BREAKING News: Senegalese president for 12 years Abdoulaye Wade has conceded defeat to Macky Sall in today's run off election. See more below:
There are a bunch of things happening this weekend with some of the stories from Africa that I have been covering lately and I need to update these diaries but I didn't want them to get lost at the end of past diaries, so I thought that I would also gather them up here. The diaries that I'm updating are:
Mali Coup is latest post-Qaddafi fallout Fri Mar 23
What the PSL got right & wrong about KONY 2012 Sat Mar 10
African Spring continues in Senegal Mon Feb 27
Occupy Nigeria - 1st African fruits of Qaddafi gone? Tue Jan 10
The self-declared leader of the military coup Army Captain Amadou Sanogo appeal for calm and denied reports that his soldiers were looting petrol stations and state buildings. The whereabouts of President Amadou Toumani Toure are still unknown but he is rumored to be hiding on a Red Beret Army base and under the protection of loyal troops. Rumors of an imminent counter-coup are also being heard.
A joint mission of the AU and the West African regional bloc ECOWAS arrived in Bamako on Friday for negotiations with the rebels, Paul Lolo, the chairman of the Peace and Security Council, told Al Jazeera on Saturday.Meanwhile the Tuareg are using of this disorder to make military gains in the north. They have launched a new offensive and could soon be marching on Timbuktu if not opposed.
"[The mission] is in negotiations with the rebels and it is our hope that they will listen to reason and return Mali to constitutional order without delay," he said.
"This [coup] has been an insurgency, a seizure of power by force. There was a legitimate government in Mali. That government is still legitimate in our view because that is the government we know according to our instruments."
The KONY2012 video has been viewed more than 85 million times and now the African Union is deploying a military force of 5,000 to hunt down Joseph Kony in Uganda. Like the special team tasked with tracking down Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid they have announced that they will be there for as long as it takes to capture or kill Kony. Kony is believed to be in the Central African Republic. The US already has a hundred special forces soldiers hunting Kony and the US will also be strongly supporting this AU effort. See BCC: African Union force steps up hunt for Joseph Kony for more.
The push is on big time to bag Kony before November IMHO.
Senegal: African Spring continues in Senegal
The presidential elections that resulted in a run off the last weekend in February are being held today. Unlike the February contest, in which the 85 year old long time incumbent Abdoulaye Wade, faced a dozen challengers, in today's vote all the opposition has united around its strongest candidate, Macky Sall who is widely expected to unseat the long time Qaddafi crony.
This just in: Senegal's Wade concedes election defeat
Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade, 85, has conceded election defeat as results gave an overwhelming lead to his rival Macky Sall.
"We have confirmation now from the presidential office that Abdulaye Wade has telephoned Macky Sall to concede defeat," said Al Jazeera's Andrew Simmons, confirming a state television report that Wade had made a congratulatory phone call to Sall at 21:30GMT (9:30pm local time).
An appreciation of Abdoulaye Wade: Wade was president of Senegal for 12 years. Although he was Mummar Qaddafi's closest collaborator on his United States of Africa plans, he was never the sort of totalitarian ruler that Qaddafi was and when the Arab Spring reached Libya, we was among the first African leaders to advise Qaddafi to step down. Likewise in 2007 he publicly told Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo it was time for him to go when he met with overwhelming public opposition.
So he was widely ridiculed for insisting on running for a third term at the age of 85 in a country were the constitution imposes a two term limit. I ridiculed his "new math" here. Before today's vote, many feared that he would somehow steal the election, or refuse to go and challenge the outcome no matter what.
But instead he conducted himself as a gentleman and a true democrat, within three hours of the polls closing, and seeing that the vote was going strongly against him, he called Sall and conceded. In doing so he gracefully avoided prolonging a struggle that had already cost more than a half-dozen lives, and it was good that he did so. It is time for new blood, but he has left Macky Sall with some big shoes to fill.
In the north, the struggle against Boko Haram is getting fiercer. This was just yesterday:
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — An hours-long gun battle raged Saturday in a northern Nigerian city that's the spiritual home of a radical Islamist sect, and a car bomb exploded during a gun fight with members of the group in another city in the restive region, authorities said. At least six people were killed.Recently the sect rejected efforts to began indirect talks with the government and now the government is pressing its military campaign against them with renewed vigor.
Meanwhile the Occupy Nigeria movement, like the occupy movement everywhere, continues its growth outside of the lime light, as example by this article two days ago:Occupy Nigeria: Nneka on the "Vagabonds in Power"
or this one from five days ago: Occupy Yourself, Occupy Nigeria By Malcolm Fabiyi