Saturday, June 24, 2017

China Becoming Primary Supporter of Djibouti

World Politics Review published on 23 June 2017 an analysis titled "Is China Really Willing to Shoulder Risks of its Djibouti Foray?" by Cameron Reed, research assistant on the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project.

China is completing a military facility in and has become Djibouti's biggest investor. It holds billions of dollars in loans to Djibouti while Djibouti faces growing human rights challenges. Although the United States, France and Japan also have military bases in Djibouti, China is assuming the role of President Ismail Omar Guelleh's primary protector.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Djibouti Plays the West against the East

The Institute for Security Studies published on 19 June 2017 a commentary titled "Djibouti Plays the West Off against the Far East" by Berouk Mesfin.

The commentary argues that Djibouti is successfully playing France and the U.S. against China as all three countries curry favor to take advantage of Djibouti's strategic location.

Ethiopia Welcomes Refugees

The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) published on 20 June 2017 a commentary titled "As Doors Close To Refugees, Ethiopia's Stay Open" by Tsion Tadesse, ISS Addis Ababa.

Although nearly 8 million Ethiopians need emergency food aid, the country hosts more than 800,000 refugees from Eritrea, Sudan, South Sudan, and Somalia. It continues to welcome refugees in spite of its internal challenges.

Eritrea-Ethiopia Relations

Foreign Policy published on 21 June 2017 an article titled "The Rehabilitation of Africa's Most Isolated Dictatorship" by Tom Gardner.

The article suggests that there is serious talk of a change in Addis Ababa on its policy towards Eritrea, with which it broke relations in 1998 and engaged in a two year war.

Should US Continue Partial Removal of Sanctions on Sudan?

The International Crisis Group (ICG) published on 22 June 2017 a commentary titled "Time To Repeal U.S. Sanctions on Sudan?"

By 12 July 2017, the Trump administration must determine whether to permanently lift the economic and trade sanctions the Obama administration suspended in January. The ICG argues the US should repeal some sanctions and continue a process of conditional engagement.

Interview on China and US in Africa

China Radio International ran a live interview with me in Beijing on 23 June 2017 titled "Priorities for Africa's Infrastructure Construction." It dealt with Chin'a support for African infrastructure and Chinese and American cooperation in Africa on peacekeeping, health, and agriculture.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Maritime Security in the Western Indian Ocean

The Africa Center for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University published on 27 May 2017 an analysis titled "Maritime Security in the Western Indian Ocean: A Discussion with Assis Malaquias." The author is a former professor at the Center.

The author provides insights on the relevance of the Western Indian Ocean in the larger maritime and security agenda on the African continent.

Japan and India Compete with China in Africa

The East Asia Forum published on 16 June 2017 a commentary titled "Japan and India Challenging China in Africa" by Purnendra Jain, University of Adelaide.

Japan and India have embarked on a new competition with China that includes partnering in the development of Africa.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

China and Sudan

The Diplomat published on 14 June 2017 a commentary titled "Sudan: China's Original Foothold in Africa" by Joseph Hammond, a fellow with the American Media Institute.

The author concluded that thanks in part to U.S. neglect, China's footprint in Sudan has grown exponentially over the past 20 years.

Monday, June 19, 2017

China, Africa and the Ivory Ban

The Conversation published on 8 June 2017 a commentary titled "Game Theory Suggests China Should Keep Ivory Trade Ban in Place Indefinitely" by Ross Harvey, South African Institute of International Affairs.

The author argues that how Chinese authorities choose to act in response to potential speculator strategies is crucial for improving elephant survival probability. Regulators should signal progress on implementing the ivory ban, and stating unequivocally that it will be indefinite.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Djibouti Becomes Attractive Military Base for Non-African Coountries

The Voice of America ran a four and one-half minute commentary on 30 May 2017 titled "Djibouti's Outsized Importance" by Jeffery Young.

It looks at the increasing military interest by outside countries in Djibouti.

The Voice of America ran a four minute commentary on 12 June 2017 titled "China Invests Heavily in Djibouti" by Jeffery Young.

The focus of the article is China's new military facility at the port of Djibouti.

Sudan and Egypt: Fraying Relations

The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) published on 9 June 2017 a commentary titled "Do Egypt and Sudan Have Anything in Common Anymore?" by Simon Allison, ISS consultant.

A number of differences are growing between Egypt and Sudan. This is good for Ethiopia but poses challenges for countries such as Saudi Arabia.

Somalia: Climate Change and the Future

Foreign Policy published on 6 June 2017 a pictorial titled "Somalia's Land Is Dying. The People Will Be Next: Images from the Front Lines of Africa's Battle with Climate Change" by photographer Nichole Sobecki.

