On September 9th, the United Nations (U.N.) Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) announced ramped up efforts to reverse dire malnutrition in South Sudan. The programs have launched a joint enhanced nutrition response plan covering all states in South Sudan. The initiative is anticipated to reach more than two million people with treatment and other efforts to help prevent malnutrition through May 2016. An article on the joint response plan can be read here. On September 10th, South Sudan’s parliament voted unanimously to adopt the peace deal signed last month by President Salva Kiir and former Vice President and opposition leader Riek Machar. President Kiir signed the agreement on August 27th, but with reservations. Although the deal paved the way for a permanent ceasefire between government and rebel forces, clashes have continued, causing the U.N. to issue a warning that it could impose sanctions if the deal collapses. The latest developments were outlined here. Libya On September 4th, U.N. Special Representative for Libya and head of the U.N. Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Bernardino Leon reported that progress was being made as participants concluded the latest round of the Libyan political dialogue process in Geneva, Switzerland. Special Representative Leon said this round of talks was used to clarify a number of points with the different delegations, and in particular, the General National Congress (GNC). He also noted the group proposed candidates to serve as Prime Minister and Vice Prime Minister in the new government. Finally, Special Representative Leon reiterated his optimism that a final agreement could be reached in the coming days and signed by September 20th. An update on the talks was provided here. On September 6th, Algerian Minister for African and Maghreb Affairs Abdelkader Messahel, Nigerien Foreign Minister Aichatou Kane Boulama, and Chadian Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat jointly called for an urgent agreement to form a national unity government to solve the conflict in Libya. The leaders agreed that a national unity government would allow Libya to tackle many of the challenges it faces, as well as preserve Libya’s unity and territorial integrity. Details were shared here. Burundi On September 2nd, the U.S. Department of State recognized the 15th anniversary of the initialing of the Arusha Agreement. State Department Spokesperson John Kirby said Burundi faces a renewed challenge to end violence and achieve lasting stability by coming together in a dialogue that builds on the spirit of Arusha. The State Department called on President Pierre Nkurunziza and his government, opposition leaders, and all the people of Burundi to join in an open, comprehensive, and representative national dialogue to achieve a political solution by consensus that is consistent with Arusha. The State Department also reiterated its support for regional leadership and called on all Burundians to oppose any further acts of unlawful violence. A full statement was posted here. On September 8th, unidentified gunmen shot and killed Patrice Gahungu, a spokesman for the opposition Union for Peace and Development-Zigamibanga (UPD) party in Bujumbura’s Gasenyi district in Burundi. Witnesses heard gunshots and later found Gahungu dead in his car near his home. Gahungu’s is the latest in a number of political assassinations following the controversial reelection of President Pierre Nkurunziza. An article on the assassination can be read here. Nigeria On September 3rd, suspected Boko Haram fighters carried out twin bombings in Cameroon that killed ten people and wounded 100 others. The first blast went off by an army camp near Kerawa, where government soldiers have frequently clashed with Boko haram militants. The second bomb exploded in the market in Kerawa. Both bombings were detailed here. On September 3rd, suspected Boko Haram gunmen killed five villagers in a raid on the village of Mainari in Borno stat, Nigeria. Six other villagers were wounded trying to flee the assault. According to witnesses, troops engaged in firefight with the insurgents for an hour. The attack was reported here. On September 4th, the U.S. Department of State condemned the September 3rd Boko Haram attack on the central market and residential neighborhood of Kerawa, Cameroon, and the September 1st attacks on two villages in the Damboa Local Government Area in Borno state, Nigeria, that killed more than two dozen civilians. The State Department said Boko Haram’s indiscriminate targeting of men, women, and children continues to highlight the group’s senseless brutality and said it remains committed to working closely with Cameroon, Nigeria, and the other Lake Chad Basin countries to defeat Boko Haram. The condemnation of the attacks was posted here. On September 8th, the Nigerian Army reported that troops had intercepted Boko Haram’s major drugs and logistics suppliers. According to Army Spokesman Colonel Sani Usman, kingpins and foot soldiers supplying Boko Haram terrorists with hard drugs and other stimulants were arrested in the northern part of Yobe state. The arrests were noted here. Central African Republic On September 3rd, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein reported that U.N. staff in the Central African Republic (CAR) has recently learned that a girl was allegedly sexually abused last year by a member of the French military force known as Sangaris. The girl who was abused gave birth to a child in April. These allegations follow similar cases reported in August involving troops from the U.N. Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the CAR (MINUSCA). The full story is available here. On September 3rd, the U.S. Department of State welcomed the August 28th decision of the CAR’s transitional constitutional court to uphold the transitional national charter clause that precludes current and former senior transitional government members from running in the upcoming presidential and legislative elections scheduled for October and November 2015. The State Department said the decision upholds the rule of law and provides a clear signal to the people of the CAR that political authority in their country is bound by the tenets of the interim constitution and not arbitrary decisions. Finally, the State Department called upon all members of the transitional government, past and future, to respect the court’s ruling. Additional feedback from the State Department was posted here. On September 4th, at the end of a four-day visit to the CAR, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein reported the CAR is far better than it was at the height of the conflict in late 2013 and early 2014, but is still a cause of anxiety for Central Africans and neighboring countries. During his visit, High Commissioner Zeid visited the PK5 Muslim neighborhood and the Mpoko camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Bangui. Regarding the upcoming elections, High Commissioner Zeid applauded the Constitutional Court’s decision to allow refugees to vote and said the elections will be a crucial test of the CAR’s progress towards peace and democracy. Additional feedback from High Commissioner Zeid can be seen here. On September 8th, U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Herve Ladsous concluded a fourday visit to the CAR in conjunction with the one year anniversary of the start of MINUSCA’s operations. At the end of his visit, Under-Secretary-General Ladsous announced the establishment of a weapons-free zone in Bambari intended to help ensure the free movement of civilians, as well as access by humanitarian workers to vulnerable people. He also noted the U.N. General Assembly will hold a high-level meeting on October 1 st focused on international commitments made by the global community for the CAR. An article on Under-Secretary-General Ladsous’ visit to the CAR was published here. On September 9th, a grenade attack in Bangui, CAR killed at least two people. Witnesses reported that men on motorbikes threw grenades into crowds gathered in the capital. Local aid workers said at least 20 people were wounded. The attack was reported here. Guinea-Bissau On September 7th, Guinea-Bissau announced a new government to be led by Prime Minister Baciro Dja, continuing to heighten tensions that began last month with President Jose Mario Vaz’s sacking of Prime Minister Domingoes Simoes Pereira. The new administration included 16 ministers and 15 secretaries of state. Notable appointments included Rui Dia de Souza as Foreign Affairs Minister, Eduardo Costa Sanha as Defense Minister, Octavio Alves as Interior Minister, and Dionisio Cadi as Justice Minister. More information can be found here. On September 9th, Guinea-Bissau’s Supreme Court ruled that President Jose Mario Vaz’s decision to appoint a new prime minister by presidential decree violated the country’s constitution. The eight-judge panel further elaborated that the appointment was unconstitutional because President Vaz did not pursue the required consultations with parliamentary parties. The Supreme Court’s ruling was announced here. On September 10th, Guinea-Bissau’s newly named Prime Minister Baciro Dja resigned in light of the recent Supreme Court ruling that determined his appointment was unconstitutional. Prime Minister Dja’s recently appointed cabinet was also dismissed. Experts believe the stability of Guinea-Bissau will depend on the willingness of Jose Mario Vaz and senior members of his African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) party to compromise on a new prime minister, especially as party rules dictate that the PAIGC president, former Prime Minister Domingoes Simoes Pereira, should be appointed. The full story is available here. Rwanda On September 7th, in response to criticism from the U.S. Department of State regarding the Rwandan parliament’s decision to set up a Constitutional Reform Commission that may amend or remove presidential term limits and create on opening for President Paul Kagame to seek a third term in 2017, parliamentarian Juliana Kantengwa defended the move, claiming that parliament was simply honoring the wishes of Rwandan voters. Kantengwa said that citizens have appealed to parliament to amend Article 101 of the constitution because they do not want to experiment with a new leader as the country continues to rebuild from the 1994 genocide. His comments were recorded here. On September 9th, Rwanda’s Supreme Court said it would hear a case brought by the country’s main opposition Democratic Green Party attempting to block President Paul Kagame from running for a third, seven-year term. The eight-judge panel rejected the government’s argument that the case should be thrown out and set the next hearing for September 23rd. While President Kagame has not explicitly said he will run, he has indicated he is open to amending the term limit provisions in Rwanda’s constitution. Feedback from the Supreme Court can be seen here. West Africa Ebola Outbreak On September 2nd, Sierra Leone quarantined 50 people in the northern district of Kambia, where a woman died from Ebola over the weekend. The country had just recently celebrated the release of its last known Ebola patient from treatment. An update on the situation was provided here. On September 3rd , the U.N. World Health Organization (WHO) declared Liberia Ebola-free for the second time after the passage of 42 days since the last confirmed Ebola case in the country. Liberia now enters into a 90-day period of heightened surveillance aimed at preventing a future re-emergence of the virus. The milestone was noted here. On September 9th, the WHO updated its statistics on the number of Ebola cases in West Africa. For the week ending September 6th, there were two confirmed cases of Ebola reported, including one in Guinea and one in Sierra Leone. Additionally, the WHO reported there are a total of three active chains of Ebola transmission in the region, including two in and around Conakry Guinea, and one in the western district of Kambia, Sierra Leone. Additional data was analyzed here. On September 9th, WHO Special Representative on Ebola