Violence rekindled in Darfur

Violence flared up in Sudan’s Darfur region this week following the removal of the state governor by the government in Khartoum. At least one person was killed on Wednesday 25 January when protesters burned government buildings and threw rocks at security forces. Gill Lusk, associate editor of the fortnightly newsletterAfrica Confidential, speaks about the latest spate of violence. (first on RFI)

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US steals EU’s thunder in West Africa

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s two-day tour of Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, Cape Verde and Togo has shown that the US still shines on the African stage. No European dignitary could compete with the heat and light generated by Clinton.

Whereas the US brings hope and a ‘yes-we-can’ attitude to the African continent, Europe shies away, cowered and apologetic. The EU foreign policy of choice is to keep a low profile and, as a result, it fails to register – even in a region such as West Africa, where the EU actually does quite a lot.

Instead of sending its chief diplomat Catherine Ashton to the inauguration of Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso sent a congratulatory message. The EU is once again missing out on the symbolism. Continue reading

Nigeria battles Boko Haram as petrol protests rage on

The week of industrial action in Nigeria over the scrapping of an oil subsidy has seen violent clashes between police and strikers. It also coincides with an ongoing terrorist campaign by the islamist group Boko Harem in the north of Nigeria. I talked to Marc-Antoine Perouse de Montclos of the French Research Institute for Development about how the government is facing up to the double problem of Boko Haram and the strikes. (first on RFI)

Women in the new Libya

Earlier this week, Libya’s ruling National Transitional Council published a draft electoral law stipulating that 10 per cent of assembly seats would be reserved for women. This means they would automatically be given 20 seats of the 200-member constituent assembly. However, human rights groups say the draft law does not go far enough and are calling for a much higher quota. Alaa Murabit, founder of the Voice of Libyan Women, talks about the role she hopes women will play in Libya in the future. (first on RFI)