create more states The former vice-president unveiled his group’s plan to create more states in implementing a resolution on federal system of governance in the country.

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