Response Dr. Bruce Aylward returned from West Africa, where he visited hot spots of the Ebola epidemic in Guinea and Sierra Leone. Dr. Aylward observed that despite the onset of the rainy season, case incidence has remained in the single digits for the past several weeks. He also projected the goal of zero transmission in the human population remains very possible within 2015. Dr. Aylward’s observations were captured here. On September 9th, Sierra Leone’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brima Kargbo announced three more people have tested positive for Ebola in the same village in the Kambia district where the country’s most recent Ebola patient died. The new patients are among the 50 high-risk people identified as close relatives of the deceased woman. While the new cases have dashed the latest hopes of Sierra Leone being declared Ebola free, Dr. Kargbo expressed hope the virus can be contained, especially as the new cases have a traceable origin. His comments were recorded here. On September 10th, the WHO expressed concern that transmission of Ebola via the semen of male survivors may be of greater concern than previously thought. The WHO cited a forthcoming study that found as many as half of all male Ebola survivors may still have traces of the virus in their semen after six months. As a result, the WHO encouraged all male survivors to be tested three months after the onset of symptoms and then monthly until they know they have no risk of passing the virus through their semen. The WHO’s recommendation was noted here. On September 10th , Politico recognized U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists Nancy Sullivan, Clifford Lane, and Julie Ledgerwood for their research to develop an Ebola vaccine. Based on Sullivan’s research which resulted in the development of an Ebola vaccine for monkeys back in 2000, Sullivan, Clifford, and Lane were able to launch an Ebola Phase III clinical trial in response to the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa. For details, click here. On September 10th -11th, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde visited Liberia to observe firsthand how IMF support during the Ebola crisis strengthened the IMF’s partnership with Liberia and how the country has put in place plans to control the Ebola epidemic and support post-Ebola recovery. Managing Director Lagarde was scheduled to meet with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her team, as well as business community leaders, parliamentarians, prominent women, and representatives of civil society. She will also deliver a speech at Monrovia City Hall. Managing Lagarde’s travel to Liberia was outlined here. African Migrant Crisis in the Mediterranean On September 2nd, a boat carrying roughly 40 African migrants arrived on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria. According to the Spanish Government, all of the migrants were in good health when they arrived. They were met by Red Cross workers who handed out blankets and other humanitarian supplies. The full story is available here. On September 3rd, European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Frederica Mogherini said there was broad consensus among defense ministers meeting in Luxembourg to go beyond intelligence gathering on smuggler routes in the Mediterranean and to search vessels and make arrests. EU foreign ministers were reportedly also considering increasing the number of warships in the Mediterranean from four to seven. More information on the proposals under consideration by the EU to address the migrant crisis was presented here. On September 7th, Britain and France pledged to take in tens of thousands more asylum seekers, while Germany indicated it would hire 3,000 more police officers and spend another $6.7 billion to address the migrant crisis, including emergency housing for 150,000 people. Developments in Europe’s response to the migrant crisis were noted here. On September 7th, Peter Boogaard, a spokesman for the White House’s National Security Council (NSC), said the Obama Administration is actively considering a range of approaches to be more responsive to the global refugee crisis, including with regard to refugee resettlement. While limited details were provided on the policies under consideration, Boogaard indicated the U.S. refugee resettlement program, which currently accepts up to 70,000 people a year, was under examination. For details, click here. On September 9th, the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) conservatively estimated at least 850,000 people will cross the Mediterranean seeking refuge in Europe by the end of next year. According to UNHCR, 366,000 migrants have already attempted the voyage this year. As a result, UNHCR called for more cohesive asylum policies to address the growing number of migrants arriving in Europe. Input from UNHCR can be seen here. On September 9th, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker unveiled a proposal to spread 160,000 asylum seekers across Europe. In addition to addressing the immediate refugee crisis, President Juncker also called for EU nations to reexamine their broader immigration policies by creating additional opportunities for migration. While President Juncker pressed for swift approval of the proposal, the plan was immediately met with criticism from European leaders who expressed opposition to any requirement to take in refugees. An article on the proposal was published here. United States – Africa Relations State Department On September 2nd, State Department Counselor Tom Shannon met with U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda Erica BarksRuggles, at the Department of State. The meeting was included on the State Department’s daily appointment schedule, which can be accessed here. On September 2nd, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Tom Malinowski delivered remarks on the new Tunisian model of governance in Tunis. During his visit to Tunisia, Assistant Secretary Malinowksi also met with Prime Minister Habib Essid and other members of the government