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On the Margins Roundup (March)

[Mauritania signs an ad-hoc multi-lateral maritime co-operative agreement with neighboring North and West African countries. Image from IMO-UN/Flickr.] [Mauritania signs an ad-hoc multi-lateral maritime co-operative agreement with neighboring North and West African countries. Image from IMO-UN/Flickr.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Mali, South Sudan, Somalia, Mauritania, 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] 


Mauritania: Islamic Television channel promotes moderation An interview on Magharebia with Othman Ould Farah, the director of a new moderate Islamic cable television channel.

موريتانيا: لم نسحب دبلوماسيينا من المغرب Mauritanian officials denied reports circulating on the internet that they had decided to withdraw diplomats from Morocco.

UNPO and IRA-Mauritania Call on the European Parliament to Urge the Mauritanian Government to Release Human Rights Defender Cheikh ould Vall The UNPO and IRA Mauritania urged the European Parliament to call for the release of a prominent human rights defender, and investigate issues of slavery.

المعارضة الموريتانية تتجه نحو "التصعيد" ضد النظام A forum of Mauritanian opposition activists announced plans to increase pressure against the regime, including plans for major demonstrations.

في الاعتداء على المصحف بنواكشوط Mauritanian blogger Abbas Braham urged restraint after an alleged incident of Quran desecration, criticizing both the incident as well as extreme responses to it.

A turning point in the fight against slavery in Mauritania United Nations expert greets adoption of road map prepared in cooperation with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Mauritanian Women Advocate for Rights with Public Petition “The responsible woman is she who makes her voice heard.”


Al-Shabab’s Governor – A Man and His iPad An Al-Shabab leader uses an iPad frequently but avoids connecting to the internet due to fear of US drone attacks.

Somali Blog features a series of photos from pre-civil war Somalia.

Somali Polenta Flat Bread A recipe for Somali flat bread from Somali Kitchen, from a blog dedicated to Somali cuisine.

African women and the marriage question The author writes about her views on the differences between African and Western traditions on marriage.

Somalia's Efforts to Build Cohesive State Need International Support The best hope for peace and stability remains a united, secure and federal Somalia, United Nations official told the Security Council.

Firing Squad On the Football Field In a country where killing and violence is omnipresent, it is vital for the government to step away from a widespread belief where death is seen as the answer.

The real fight is behind closed doors Shifting the narrative in Somalia. Why donors have lost faith in Hassan Sheikh government.

Al-Shabab Spokesman Denies Reports of his Death ‘’I am alive. Nothing has happened to me. Kenyan officials are under pressure… it has caused them to spread such false news,’’ he said.

Japan Pledges forty million dollars for Humanitarian Assistance to Somalia Japan announces a forty million dollar fund to improve the humanitarian situation, to rebuild the police forces, and to create job opportunities.

Digfer hospital in Mogadishu Picture of the largest children's hospital in East Africa, built by Turkey.


Alwaleed, Comoros Vice President discuss economic issues Saudi Prince, Alwaleed bin Talal, met with the Vice President of the Comoros and discussed several issues related to the economy.

Statement by the IMF Mission at the end of a visit to the Comoros The mission chief discusses the fourth quarter of 2013, the outlook for 2014, and the challenges in implementing reforms already approved.

Jordan, Comoros Islands discuss bilateral ties The speaker of the Jordanian parliament recently held a meeting with the foreign minister of the Comoros Islands.

Faraway, so Close Photography: the southernmost state in the Arab League, the islands of Comoros are full of cultural surprises.


La Banque Mondiale: Un nouveau partenariat avec Djibouti The World Bank's new twenty-five million partnership with Djibouti to focus on human development and economic diversification.

مجلس الجامعة العربية يؤكد ضرورة احترام سيادة جيبوتي  The Arab League council stated its support for Qatari mediation between Djibouti and Eritrea.

شركة أمريكية تسعى لمد خط أنابيب بترول من جيبوتى إلى إثيوبيا An American company has announced plans to extend an oil pipeline from Djibouti into Ethiopia.

WFP Assists Nomad Communities in Djibouti Recent photos from Djibouti: how the United Nations World Food Program is helping nomads and their camels.

Will there be Chinese troops soon in Djibouti? “China is ready to support Djibouti to reinforce its military capacities and guarantee its security,” said Chinese defense minister, Chang Wanquan.


French strike 'kills Mali rebel commander' Omar Ould Hamaha, known as "Red Beard" and the subject of a three million dollar US bounty, reportedly one of ten fighters killed.

Ibrahim Boubacar Keita: 'The destiny of Mali In this interview, the country's president explains why he believes Mali will only survive if it stands united.

Mali: de difficiles discussions pour la paix The talks between the government and representatives of armed groups have shown the long way still to go before the situation really subsides in northern Mali.

Adapting to Extreme Climate Change in Mali and Madagascar Ratokomalala from Global Voices discusses the potentially serious impact of climate change in these two countries.

Mali Assembly to Discuss Truth Commission The Malian National Assembly plans to consider whether or not to create a Truth and Reconciliation Commission similar to the one from South Africa in the 1990s.

Al-Qaeda group kidnaps Mali Red Cross staff Member of group calls team of five workers "enemies of Islam" but says they are alive and in good health.

Début des travaux de reconstruction des mausolées de Tombouctou The people of Timbuktu launched the reconstruction of the mausoleums damaged during the occupation of armed groups in July 2012.

La mission à Gao dresse un bilan des dommages causés au patrimoine culturel The first mission to Gao since end of military occupation takes stock of serious damage to the city’s cultural heritage.

Twin Cities Climate Resiliency: A Lesson from Bamako, Mali “Insecure access to land and water is the greatest threat to a climate resilient city and its people.” 

South Sudan

Ambushed in South Sudan Video report on the current conflict in South Sudan.

South Sudan refugees could face "catastrophe" Aid agencies in Juba warn that flooded camps caused by heavy rains could create a catastrophic situation for refugees.

South Sudan: New Battleground for Ethiopia and Eritrea? Martin Plout writes about how South Sudan may have become a new battleground between the two rivals in the horn of Africa.

Lost Boys’ Clinic and Orphanage Touched by Violence in Duk County Satellite imagery shows an orphanage destroyed during the recent fighting.

Saving sight in South Sudan River blindness is endemic in South Sudan, but treatment and education is being delivered to the most afflicted regions.

Rebels recapture South Sudan oil town Rebels are said to have committed acts of violence against civilians in Malakal since they arrived one week ago.

Economic Cold War - South Sudan Crisis and the Influence of "Invisible Hand" The author attempts to explain how foreign powers could have influence in South Sudan, in light of the unfolding circumstances.

Uganda plans to pull troops out of South Sudan Uganda says it will withdraw troops from South Sudan as soon as an African emergency force is ready to take over.

S. Sudan hires US firm to improve foreign relations Faced with deteriorating relations with the United States, South Sudan has hired a Washington-based public relations firm to improve its diplomatic ties with the former.

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