Africa Notes: Some news items.

Angola
Titica may be the first African transgender start to make it big, or so suggests Boima Tucker at Africa is a Country. Here is hir music video:
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Malawi

  • President Bingu wa Mutharika died of a heart attack yesterday.

Senegal

  • Singer Youssou Ndour will be Senegal’s new Minister of Culture and Tourism.

Mali

  • I can’t help but continue to follow this story. And there is a lot of news so I saved it for the end.
  • As I noted earlier in the week, the rebels advanced rather quickly after the coup and now can claim much of the northern half of the country. Their movement, the National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad (MNLA), announced the end of military operations and declared independence. (Sahel Bloghas a nice post on this).
  • And Foreign Policy has a provocative piece by Gregory Mann on “How the war on terror ruined a success story in West Africa”. He makes a reasonable claim: French and American pressure on Mali to assert control over the desert and remilitarize it may have undermined the previous efforts of past Malian governments to give those in the North autonomy. This echoes past statements critical of our anti-terror policy in the region (See Trillo). He speaks of…
  • the stunning fact that a decade of American investment in Special Forces training, cooperation between Sahalien armies and the United States, and counterterrorism programs of all sorts run by both the State Department and the Pentagon has, at best, failed to prevent a new disaster in the desert and, at worst, sowed its seeds.