and parliament to discuss Tunisia’s reforms and the serious economic and security challenges facing the country. He also met with civil society organizations to discuss their efforts to provide services to communities, connect citizens with their elected representatives, and advocate for reforms that will shield youth from radicalization and promote their civil participation. More information was shared here. On September 4th, Secretary of State John Kerry issued a press statement on Swaziland’s Independence Day. Secretary Kerry said the U.S. and Swaziland have enjoyed a long history of partnership on issues such as health and the protection of vulnerable populations. He said he looks forward to continued cooperation between the two countries, especially towards the shared goal of an AIDS-free generation. Secretary Kerry’s full message can be read here. On September 4th, State Department Counselor Tom Shannon met with U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Patricia Haslach, at the Department of State. The meeting was listed here. On September 4th, Chief of Protocol Ambassador Pete Selfridge accepted a copy of credentials from Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to the U.S. Balumuene Nkuna, at the Department of State. Details can be seen here. On September 4th, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield met with Republic of Sudan Speaker of the National Assembly Ibrahim Ahmed Omer, at the Department of State. Their meeting was noticed here. On September 7th -9 th, Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Charles Rivkin traveled to Nigeria. While in Nigeria, Assistant Secretary Rivkin delivered the keynote address at the Nigeria-American Chamber of Commerce’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Financing Conference, participated in an intellectual property (IP) rights roundtable, and met with government and business officials to discuss how Nigeria can be a key source of regional growth. In Lagos, Assistant Secretary Rivkin met with heads of rising Nigerian conglomerates and technology officials, led a discussion on Nigeria’s Nollywood film industry with high level industry executives, and visited several business incubators. His visit to Nigeria was outlined here. Assistant Secretary Rivkin’s remarks at the Nigeria-USA SMEs Financing Conference were transcribed here. On September 8th, the State Department announced the commencement of operations by the U.S. Mission to Somalia. The new mission reflects a continuation of U.S. efforts to normalize the U.S.-Somalia bilateral relationship since recognizing the Federal Government of Somalia on January 17, 2013. The U.S. Mission to Somalia is based within the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, and will be headed by a Charge d’Affaires until the President appoints, and the Senate confirms, the next U.S. Ambassador to Somalia. The opening of the U.S. Mission to Somalia was announced here. On September 8 th, the U.S. Diplomatic Mission to South Africa issued a terrorist threat warning to U.S. citizens in the country, warning that the Embassy had received information that extremists may be targeting U.S. interests in South Africa, to possibly include U.S. Government facilities and other facilities identifiable with U.S. businesses interests. The Embassy said it had no specific information about targets or timing, but advised Americans to review their personal security plans and maintain their vigilance. The security message was posted here. On September 9th, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield attended the Benin Power Compact Signing Ceremony, at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB). Assistant Secretary Thomas-Greenfield also attended the International Republican Institute’s (IRI) 2015 Freedom Award Dinner in Washington, DC. Her participation was noted here. On September 9th, the State Department designated Algerian citizen Abu Ubaydah Yusuf al-Anabi as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, blocking all of al-Anabi’s property subject to U.S. jurisdiction and prohibiting U.S. persons from engaging in transactions with him or to his benefit. Al-Anabi belongs to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and serves as leader of AQIM’s Council of Notables, as well as the group’s Media Chief. In April 2013, al-Anabi appeared in a video calling for armed conflict by violent extremists against French interests throughout the world, presumably in response to France’s intervention in Mali. For more information, click here. On September 10th , the State Department and espnW announced the mentor organizations and international emerging leaders participating in the 2015 Global Sports Mentoring Program, September 12th – October 17th. Now in its fourth year, the program supports the State Department’s Empowering Women and Girls through Sports Initiative. This year’s participants including young women leaders from Egypt and Kenya, among other countries. More information was shared here. On September 10th -11th, Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Charlies Rivkin will travel to Dakar, Senegal. While in Senegal, Assistant Secretary Rivkin was scheduled to meet with government and business officials to discuss the country’s position as an emerging economic partner with the U.S. He also planned to meet with representatives from the Mandela Washington Fellowship Program for Young African Leaders and the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) to talk about African business development and to deliver trade and investment remarks to business leaders. Assistant Secretary Rivkin’s travel to Senegal was announced here. U.S. Agency for International Development On September 7th, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced an additional $86 million in food assistance through the WFP to help feed millions of displaced and food-insecure people in Sudan. Of the $86 million, $75 million will be used to provide more than 69,000 metric tons of U.S. food and $11 million to provide food vouchers and support the