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On the Margins Roundup (January)

[Image of the Ntsaoueni Wall in the Comoros Islands. Image by David Stanley/Flickr] [Image of the Ntsaoueni Wall in the Comoros Islands. Image by David Stanley/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]  


Activists persecuted for opposing land grab driven slavery in Mauritania The author argues that activists have been subject to persecution for opposing land grabbing and slavery at the hands of well-connected corporations. 

Mauritania: Jailed presidential candidate and anti-slavery activists must be released Amnesty International calls for the release of three anti-slavery activists, including former a presidential candidate.

In Mauritania, Blogger Sentenced to Death for Apostasy Mauritanian blogger Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed sentenced to death for apostasy for criticizing the country’s social structure.

موريتانيا تستضيف مهرجان المدن القديمة The recently concluded Ancient Cities Festival aims to promote tourism, an important component of the Mauritanian economy, as well as the heritage of ancient cities in the country. 

السجن عامين لـ«زعيم مكافحة العبودية» الموريتاني بيرام ولد أعبيد Mauritanian anti-slavery activist Biram Ould Obeid was sentenced to two years in prison for participating in a march authorities banned.

فوز الإسلاميين في الانتخابات الطلابية بموريتانيا Islamists emerged victorious in recent Mauritanian student elections.

المعارضة والموالاة تتبادلان الاتهامات بشأن أزمة البلاد في موريتانيا Mauritania’s government and opposition traded accusations of responsibility for the country’s current political crisis.

موريتانيا.. الحوار بين النظام والمعارضة مسرحية مؤجلة Ahmed Ould Sidi discusses the prospects for dialogue in Mauritania.


Federalism for Somalia Mohamed A. Mohamud calls for the formation of a federal system in Somalia and criticizes centralized state formation efforts.

Al-Shabaab senior official surrenders to Somali government A senior official in al-Shabaab has surrendered to the Somali government.

Somalia: Federal Govt, Somaliland Presidents meet in Djibouti The Presidents of Somaliland and Somalia held a meeting in Djibouti in an attempt to resolve outstanding disputes. 

Somalia and Somaliland - Improving Ministerial Effectiveness Suggestions for improving ministerial effectiveness in Somalia and Somaliland. 

Somalia’s Prime Minister Sharmarke receives overwhelming support by Somali Parliament Somalia’s parliament backed the appointment of new Prime Minister Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke. 

Al Shabab claims deadly Somalia car bombing Civilians were among the victims of a suicide attack on a spy agency in a district close to Mogadishu’s airport, witnesses say. 

UN lauds Somalia as country ratifies landmark children’s rights treaty “The central message of the Convention is that every child deserves a fair start in life…what can be more important than that?” 

Millions in UN Somalia aid diverted; hints that some went to terrorists Organizations claiming to conduct vital work on behalf of the United Nations have diverted millions of dollars intended for people in need. 


12 reasons to visit the Comoros The author discusses twelve reasons why tourists should consider visiting the Comoros despite their unfamiliarity with the nation. 

Sheikh Sultan al-Qasimi Hospital Opens in Comoros A United Arab Emirates-funded hospital has opened in the Comoros. 

Investing in nature: what governments can learn from Comoros Comoros understands that investing in nature protection is an investment in national peace, progress, and prosperity.


جيبوتي: اتفاق بين الحكومة والمعارضة للخروج من الأزمة السياسية The government and opposition in Djibouti reached an agreement to implement reforms and for the opposition to return to parliament.

جيبوتي تعلن إرسال مزيد من القوات إلى الصومال Djibouti has announced that it is deploying additional military forces to Somalia to participate in the African Union efforts there.

Djibouti's President Ismael Omar Guelleh Reaches Political Deal with Opposition Djibouti’s President reached an agreement with the opposition under which reforms will be implemented.

Djibouti, where global praetorians gather Djibouti has become an important hub for numerous foreign militaries including from the United States, China, Japan, France, and Russia.

Djibouti starts building two Chinese-funded airports "Its main aim is to enable our country to build a regional hub in the air transport sector," Transport Minister Moussa Ahmed Hassan said about the construction of two Chinese-funded airports.

Japan gov't eyes first overseas SDF long-term base in Djibouti Japan is considering the extension of its Djibouti base's functions, making it the first semi-permanent and multi-purpose base for the Self-Defense Force (SDF) acting in Africa and Middle East. 


Mali announces end of its Ebola outbreak Mali's government says that it is Ebola-free after recording no new cases for forty-two days, the period the World Health Organization requires for the declaration that an outbreak is officially over.

Telling the story of Mali's famed music fest Filmmaker Andrea Papito’s documentary provides information on a major Malian music festival prior to the start of the current conflict.

Mali: UN mission condemns attack that wounded seven peacekeepers The United Nations mission in Mali condemned an attack on peacekeepers on 9 January.

Mali: Libya is destabilizing Mali, FM Diop tells Security Council Malian Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop told the United Nations Security Council about the destabilizing effect of the conflict in Libya in Mali.

France attacks: 'Hero' Lassana Bathily gets citizenship A Malian-born Muslim employee who hid customers from an Islamist gunman at a Paris kosher supermarket has been granted French citizenship.

Dutch UN troops carry out air strike on Mali rebels Dutch United Nations peacekeepers carried out an air strike on Tuareg rebel forces in Mali—the first such engagement by Dutch forces serving in the UN mission in Mali.

Army camp attacked in central Mali At least seven people have been killed after fighters with links to al-Qaeda attacked an army camp in central Mali near the Mauritanian border. 

French hostage freed in Mali French president François Hollande says Serge Lazarevich, kidnapped in Mali in 2011, is now a free man.

South Sudan

South Sudan: Cows and Conflict - South Sudan's "Slow Motion" Livestock Crisis The civil war in South Sudan has had a potentially harmful impact on agriculture vital for many citizens’ livelihoods.

S. Sudan rebel commander vows to fight “dictatorship” A senior South Sudanese rebel has pledged that he will not participate in the government unless the “dictatorship” is ended.

The War in South Sudan Might Cost $158 Billion Over 20 Years With the conflict showing no signs of resolution, campaigners highlight its financial costs for both the region and the international community.

China Mediates Peace Talks on South Sudan China has mediated talks between South Sudan's warring factions, winning pledges from the rivals to speed up the country's peace process.

UN Report: No One Held Accountable in South Sudan Massacre The report says the targeted attacks on civilians in Bentiu by rebels, and in Bor by government supporters, could amount to war crimes.

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