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On the Margins Media Roundup (January)

[Tuareg rebels join forces in northern Mali and declare interim government. Image by Jemal Oumar/Flickr.] [Tuareg rebels join forces in northern Mali and declare interim government. Image by Jemal Oumar/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]


Potential goldmine for fishermen as piracy declines IRIN’s report explains how the improvements in security permit the increase of fishing and seafood exports.

Cash transfers for social protection IRIN’s analysis shows that the expansion of cash transfers programs can help sustainable development and reduce dependency on emergency support. 

Somalia human development report finds youth essential to country's future The United Nations Development Programme report reveals that youth empowerment is key to stability and growth.

The last stand of Somalia's jihad Can Kenya's invasion of Kismayo put an end to al-Shabab for good? 

On the front line in Kismayo Photos from the crucial Somali port city, after its liberation from the hands of al-Shabab.

Private army formed to fight Somali pirates leaves troubled legacy New York Times piece on mercenaries and security firms left to fend for themselves after abandonment of the antipiracy army.

Why charcoal may endanger Somalia’s best hope for peace Tristan McConnell reports that the UN embargo on the charcoal trade to prevent a revival of Al-Shabab’s financial circuit  is leading to disputes.


President calls on Eritrea to release prisoners Report on the President of Djibouti’s call for the release of the prisoners of war seized by Eritrea during Eritrea incursion into Djibouti in 2008.

EU to support Djibouti's desalination water plant project  Analysis of the project that aims to increase access to water for every Djiboutian to help bring stability and security to the country.

High level Djibouti delegation visits Belet Weyne Djibouti’s defense minister visits AMISOM troops in a town recently liberated from Alshabab. 

Poor rains push Djibouti's hungry pastoralists towards the city Report finds that people are migrating towards Djibouti City but urban areas are experiencing high food prices and unemployment.

Drone crashes mount at civilian airports Craig Whitlock says that drones mechanical breakdowns led to miscommunications and tensions with Djiboutian civil aviation officials.

Comoros Islands

All on board Comoros plane survive crash Report on the twenty-nine people pulled out of the Indian Ocean waters after aircraft crashes after takeoff.

Comoros praises Khalifa foundation’s support The author reports that the ambassador of Comoros praises emergency relief provided for flood victims.

IMF and World Bank announce US$176 million debt relief for Comoros The heavily indebted poor country status of Comoros makes it eligible for USD $176 million in debt relief.

Exim bank for more branches in Comoros The author reports that as Comoros’ economy grows and regional trade expands, EXIM Bank Tanzania is preparing to open two additional branches.  

Other Countries:


Tourism in Mali: Would you go to Timbuktu? The author describes the impact of the military coup and the consequent instability in the north on Mali’s tourist industry.  

Can the jihadists be stopped? An insightful look at the jihadist group Ansar Dine’s enigmatic leader, Iyad ag Ghali, to assess the chances for a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

Mali’s Prime Minister resigns after arrest, muddling plans to retake North Adam Nossiter describes how the army junta hold to power complicates planned military aid to free north Mali.

Mali’s Crisis: Is the plan for Western intervention ‘crap’? Bruce Crumley analyses the discord between French and US officials on military offensive in Mali.

Security Council unanimously backs Mali intervention force Colum Lynch reports on the UN Security Council’s unanimous decision to prepare for possible military offensive to defeat the jihadists.

Al Qaeda in Mali: Islamist fighters carve out new country Rukmini Callimachi describes the jihadists’ defensive preparations deep inside caves in remote desert bases.

Racism obstructs extremism in Mali Blogger John Campbell’s analysis of the racial tensions within the northern Malian radical jihadist groups reveals a potential for diplomatic opportunities.

South Sudan

Sudan and South Sudan sign accord, but several issues are unresolved Jeffrey Gentleman’s analysis of the deal reveals that the seeds for future conflict are firmly planted.

Sudan and South Sudan in fresh border clashes The author reports that despite the Accord reached between Sudan and South Sudan, both armies are still fighting near the border. 

Bashir, Kiir to meet in Ethiopia this week Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir and South Sudanese president Salva Kiir to meet to show their commitment to peaceful dialogue.

Journalist killed Josh Kron reports on the threats faced by journalists in South Sudan.

South Sudan's new oil laws offer a reason for optimism Dana wilkins finds that a serious implementation of the new oil laws can avoid South Sudan to fall prey of the resource curse. 

Sharing my story Emmanuel Jal tells his experience as a child soldier in the Sudanese conflict.

U.N. says South Sudan threatens its peacekeeping mission Josh Kron reports on the threats and attacks by the South Sudanese military against the UN peacekeeping mission.

Why the armed forces of South Sudan shot down a UN helicopter Blogger Eric Reeves argues that Sudan’s supply of weapons to rebels in South Sudan explains attacks on the UN mission.

South Sudan's oil production hasn't trickled down to basic services Charlton Doki’s analysis shows that oil revenues are yet to be poured into schools, hospitals, roads and agriculture.  


Anti-slavery law still tough to enforce IRIN reports that despite a 2007 law criminalizing slavery, the government has proven reluctant to focus on it with only one case resulting in conviction.

A coup-less coup for Mauritania? Hannah Armstrong examines the population’s show of support to President Aziz at his return from France following his convalescence. 

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