local procurement of specialized nutrition products. The new contribution brings the total U.S. Government contribution of food assistance for Sudan to $170 million this year. A press release was issued here. Department of Defense On September 4th, Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) highlighted a Humanitarian Mine Action instruction course recently held for Tanzanian People’s Defense Force (TPDF) soldiers in Dar es Salaam. Members of the CJTF-HOA Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit taught the course, which aimed to leverage practical exercises to improve ordinance identification skills and overall safety practices. The course focused on mine clearance, demolition procedures, ordnance reconnaissance, metal detector familiarization, and minefield casualty recovery. The course was detailed here. On September 8th, U.S. Army Africa outlined the benefits of Medical Readiness Training Exercise (MEDRETE) 15- 2, recently held in Accra, Ghana, as part of a series of exercises designed to build the medical capacity of partner nation militaries in Africa. The exercise allowed U.S. and Ghanaian soldiers to share medical procedures and best practices and to identify procedural similarities even though the different teams frequently use different medical equipment. For more information, click here. Millennium Challenge Corporation On September 9th, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and the Government of Benin signed a new, fiveyear partnership agreement at a ceremony that included remarks from Vice President Joe Biden, President of the Republic of Benin Dr. Thomas Boni Yayi, and MCC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dana Hyde. The new $375 million power-sector-focused compact is designed to strengthen Benin’s national utility, attract private sector investment, and fund infrastructure investments in electric generation and distribution, as well as off-grid electrification for poor and unserved households. A press release was issued here. U.S. Trade and Development Agency On September 14th -25th, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) will host a delegation of senior officials from the Nigerian and Kenyan health care sectors for the Healthcare Technologies Reverse Trade Mission (RTM). The RTM is designed to introduce delegates to U.S. health care equipment suppliers and service providers seeking to do business in Nigeria and Kenya. Strong export opportunities for U.S. companies include biotechnology, anticancer and cardiovascular drugs, medical equipment, disposable products, advanced medical and surgical equipment, radiology, optical devices, software for hospital management, and internal networks and technology for non-communicable diseases. For more information, click here. Congress On September 3rd, the House Select Committee on Benghazi held a closed session with former State Department Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills. Mills testified that she had reviewed and made suggestions for changes to the government’s official, final report on the September 2012 attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya. She also said that she never knowingly mishandled classified information. Excerpts from Mills’ testimony were highlighted here. North Africa On September 4th, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Major General Muhammad Tayyab Azam of Pakistan as the Force Commander of the U.N. Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO). Major General Azam replaces Major General Major Imam Edy Mulyono of Indonesia. Major General Azam brings 30 years of national and international military experience to the position. His appointment was announced here. On September 4th, the WFP warned a lack of funding in Sudan could have serious repercussions on the ground, noting the U.N. Humanitarian Air Services requires almost $10 million to remain operational. Without an infusion of funds, the WFP will be unable to deliver food assistance to millions of people in the region, as well as to prove the air transportation that enables aid workers to reach them. The situation was described here. On September 7th, the Egyptian army launched a major military operation against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL) affiliate, Sinai Province, in the Sinai peninsula. According to the Army, 56 militants were killed in the first two days of fighting around the towns of Rafah, Sheikh Zuweid, and Arish. An additional 154 militants were arrested. The launch of the military offensive against Sinai Province was noted here. On September 7th, following an announcement of his resignation, Egyptian authorities arrested Agriculture Minister Salah El Din Mahmoud Helal over corruption allegations. The prosecutor general’s office indicated it was investigating ministry officials, including Helal, on suspicion of taking bribes in exchange for granting land licenses. The full story is available here. On September 9th, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde concluded a visit to Tunisia. While in Tunis, Managing Director Lagarde met with Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi, Head of Government Habib Essid, President of the Assembly of Representatives Mohamed Ennaceur, Central Bank Governor Chedly Ayari, Minister of Finance Slim Chaker, Minister of Development, International Cooperation and Investment Yassine Brahim, and other senior government officials. She also delivered remarks at the Central Bank of Tunisia. More information on Managing Director Lagarde’s visit to Tunisia was provided here. Her remarks at the Central Bank of Tunisia were transcribed here. On September 9th, Egyptian authorities closed four ports in the Suez governorate because of poor visibility due to unseasonable sandstorms. According to the General Authority for Red Sea Ports, visibility in the area was reduced to less than one mile. The ports that were closed specialize in transporting containers, goods, oils, petroleum products, and passengers. Details were shared here. On September 9th, the Moroccan Ministry of Habous