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On the Margins Roundup (May)

[Image of a Tuareg encampment in northern Mali. Image by Erik Cleves Kristensen/Flickr.] [Image of a Tuareg encampment in northern Mali. Image by Erik Cleves Kristensen/Flickr.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Mali, South Sudan, Somalia, Djibouti, and Comoros Islands and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the On the Margins Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each month's roundup to] 


Is Somalia Ready For Aid? Jenny Lei Ravelo reports that some NGOs are concerned with Somalia’s fledgling government control over finances and the accountability mechanisms in place.

Donors meeting in London pledge more than $300 million for Somalia to aid in security, justice The author reports that International donors pledged more than $300 million toward bolstering security, justice and financial institutions.

Citizens Divided on London Conference Hamza Mohamed reports that some in Mogadishu see the London Conference as a hopeful sign, while others remain skeptical it will bring change.

The centre holds, but only just The author’s analysis shows how the new government in Mogadishu has yet to prove its mettle.

Education is Essential to Promoting Peace Former U.S. ambassador, John Price, describes how education, despite being a struggle, is the key to a future of stability and prosperity for Somali children.

Politics, people contributed to famine deaths in Somalia Analysis indicates that an extremist militia and a U.S. anti-terrorism policy share blame for the food crisis that caused tens of thousands of deaths in Somalia.


The Front Line Defenders Award President Michael D Higgins of Ireland presented the 2013 Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk to anti-slavery campaigner Biram Dah Abeid.

WFP Faces Funding Shortages for School Meals and Refugees William Lambers shows how, amidst the Sahel food crisis, insufficient funding is impacting schools and refugees in Mauritania.

Mauritania becomes 'meeting ground' for Azawad fighters Analysis of security threats to Mauritania, as it is used as a safe haven for groups and factions contesting the future of the Azawad region of Mali. 


Djibouti to Raise $5.9 Billion From Investors for Infrastructure Djibouti is in talks with India, China, Brazil, Russia and Middle East investors to finance plans to develop rail links, ports, and oil and gas pipelines.

Djibouti and the World Bank Sign New Project to Deliver Better Health Services to Mothers and Children The author reports that Djibouti and the World Bank signed a US$7.0 million credit agreement for Improving the Health Sector Performance project.


Comoros protests against anti-government plot, mercenary involvement After a report from the authorities that  mercenaries plotted a coup, opposition leaders, the president's party and civil society groups united and marched to denounce and protest against destabilizing the government.

EXIM Bank Comoros, an affiliate of Exim Bank Tanzania, has opened its third branch in the Island of Moheli

Other Countries                      


U.N. authorizes controversial 12,000 man Mali peacekeeping mission Colum Lynch reports on the U.N. Security Council ‘s decision to send 12,640 U.N. peacekeepers to consolidate French military gains against Islamist militants in northern Mali.

Peace in Mali Needs More Than More Troops Dan Smith’s analysis shows that addressing the underlying political causes of the Malian crisis will lead to long term peace.

Mission Accomplished -- Hollande's Bush Moment      Barry Lando describes how France finds itself stuck with the results of their own intervention in Mali.

Mali refugees endure 'appalling' conditions at Mauritania camp Laura Smith-Spark describes Malian refugees’ lack of food, water and shelter in the middle of the Mauritanian desert.

Chad pulls its troops from Mali Guerilla fighting forced Chad to withdraw its fierce desert fighters, raising concerns about the future of the war.

Tuareg leaders announce new group in northern Mali Report that Tuareg leaders have formed a new group which they say will aim to negotiate with the Malian government. 

South Sudan

Curbing ambitions The author reports that armed soldiers were on alert to prevent any escalation, after President Kiir clipped the wings of his vice-president and biggest rival, Riek Machar.

A new country rises from the ruins The author’s analysis shows how the world’s youngest country struggles to build a decent government and society.

Mary Venerato Laki, South Sudan returnee: "We want to go to our own homeland" The author highlights the difficulties facing 20,000 South Sudan returnees stuck in a transit camp following independence. 

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