Tuesday, October 21, 2003
Powell is in Sudan in an effort to support the peace talks. Apparently the removal of sanctions is in the offing:
A restoration of relations with the United States would be an extraordinary development for Sudan, a country that has embraced Islamic radicalism and been accused of sponsoring rebellions in neighboring countries and aiding militant groups like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. In the 1990's, Sudan provided safe haven to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda.

After attacks on American embassies in East Africa, the United States sent cruise missiles to Khartoum in 1998.

More recently, however, the United States has praised Sudan not only for its negotiations with rebels in the south but for assisting the fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan and al Qaeda. Sudan remains on Washington's list of countries sponsoring terrorists, however.

I'm not sure that I see the reason for all the optimism. Sudan continues to support Palestinian terrorism and supports a variety of terrorist groups in Uganda and Congo.

Here's a must-read in the Washington Post:
Islamic extremists in Somalia, Kenya and Tanzania have turned to terrorism, and non-Islamic dictators, such as deposed Liberian strongman Charles Taylor, have developed economic links with al Qaeda. But more alarming is the spread of rigid forms of Islam, which are historically rare south of the Sahara and which are creating division, chaos and violence in both East and West Africa.

Islamists in Kenya are pushing to expand Islamic law, or sharia, to include sentences of amputation in certain crimes, as well as stoning in cases of adultery, practices already in place in Nigeria. The chairman of Kenya's Council of Imams and Preachers, Ali Shee, has warned that Muslims in the coastal and northeastern provinces will break away if sharia is not expanded.

Not surprisingly, Saudi Arabian money is largely behind the spread of fundamentalist Islam in Africa. What is surprising is that US foreign policy seems increasingly complacent toward countries--namely Saudi Arabia, Libya, and Sudan--that are clearly our enemies. The way to achieving peace and prosperity in Africa is by building stable and independent democracies, not by coddling fascists and warlords.

Two more foreign workers have been killed in Somaliland. Taste of Africa reports:
The situation in Hargeisa is tense, not only among expatriates but even among Somalis. Two killings in a row in a span of two weeks, Somalis just can't seem to reconcile why.

"We have gone through worst situations, we used to kill each other, even in those times never did we kill any foreigner" a Somali colleague said. Seeming targets are foreigners, those who are doing good work in the country. "We could be next" a Somali development worker retorted.

The Somaliland government seems to think that this is a Somalia-inspired attempt to destabilize the country.

Looks like another assassination/coup attempt in Ivory Coast:
Twelve opposition activists were arrested in Cote d'Ivoire last week on suspiscion of planning the assassination of several leading figures in the government, including Mamadou Coulibaly, the speaker of parliament, government sources said on Tuesday.

The alleged plot was not directly linked to an earlier conspiracy to assassinate President Laurent Gbagbo, which led to the arrest of 18 people in Cote d'Ivoire in August, the sources told IRIN.

So where are the French in all of this? Aren't they supposed to be in charge over there?

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