and Islamic Affairs and the German Corporation for International Cooperation announced a new partnership that will strive to make at least 600 mosques throughout the country more energy efficient and to raise awareness about renewables. By 2017, mosques across the country will be retrofitted with green technologies, including LED lighting, photovoltaic systems, and solar thermal plants to heat water. The partnership was launched here. On September 9th, Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a new report finding a Sudanese Government militia operating in Darfur accountable for killings and mass rapes of civilians over the past year and a half. According to HRW, the government militia is a new form of the Janjaweed brigades called the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). HRW called on the Sudanese Government to disband the RSF and prosecute guilty commanders and officials. Feedback from HRW can be seen here. On September 10th, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika sacked several of his top generals, including the head of presidential security and the director of internal security. Their duties were transferred to Chief of Staff and Deputy Defense Minister General Ahmed Gaed Salah, who is viewed as a close ally of President Bouteflika. Analysts believe the firings were part of an effort to weaken the political power of Algeria’s intelligence agency. For details, click here. East Africa On September 2nd, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and MasterCard signed a new partnership agreement to support small farmers and poor families in Kenya. Under the alliance, residents at the Kakuma refugee camp in the northwestern part of the country will soon be able to buy charcoal produced by local farmers in a way that is environmentally friendly. The partnership was launched here. On September 2nd, Kenyan Finance Minister Henry Rotich told the Kenyan Senate the government will provide Kenya Airways with a $40 million loan to help the airline meet its operational requirements and pay off suppliers of fuel and other services. The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has also recently approved a $200 million bridging loan for the airline. Kenya Airways has not made a profit in three years, due primarily to a decline in tourism following a number of Islamist militant attacks. More information can be found here. On September 3rd, the World Bank and the Government of Tanzania co-hosted the two-day Africa Open Data Conference in Dar es Salaam. The Conference brought together more than 400 representatives from government, academia, private industry, civil society, and international organizations to share experiences and best practices to promote the production and utilization of open data in Africa, and increase its potential development impact on the continent. Highlights from the Conference were noted here. On September 4th, the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a development policy credit of $80 million towards improving Tanzania’s private sector performance in order to enhance its role in employment creation in the country. Over the past decade, job creation in Tanzania has not kept pace with the growth of the working population, which is expected to increase from 20 million today to 40 million in 2030. A press release was issued here. On September 7th, Ugandan authorities inaugurated a new solar-thermal electricity producing plant on Kalangala Island in Lake Victoria. One of the largest such plants in East Africa, the facility is expected to yield 1.6 megawatts (MW) of electricity, benefitting over 20,000 customers. The $17 million project was financed by the Uganda Development Corporation (UDC), USAID, and the Emerging Africa Infrastructural Fund and Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC), among others. Details can be accessed here. On September 8th, Somali Foreign Minister Abdusalam Omer said Somalia needs more support for its national army and new investment to create jobs as part of its fight against Al Shabaab. While Minister Omer reported that support for Al Shabaab is shrinking, he said more must be done to grow the economy and mitigate the appeal of extremist ideology. His comments follow clashes between Somali soldiers and Al Shabaab fighters near Mogadishu. Minister Omer’s comments were recorded here. On September 8th, Kenyan police arrested three men with a suspected explosive device at the Garden City Mall in Nairobi. Police reported that the three men remain in custody and the explosives discovered in one of their bags were detonated in a controlled explosion. Additionally, security agencies reported the entire country would be placed under heightened, multi-agency surveillance. Details can be viewed here. On September 8th, despite a warning from the government that they could be fired, teachers in Kenya continued to strike to press for higher pay. While teachers held demonstrations in deserted classrooms for the second consecutive week, Members of Parliament (MPs) called on the national government to implement a Supreme Court ruling granting teachers a salary increase. An update was provided here. On September 8th, Uganda’s political opposition and human rights groups accused the Ugandan Government of training militias to intimidate opposition supporters ahead of next year’s elections. In recent weeks, President Yoweri Museveni’s administration has launched a program to train thousands of civilian youths to help with intelligence gathering and security across the country. The opposition claims these youths may later be used to influence opposition voters. The accusations were outlined here. On September 9th , Defense One reported that displaced people in Yemen are so desperate that they are fleeing to politically unstable regions in East Africa, including Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Djibouti. As fighting has intensified in Yemen, ethnic Somalis who fled to Yemen in the 1990s are now returning to East Africa and resettling primarily in breakaway regions, such as Somaliland, with