The brief article and accompanying pictures argue that desertification and climate change pose an environmental disaster for Somalia.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Sudan: Nuba Mountains and US Sanctions Policy

World Politics Review published on 8 June 2017 an interview with Dr. Tom Catena, an American surgeon working in Sudan's Nuba Mountains, titled "As U.S.-Sudan Ties Thaw, the Human Toll Rises in the Nuba Mountains."

The American surgeon discusses the conflict in the Nuba Mountains, food insecurity, and the role of U.S. sanctions on the government in Khartoum.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Pros and Cons of Chinese-Built Railway in Kenya

The New York Times published on 8 June 2017 an article titled "Kenyans Fear Chinese-Backed Railway Is Another 'Lunatic Express'" by Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura.

The high cost of the Nairobi to Mombasa railway required a loan from China that has pushed Kenya's debt above 50 percent of output. At the same time, the railway is projected to increase GDP by 1.5 percent by reducing travel time and increasing the movement of freight volume.

Kenya and One Belt One Road

World Politics Review published on 6 June 2017 an interview with James Shikwati, Kenyan economist, titled "In Kenya, 'One Belt, One Road' Is Changing Local Views of Chinese Investment."

The author argues that China's more multifaceted engagement with Kenya linked to One Belt One Road has improved the Kenya-China relationship.

The US, Horn of Africa, and the Gulf States

The Washington-based Hollings Center for International Dialogue just published a summary of its March 2017 dialogue on "Middle East and U.S. Relations with the Greater Horn of Africa."

The summary notes the growing involvement in the Greater Horn of Africa of the Gulf States, Turkey and Iran. It suggests what the United States needs to understand as these actors impact the economic, security, and religious situation in this region.

Africa and China's Belt and Road Initiative

The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) published on 8 June 2017 a commentary titled "Is China's Belt and Road Initiative Just a Bedtime Story?" by Peter Fabricius, ISS consultant.

The author concludes that the Belt and Road Initiative is clearly leaving the station and African countries need to decide where it is going and get a seat on the train.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Illegal Fishing In African Waters

The African Center for Strategic Studies published on 6 June 2017 a report titled "Criminality in Africa's Fishing Industry: A Threat to Human Security" by Andre Standing.

The report discusses the global exploitation of the African fisheries sector. It contains useful information on Chinese fishing in African waters. For example, an estimated 64 percent of China's annual catch from 2000 to 2011 came from West African waters.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Somalia: AMISOM Needs New Mandate

The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) published on 31 May 2017 a commentary titled "AMISOM Needs a Mandate for Peace and Development" by Meressa K. Dessu and Omar S. Mahmood, both with ISS Addis Ababa.

The authors argue that given the failed state of Somalia, AMISOM needs a mandate that goes beyond providing security.

UAE Activism in the Horn of Africa

The Institute for Security Studies published on 26 May 2017 an analysis titled "Could Emirati Activism in the Horn Make the Situation Worse?" by Berouk Mesfin.

The author concluded that the United Arab Emirates' growing influence in the Horn of Africa may help stabilize the region but must take into account the geopolitical interests of regional states and not undermine them.

Land Conflicts in Kenya

The Institute for Defense Analyses Africa Watch published on 1 June 2017 a brief item titled "The Roots of Conflict over Land in Kenya" by George Ward.

The analyses looks at the interplay of pastoralism, ethnicity, economics, land policy, and climate change in Kenya.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Africa and One Belt One Road

The Conversation published on 28 May 2017 a commentary titled "Where Africa Fits into China's Massive Belt and Road Initiative" by Yu-Shan Wu, University of Witwatersrand, Chris Alden, London School of Economics and Political Science, and Elizabeth Sidiropoulos, University of Witwatersrand.

While China has encouraged the inclusion of African countries in the One Belt One Road initiative, it is not yet clear what impact the initiative will have on Africa.

Upcoming Kenyan Elections

The International Crisis Group published on 30 May 2017 a report titled "Kenya's Rift Valley: Old Wounds, Devolution's New Anxieties."

The report concludes that while major Kikuyu versus Kalenjin conflict is unlikely during elections scheduled for August 2017, serious local violence is possible, particularly as the creation of new counties run by powerful locally-elected officials has increased the stakes of political competition.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Somalia: Al-Shabaab Blocking Food Deliveries

The Washington Post published on 27 May 2017 an article titled "In Somalia, Islamist Rebels Are Blocking Starving People from Getting Food" by Max Bearak.

Based on a visit to Somalia, the reporter concludes that al-Shabaab is blocking NGOs from delivering food to famine victims in areas controlled by al-Shabaab. At the same time, he quotes a UN security official who states that "al-Shabaab's biggest strength is that they are underestimated."