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On the Margins Roundup (September)

[Image of a mosque in Bangoi Kouni, Comoros Islands. Image by David Stanley/Flickr.] [Image of a mosque in Bangoi Kouni, Comoros Islands. 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] 


الاحتجاجات أمام الرئاسة: مظاهر أزمة اجتماعية خانقة Protests have taken place in front of the President’s office in a sign of continuing unrest.

Freedom Fighter: A slaving society and an abolitionist’s crusade.

Slavery in Mauritania Is Alive and Well, Thanks In No Small Part to Islamic Apologists “Because many Muslims believe that Islam permits slavery, those who question it might as well be questioning Islam.”

أمير مغربي يتراجع عن استثمارات وعد بها في موريتانيا A Moroccan prince has decided to relocate planned investments in Mauritania back to Morocco.

قيادي ينسحب من حزب إخوان موريتانيا A party leader has recently decided to withdraw from the Mauritanian Muslim Brotherhood branch.

موريتانيا الأخيرة مغاربيا في مؤشر التنافسية العالمية A discussion on Mauritania’s rankings in terms of global competitiveness. 

Mauritania Looks to Microfinance Article discusses the growing microfinance industry in Mauritania.

Nouakchott faces perils of climate change Mauritania’s capital city has developed extensively since the country’s independence, but now faces serious threats from climate change.

Yahya Ould Hademine is new Mauritanian PM President Abdel Aziz has appointed a longtime state mining company executive as Prime Minister following his predecessor’s resignation.

First Quantum suspends Mauritania operations First Quantum Minerals announced it has temporarily suspended normal operations at its copper-gold mine due to strike action by some unionized employees.


Does the drone strike sound the end of al-Shabaab Article discusses the impact of a recent US drone strike that killed al-Shabaab leader Ahmed Godane.

Killing of al-Shabaab Leader Throws Future of Militant Group into Question “The reality is that both sides have challenges ahead. But this could be a turning point that determines the future of al-Shabaab.”

For Jihad Recruits, a Pipeline From Minnesota to Militancy “This is the real Disneyland,” Mr. Kastigar said with a grin in a video shot after he joined Islamist militants in Somalia in late 2008.

U.S. Officials: Al Qaeda ‘extremely active’ in Somalia and Yemen “Al Qaeda’s official branches in Yemen and Somalia continue to remain extremely active,” National Counterterrorism Center Director Matthew Olsen told lawmakers during a hearing.

Mediation ongoing between Somali federal government, Puntland Report on the efforts to mediate a recent dispute between Somali federal government and Puntland after a recent dispute.

Somaliland: Jamal Ali Hussein warns SFG against interfering in Somaliland affairs Somaliland presidential candidate warned the federal government not to interfere in the region’s affairs, arguing it was an independent country.

Somaliland: ugly clan federalism sparks fresh turmoil An editorial criticizing the UNISOM's clan-based federalism proposal.

Somalia Minister of Information on UK Role in Somalia “The UK has been a very strong ally to us, as we have seen from their constant commitment and leadership on Somalia.” 

Insecurity, drought and lack of livelihoods force 100,000 to flee homes in Somalia The United Nations refugee agency reported that forced evictions, drought, conflict and lack of livelihoods have prompted more than 100,000 Somalis to flee their homes so far this year.


First Vanilla Islands cultural and gastronomic festival of the Comoros Islands A discussion of an upcoming major cultural and food festival in the Comoros.

Comoros to host 4th Indian Ocean Commission Summit this weekend, Seychelles president will attend The President of the Seychelles attended a Comoros-based summit of the Indian Ocean Commission 

Tanzania: Isles, Comoros for Close Cooperation  Zanzibar and the Comoros have identified the tourism sector as among the key areas for enhancing close cooperation between the two countries. 

Solar Comoros: The Solar Comoros fundraiser provides solar lamps to a small fishing village. 


اليمن يبحث مع جيبوتي والصومال التعاون للحد من تدفق اللاجئين Yemen, Somalia, and Djibouti are seeking to reduce the flow of Somali refugees

جيبوتي تعزز قواتها بالبعثة الأفريقية في الصومال بـ 950 جنديا Djibouti is sending 950 soldiers to take part in the UNISOM peacekeeping mission in Somalia.

Two Injured in Djibouti Airport Shooting Two people were injured in a shooting that took place at the airport in Djibouti between guards protecting the president, who had just departed via plane.

Managing Drought, Sustaining Growth in Djibouti A discussion by the World Bank about ongoing projects in Djibouti. 


IBK, one year on: A voter's remorse An article critical of current Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who the author says has failed in many of his promises since assuming office.

Mali: A fresh drive for peace Discusses negotiations between Malian rebels and the government regarding the status of the northern region of the country. 

Life in Timbuktu: how the ancient city of gold is slowly turning to dust Once a hub of Arab-African trade, Timbuktu is now a city on the edge – with the desert encroaching, water supplies disappearing, and rebel fighters threatening new attacks.

Timbuktu's 'Festival in the Desert' may be catalyst for peace Article discusses an upcoming festival in Timbuktu and the prospects that it could help promote peace in that part of Mali.

Security Council Press statement on Mali The Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the attack by an explosive device in which five Chadian peacekeepers were killed. 

Le Tchad accuse l’ONU de se servir de ses soldats comme « bouclier » au Mali Tchad accuses the United Nations of using their soldiers as shields in Mali.

Des habitants de la région de Gao préviennent l’état, Minusma et Serval Gao residents warn the government, the United Nations, and Serval that “if the agreements are not satisfactory, the civil war is inevitable.”

FMI: Quatre ministres maliens auditionnés After countless irregularities in the acquisition and registration of the presidential plane, a minister admits to having received 1.7 billion CFA of the purchase transaction.

Interférences Marocaines En Vue De Maintenir L’instabilité Dans La Région “Morocco is seeking by every means to delay reconciliation between all social and ethnic groups in Mali.” 

South Sudan

A MAN-MADE CATASTROPHE A multimedia journey through South Sudan.

S Sudan asks NGOs to fire foreign aid workers amid hunger crisis “All NGOs…  are directed to notify all the Aliens working with them in all the positions to cease working as from 15th October, 2014 forthwith.” 

Interview with Justine Fleischner: A view from war-ravaged South Sudan.

Women in South Sudan: ‘They attack us at toilets or where we collect water’ Women who fled the fighting to live in camps on United Nations bases risk harassment and sexual attack whenever they leave their tents. 

The temporary solution to the current Crisis of RSS under the IGAD Mediation in Ethiopia! An article critical of IGAD’s efforts at mediation in South Sudan, calls for a nonpartisan interim government.

Preliminary UN Probe Shows Heilcopter was shot down An investigation by the United Nations mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) revealed that a recent UN helicopter crash may have been caused by hostile fire.

Unity state youth want governor excluded from elections Numerous youth activists in Unity State want interim governor Joseph Monyteul excluded from upcoming state elections.

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