13 January 2012 Last updated at 20:47 GMT
In South Sudan, more than fifty people, mostly women and children, were killed on Wednesday in continuing tit-for-tat attacks and cattle raids between the Lou Nuer and the Murle people in the state of Jonglei.
Aid agencies say more than 60,000 people have fled the violence and are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
Terrorism Africa News
It is possible that Nigeria and Somalia will each be divided into multiple countries during this decade or the next. I could not be surprised if it happens sooner than later. Each country is in the midst of violence that was primarily perpetrated by terrorist groups. In each case the central government is ineffectual in managing security and delivering the needed services to the poorer districts. If we do witness the partitioning of these countries we will be well on our way to seeing the redrawing of many national boundaries on the continent.
Over the past sixty years African countries have struggled to gain independence from their colonial rulers. That process took close to fifty years. South Africa was the last to achieve such a righteous milestone. Yet, this independence was for countries who borders were set by the colonialists and looked very little like the kingdoms and ethnic domains recognized by Africans for centuries. The continent may well be on the verge of a redrawing of the demarcations of sovereign states to more accurately represent the realities of the continent. It could be said that the movement to throw off colonial borders may have begun with the division of Ethiopia, resulting in Ethiopia and Eritrea, followed by Sudan splitting into Sudan and South Sudan. These divisions were preceded by violent conflicts and referendums.
Al-Shabaab claims to be a jihadist group linked to al-Qaeda with the agenda of placing all of Somalia under Sheria. Few analysts would differ with that description. The ability of Al-Shabaab to take control and place all of present day Somalia under Sharia is questionable. In fact the current struggle in Somalia has spawned several ad-hock meetings of diaspora Somalians who have drawn up plans that would result in Somalia being divided into three countries separated primarily along ethnic or clan lines.
Boko Haram has its genesis and base of operation in the poor, Muslim north of Nigeria. They have bombed Christian houses of worship, government and United Nations instillations and recently demanded that government troops and southerns leave the north. Their terrorist operations have brought Nigeria to the brink of civil war. Continue reading
BRENDAN TREMBATH:An United States intelligence and security expert says it’s unlikely the US was involved in this week’s assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist. Iran has blamed both the US and Israel.
Iranian news reports say Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan was killed on his way to work in Tehran. A motorcyclist attached a bomb to his car.
Dr Joseph Fitsanakis is an Iran watcher, and coordinator of the Security and Intelligence Studies programme at King College in Tennessee. He’s told Suzanne Hill that the assassination is probably the work of Israel’s spy service.
JOSEPH FITSANAKIS: The assassination fits the character of the Mossad, going back all the way to 1960s with Operation Damocles when the Israelis actually went so far as assassinating German scientists working with Egypt in Egypt’s nuclear program.
Some people mention that there are other agencies that have similar operational character like the Russians, for instance, the Russian secret services but the Russians are allies of Iran.
The Chinese have been mentioned as well but, again, even though they’re pretty capable, they don’t have that type of operational character.
SUZANNE HILL: When we talk about operational character, are you referring only to Mossad’s predisposition to assassinate as we assume they have or are you referring to other things to do with the assassination itself in which we can see hallmarks of Mossad?
JOSEPH FITSANAKIS: I think both. In particular, assassination operations are very, very risky. They’re very complex, involve a large number of individuals, they’re very carefully planned.
By Yoon Jung Park
Rhodes University, South Africa
Visiting Professor, Howard University, Washington DCTwo South African young men view a poster advertising a 2006 Chinese cultural festival in Pretoria, South Africa.
While there is a long history of limited migration from China to Africa, the past decade has brought tens of thousands of Chinese to African cities, towns, and rural areas. These migrants are part of the growing political, economic, and sociocultural ties between China — now the world’s second largest economy — and the poorest and most underdeveloped continent.
In a clever political move, China recently supported South Africa’s candidacy to become the newest member of the international organization of rapidly emerging markets that make up BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), thus ensuring South African (and perhaps even African) support for China at the United Nations Security Council as well as other international bodies.
In terms of economic ties, trade figures between Africa and China are dazzling with respect to both their rapid rate of growth as well as their actual total, now estimated at more than $120 billion. Beijing is now Africa’s largest trade partner, with Chinese investments fueling 49 countries and a wide range of sectors, including mining, finance, manufacturing, construction, and agriculture. Where many Western investors see risk, the Chinese see opportunity — an outlook that has led to phenomenal growth in the numbers of Chinese in Africa.