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Africa Monitor
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Vol. II Issue. 47
Egypt: Clashes outside presidential palace in Cairo
Shaantanu Shankar
07 December 2012

NORTH

Protests in Cairo continue as large numbers gathered to march on to the presidential palace to denounce President Mohammed Mursi's controversial constitutional decree and subsequent draft constitution. Several thousands gathered outside the palace in what was dubbed as 'last warning' protests.

Source(S): Tunis Afrique Presse, December 04, 2012

Hillary Clinton to visit Morocco

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit Morocco on December 11, 2012, where she plans to visit Morocco's leader King Mohammed VI and the minister delegate for foreign affairs Youssef Amrani. She will also attend the 'Friends of Syria' conference opening on December 12, 2012.

Source(s): allafrica.com, November 27, 2012

Sudan urges S. Sudan to expel rebels before oil exports resume

Sudan has clearly stated that it will not allow South Sudan's oil exports to flow through its territory until the ruling regime in the South cuts ties with rebel outfits operating in Sudan through an interview of Sudanese Vice President, Adam Youssef.

However, South Sudanese officials continue to deny Sudanese charges that it supports insurgents in Darfur, South Kordafan and the Blue Nile, in spite of certain analysts attaching credibility to Sudanese claims.

Source(s): Reuters and Sudan Tribune, December 05, 2012

WEST

Mali government, rebels, agree on peace talks

A delegation of the Malian government met with representatives from the separatist Tuareg group MNLA (Movement for the National Liberation of Awazad) and the al-Qaeda linked Islamist group Ansar Dine in Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso. The delegations agreed on the need to create a framework for dialogue with regards to resolution of the ongoing conflict in northern Mali.

The meeting comes at a critical time as the United Nations recommended the use of force in Mali and the African Union recommending a UN financial package to support the deployment and operations of an African military force of 3,300 troops. However, the UN Security Council has insisted that reconciliation efforts need to focus on political dialogue and not military force.

Source(s): Reuters, December 04, 2012 and UN News Service, December 5, 2012

Nigerian government clashes with oil companies

International oil companies (IOCs) operating in Nigeria clashed with the federal government over the suitability of the new Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) before the National Assembly at the ongoing Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) in Abuja.

The IOCs have stated that the new fiscal regime was too high and would discourage investment in Nigeria's oil and gas industry. However, certain sources have said that the oil majors did not have legitimate claims, further adding that the laws in place were outdated and out of sync with contemporary realities.

Source(s): The Vanguard, December 05, 2012

SOUTH

Zuma to attend SADC talks on DRC

South African President Jacob Zuma will be attending a summit this weekend focussing on the crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The summit comes following the rebel takeover and subsequent pull out of Goma, a strategically vital city in eastern DRC.

The meeting will include the SADC Troika on Politics and Defence, which is currently chaired by Tanzania, with South Africa and Angola as the other members. The meeting will also hear reports from Tanzania on SADC mediation in Madagascar and a report from South Africa on mediation in Zimbabwe.

Source(s): Mail and Guardian, December 05, 2012

South African bank to buy Barclays' Africa operations

South African bank Absa announced its takeover Barclays Africa operations for a total cost of USD 2.08 billion. The deal will effectively transfer Barclay's African assets achieving Barclay's goal of increasing its stake in Absa from 55.5 per cent to 62.3 per cent.

Source(s): Business Day, December 06, 2012

East

EU donors freeze Uganda aid

The EU became the most recent Western power to freeze aid to Uganda after the discovery of a scam in which donor funds worth USD 13 million were embezzled by the office of the prime minister.

The EU joined Sweden, Denmark, Ireland and the UK to suspend aid to Uganda over the recent scam. Western donors fund up to 25 per cent of Uganda's budget and have imposed strict terms and conditions with regards to resumption of aid.

Source(s): Mail and Guardian, December 17, 2012

EAC rejects S. Sudan, Somalia membership bids

Members of the East African Community (EAC) have deferred a decision to include South Sudan and Somalia as members of the regional body currently comprising of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

The EAC sets out conditions for membership, including adherence to universally acceptable principles of good governance, democracy, rule of law, observance of human rights and social justice. Somalia's bid was mainly rejected due to its limited experience as a stable democratic nation-state, while ongoing conflict with Sudan have dented South Sudan's bid for EAC membership.

Source(s): Sudan Tribune, December 04, 2012

UN claims Rwanda, Uganda support for M23 Goma offensive

A recent UN report has made claims that Rwanda and Uganda assisted M23 rebels in the recent Goma offensive, where the rebel outfit successfully ousted the DRC army, only to fall back a few days later.

According to the report, hundreds of Rwandan troops bolstered the rebel cadre, while Uganda provided the necessary logistical support.

Source(s): Agence France Presse, December 04, 2012

CENTRAL

Gabon seeks tougher terms from oil companies

Gabon's government has tightened its grip on foreign oil companies operating in the country by launching audits of oil producers and demanding tougher terms for new contracts, potentially dampening enthusiasm for a long-awaited deep-water licensing round due next year.

The move resembles similar steps taken by oil-rich nations around the world over the past decade, including Venezuela and Kazakhstan. Oil accounts for around half of Gabon's economy but output has fallen by a third since peaking at 370,000 barrels per day in 1997.

Source(s): Reuters, December 03, 2012

Angola, Namibia railway construction set for 2013

The construction of a railway line connecting Angola and Namibia is set to begin in 2013, announced the chairman of the Mocamedes Railway Company. The goal is to link the railway companies of Angola and Namibia allowing for a greater flow of goods and people under the regional integration process.

Source(s): Angola Press, December 05, 2012

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