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Vol. II Issue. 40
US Congress refuses to ratify Egypt aid
Shaantanu Shankar
05 October 2012

NORTH

A US effort to transfer 450 million USD of aid to Egypt fell through due to the refusal of the US Congress to ratify the capital transfer. The Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programmes blocked the proposal in the US House of Representatives.

The aid transfer was described as premature by certain Republican sources. This news comes during a difficult phase in Egypt-US relations, after the anti-US protests in Egypt and the branding of the African nation as neither a 'friend or foe' by US President Barack Obama

Source(S): Aswat Masriya, September 29, 2012

Sudan, South Sudan reach agreement on oil

The Presidents of Sudan and South Sudan signed economic and security agreements on September 27, 2012 that would facilitate the resumption of oil exports from South Sudan.

The two nations also formed agreements for a demilitarised zone between their borders and a cessation of hostilities. However, negotiations were not able to establish any sort of consensus on the disputed region of Abyei. Both governments have officially endorsed economic and security cooperation agreements.

The top African Union mediator and former South African President, Thabo Mbeki, stated the agreement to be a giant step forward for both Sudan and South Sudan, adding that monitors would be deployed to oversee the buffer zone accepted by the two nations.

Source(s): Sudan Tribune, September 28, 2012

WEST

UN demands urgent intervention in Mali

A UN Political Affairs chief informed the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) that Mali urgently required international assistance to reclaim the north of the country from Islamist takeover, further stating that time was not on their side.

According to the UN source, the situation in the north of Mali continues to deteriorate posing a genuine threat to regional peace and security. However, UNSC support for the proposed ECOWAS military operation has not yet been provided due to the Council's lack of clarity regarding the situation in the West African nation and divisions within the African Union with regards to military intervention.

Source(s): Reuters, October 5, 2012

Nigeria to revisit Cameroon territorial dispute

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan ordered a review of an International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling that handed sovereignty over the oil-rich Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon in 2002. The decision came following domestic pressure in Nigeria's senate citing the expiration of the appeal period in the near future.

The two African countries in question have nearly gone to war over the disputed region on several occasions. Nigeria finally gave up the peninsula in 2008 after years of tensions, though amid massive speculation.

Source(s): Reuters, October 4, 2012

Gunmen massacre 46 in Nigeria: Boko Haram suspected

Unknown gunmen, suspected to be Boko Haram members, massacred at least 46 people, mostly students, in Mubi on October 1, 2012. Operatives of the internal joint security task force tightened security in the town, deploying more soldiers and police men in search of the Boko Haram insurgents. In spite of the incident, Nigerian security forces have recorded a major breakthrough in their campaign against the extremist outfit, with the recent arrest of 156 people.

Source(s): This Day, October 3, 2012

SOUTH

Sanlam to invest in Indian group

South African financial services group Sanlam finalised a 2 billion rand (231 million USD) investment in Indian group Shriram Capital Limited, acquiring a 26 per cent stake in the business. The acquisition enhances Sanlam's portfolio of businesses in Africa and Asia.

The two groups began their partnership back in 2005 and the recent move has been viewed as the critical step forward by the South African company to diversify its earning base.

Source(s): allafrica.com, October 3, 2012

East

Kenya to penalise slow hydrocarbon exploration

A senior Ministry of Energy official from Kenya has warned licensed oil and gas explorers to speed up their work to meet the terms of their contracts, threatening to invoke the right to cash in guarantees in case of failure to do so.

Australian firm Lion Petroleum fell behind on its contractual commitments, causing the government to charge the company a 4 million USD fee to extend its contract by 12 months.

Bank guarantees are agreed when companies sign exploration contracts, specifying a payable amount to the government in case of failure to meet contractual obligations. Analysts state that the new tough stance significantly constrains smaller firms.

Source(s): Reuters, October 1, 2012

Shell, Exxon eye Mozambique gas

A number of major oil firms, including Shell and Exxon Mobil, have revealed their eagerness to participate in the development of Mozambique's gas fields, stated an executive from Mozambique's national oil company during a conference in London.

Media reports and analysts have speculated that Shell could look into purchasing stakes in Mozambique gas assets owned by British firm Cove Energy. The company is also looking into the chance to participate in an upcoming licensing round for prospective hydrocarbon blocks in the Rovuma Basin and offshore areas of the Zambezi Delta.

Source(s): Reuters, October 1, 2012

UN envoy acknowledges progress in Somalia

The top United Nations (UN) envoy for the Horn of Africa remarked on the 'unimaginable' change that has taken hold in Somalia, stating that the nation had moved from a transitional to transformational phase. At the same time he warned against the threats of militancy and terrorism.

The successful AMISOM campaign in port city Kismayo, resulting in the ousting of Al-Shabaab militants from their final major stronghold has created an optimistic mood with regards to the process of peace-building and state-building in and around Somalia.

Source(s): UN News Service, October 4, 2012

CENTRAL

President Kabila responsible for bringing peace in DRC: US

The US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnie Carson has stated that Joseph Kabila, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), had the primary responsibility of protecting the DRC citizens and guaranteeing their rights, especially those living in the insurgent-hit eastern region of the country. During the press conference call, He also commented on the present situation in Mali, Senegal, Sudan and Somalia.

Source(s): allafrica.com, October 1, 2012

(This report is prepared by Shaantanu Shankar, Research Intern, Observer Research Foundation)