Links to Start the Week

Qaddafi demise helps African Union at Africa Works by G. Pascal Zachary:

The collapse of Qaddafi’s dictatorial regime in Africa has concrete benefits for the African Union, whose international standing has repeatedly been undermined by the Libyan leader’s eccentric Pan-Africanism and past embrace of terrorism. . . . . Qaddafi and Libyan cronies invested in African real estate but they never provided either finance or expertise to promote industrial enterprises. Should Qaddafi vanish permanently from the club of African leaders, the African Union will be the beneficiary. The AU struggles with legitimacy and effectiveness; Qaddafi made the tests of pragmatism and idealism much more difficult. His absence from the AU governing body will make the renovation of this disappointing regional body easier, though even without the burden of Qaddafi, the task facing reformers of the AU remains daunting.

In Uganda, a new inflation–in the price of votes, Jina Moore

Martha Karua, running for the Kenyan presidency next year, says Kibaki administration has increased extrajudicial killings from the level of the Moi administration.

Sixth Fleet Frigate USS Stephen W. Groves is  spending roughly two weeks at Dar Es Salaam for African Partnership Station program training East African sailors, along with some community relations.

“Real Conservatives Don’t Slash Foreign Aid:  What House Republicans Can Learn From David Cameron and the Tories” Thomas Carothers in The New Republic.

“Wako reserves his most potent sting for Kibaki” Emeka-Mayaka Gekara in the Daily Nation. A good example of how things really work in Kenyan politics.

“Somalia:  The Transition Government on Life Support” International Crisis Group report, February 21.  Says the international community has continued to fail to appreciate the reality that attempts to create a European-style centralized national government are doomed to failure.  The TFG is further hampered by corruption and irresponsibility.  Without serious progress and reform by August, the attention of the international support should shift:

Yet, the situation is not as bleak as it may seem. Some parts of Somalia, most notably Somaliland and Puntland in the north, are relatively stable, and as the ill-fated Union of Islamic Courts demonstrated in 2006, it is possible to rapidly reestablish peace and stability in central and south Somalia if the right conditions exist. Contrary to what is often assumed, there is little anarchy in the country. Local authorities administer most areas and maintain a modicum of law and order. Somalis and humanitarian agencies and NGOs on the ground know who is in charge and what the rules are and get on with their work. The way forward needs to be a more devolved political and security structure and far greater international support for local administrations.  Furthermore, if by August, the TFG has not made meaningful progress in coping with its internal problems and shown itself genuinely willing to work and share power with these local authorities, the international community should shift all its aid to them.

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