Monday, February 21, 2011

A little news from Africa

There's a LOT of news from Africa. I feel better knowing that @texasinafrica is also overwhelmed, tweeting this morning, "It was so much easier when social movements happened one at a time. Gabon, Libya, Djibouti, Cote d'Ivoire - I can't keep up." Let's just say there's not a lot of fluff in the 15 minute Africa Today podcast.

Two things I did want to point out:

Uganda held its presidential election last Friday, which Yoweri Museveni won handily, though controversially. Lots of allegations of stuffing the ballot box, cash for votes, and intimidation. GayUganda links to an article from Reuters that reports that "Uganda has ordered phone companies to intercept text messages with words or phrases including "Egypt", "bullet," and "people power" ahead of Friday's elections that some fear may turn violent." No violence, but not entirely peaceful or trouble-free. And logistically flawed; even one presidential candidate found he wasn't registered at his polling place.

Museveni has now been president for 25 years. He promised to step down in 2006. So. Kind of missed that, there.

Meanwhile, developments in Cote d'Ivoire where last week the disputed former president Laurent Gbagbo's backers took over the foreign banks that had stopped operating in the country, but he's about out of cash to pay the army. And, I'm sad to report, Ivorian forces opened fire on protesters, killing at least two. Today, the presidents of four African nations have arrived in Abidjan to try to mediate the situation.

Then of course, there's everything else going on. Boy am I glad I'm not in charge of anything.

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