many Yemenis following in their wake. An article on the migration from Yemen to East Africa was published here. On September 10th, the Vatican announced Pope Francis will visit Kenya during a planned trip to Africa later this year. Pope Francis first indicated in June that he would like to visit Kenya, but the visit was uncertain, likely due to attacks against Christians in Kenya by Islamist extremists. The Pope will visit Kenya on November 25th before travelling on to Uganda on November 27th and the CAR on November 29th. His upcoming travel to Kenya was announced here. West Africa On September 2nd, the U.N. Security Council renewed adopted a resolution renewing the arms embargo on nonState actors in Liberia for nine months while terminating other sanctions on the country, including a travel ban and asset freeze on those believed to threaten Liberia’s stability. Additionally, the Security Council voted to extend the mandate of the Panel of Experts to monitor the sanctions and encouraged the Government of Liberia to take further steps to combat the illicit trafficking of arms and ammunition. An article on the activity in the U.N. Security Council can be read here. On September 2nd, Uber Technologies signed agreements with Kia and Access Bank to help reduce the down payments on new vehicles to be used to expand Uber services in Lagos, Nigeria. By the end of the year, Uber is seeking to increase its number of drivers in the city by fivefold to 3,000. Uber’s expansion plans in Lagos were described here. On September 4th, the World Bank published a new report titled, “The Challenge of Stability and Security in West Africa.” The report finds that several countries in West Africa, such as Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Cote d’Ivoire, have successfully exited civil war and large-scale conflicts, while making progress in economic growth, democratization, and regional cooperation, and offering lessons in building resilience. While the recent Ebola outbreak serves as a reminder of the need for resilience in the region, the report also notes West Africa has suffered fewer casualties from conflicts over the past 60 years than any other part of sub-Saharan Africa. The full report can be downloaded here. On September 4th, in Abidjan, the African Development Bank (AfDB) signed a Fund for Africa Private Sector Assistance (FAPA) grant agreement of $947,625 with the General Confederation of Cote d’Ivoire Businesses (CGECI) to support and develop young entrepreneurs in the country. Following the selection of 200 young entrepreneurs in a national competition, the grant will allow the winners to develop their business plans. Details can be viewed here. On September 5th, a medical evacuation plane carrying seven people, including a French patient, two Senegalese nurses and a doctor, a Congolese man, and two Algerian crew members, went missing off the coast of Senegal and is thought to have crashed in the Atlantic after running out of fuel. Search operations led by two air force planes and a navy ship were launched on Sunday. The plane was owned by Senegalair. Details can be accessed here. On September 7th, the WHO expressed concern that Mali may now be vulnerable to polio after a Guinean toddler traveled to Mali and became the country’s first case of polio in more than four years. The case was caused by a strain of the virus known as type 2 that came from a vaccine. The WHO warned that unvaccinated children and people in Mali with low immunity may be at risk for infection. The situation was detailed here. On September 8th, International Criminal Court (ICC) appeals judged rejected a request for the temporary release of former Cote d’Ivoire President Laurent Gbagbo. President Gbagbo is accused of instigating Cote d’Ivoire’s civil war by refusing to concede defeat in the country’s 2010 presidential election. His trial is scheduled to begin on November 10th. Details were posted here. On September 8th, a coalition of domestic election observers called for tighter regulations ahead of Ghana’s general polls in 2016 to avert polling irregularity following anomalies in local assembly elections held on September 1st . According to observers, local voting was marred with protests that led to low voter turnout, malfunctioning biometric verification devices, missing names in the voter register, and disruption of vote counting processes. The full story is available here. On September 8th, Capstone Turbine Corporation, a U.S. manufacturer of microturbine energy systems, announced it had received an order for a C600 microturbine to power oil processing equipment and electrical submersible pumps on an oil platform off the coast of West Africa. Capstone’s Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing Jim Crouse noted Africa is a new growth market for the company, as energy demand in the region has increased by 80 percent over the last decade. A press release was issued here. On September 9th, Sierra Leone’s Supreme Court upheld President Ernest Bai Koroma’s decision to fire Vice President Samuel Sam-Sumana in March. The move was viewed as controversial because it appeared to violate Sierra Leone’s constitution. However, the Court found that President Koroma was within his rights to fire Vice President Sam-Sumana because he had been expelled from the ruling All People’s Congress party, removing the possibility of parliamentary impeachment proceedings. The Court’s ruling was explained here. On September 9th, Cote d’Ivoire’s Constitutional Council released the names of the ten candidates who will compete in the October 25th presidential contest. Current President Alassane Ouattara will run in the elections and is favored to win. Other notable candidates include head of the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), Pascal Affi N’Guessan, former premier Charles Konan Banny, and former parliament speaker Mamadou Koulibaly. The campaign season officially kicks off on October 11th. The candidates were profiled here. On September 9th, Ghanaian judicial authorities suspended 22 judges and magistrates after investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas released audio and video files implicating more than 180 judicial officials in corruption. Those who were suspended are accused of accepting bribes and extorting money from Ghanaian citizens involved in court cases. For more information, click here. On September 9th, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) set up four new crude swap contracts to replace those that were canceled last month with Nigerian companies Sahara Group, Aiteo Group, and Duke Oil. According to industry sources, the canceled deals will run through September until they are replaced by interim offshore processing agreements (OPAs) between NNPC, the Products and Pipelines Marketing Company (PPMC), and four joint venture companies. Additional insights were shared here. Sub-Saharan Africa On September 2nd, U.N. Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zainab Hawa Bangura said the ICC trial for Congolese rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda serves as a powerful reminder to military leaders accused of similar acts that justice will ultimately prevail. Ntaganda, the former Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Force Patriotiques pour la Liberation du Congo (FPLC) pleaded not guilty to 18 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including rape, murder, and the conscription of child soldiers. U.N. feedback on the trial can be seen here. On September 2nd, the IMF completed an Article IV mission to Maseru, Lesotho. The mission met with Lesotho’s Ministers of Finance, Development Planning, Public Service, Education and Training, and Health, as well as the Governor of the Central Bank of Lesotho (CBL), and other private sector and civil society leaders. The IMF mission observed for several years Lesotho has achieved solid economic growth with only moderate inflation, but cautioned that the country must strive for more inclusive growth while also addressing poverty and unemployment. The IMF’s observations were summarized here. On September 2nd, the Government of the DRC banned a documentary co-financed by the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the International Organization of La Francophonie that shows a doctor treating war rape victims. The video was scheduled to be screened in Kinshasa and Bukavu over the next two weeks. While Media Minister Lambert Mende gave no reason for the decision to ban the documentary, human rights groups argued the government was seeking to silence the debate on sexual violence. For details, click here. On September 3rd, the AfDB and Access Bank Rwanda Ltd. signed a loan agreement for the equivalent of $6 million under the Africa SME Program to support SMEs in Rwanda. The AfDB has had a long-standing relationship with Access Bank. In recent years, Access Bank Rwanda has expanded its loan portfolio, offering a variety of SME products including asset finance, invoice discounting, and term loans. More information was posted here. On September 3rd, the medical charity Doctors Without Borders (DWB) warned the measles epidemic spreading through the Katanga province in the DRC must be stopped within the next 60 days or the country will be on the verge of a major health crisis. With the rainy season expected to arrive within the next two months, DWB expressed concern that heavy rains will make it even more difficult to reach those in need of medical assistance. At least 320 people have died this year and about 30,000 people have been affected by measles in Katanga province. The situation was described here. On September 4th, U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Kyung-wha Khang completed a fourday visit to the DRC to assess the scope of the humanitarian crisis, better understand the challenges faced by humanitarian actors in the response, and ensure the DRC crisis remains on the agenda of donors and the greater international community. While in the DRC, Assistant Secretary-General Khang visited the Mugunga 3 camp for IDPs and held discussions with senior humanitarian officials in Goma. Her visit to the DRC was summarized here. On September 4th, hacker group Anonymous Africa claimed responsibility for attacks on state-owned websites in Zimbabwe, including the website for the state-owned Zimbabwe Herald. The group also temporarily shut down the Africa Global news website, claiming it was racist. Further, Anonymous Africa claimed it has been training activists in Zimbabwe, while expressing concern that at least one of them was being monitored by security forces. The full story is available here. On September 7th, the ICC asked South African authorities to explain their failure to arrest Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir when he visited the country for a conference in June. The ICC noted that South Africa is a member of the ICC and is therefore obliged to enforce arrest warrants issued by The Hague. Meanwhile, South African Spokesman for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation Clayson Monyela said he was not aware of the request. President Jacob Zuma has previously defended the decision to let President Bashir leave the country, saying he had immunity as a guest of the African Union (AU). The situation was discussed here. On September 7th, a spokesperson for the Zambian Government said President Edgar Lungu will not allow the country’s currency to collapse and may intervene to regulate markets. Spokesman Amos Chada said President Lungu is concerned the currency is falling because of a false belief in a free market economy. More information can be found here. On September 7th, Zimbabwean Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said China’s economic slowdown will not affect investment by Chinese firms or the funding of infrastructure projects, including roads and power stations, in Zimbabwe. For the past decade, China has stepped up investment in the country to fill the void left by western donors and multilateral institutions, such as the World Bank and the IMF. Minister Chinamasa said China will proceed with its commitments to finance a $1.2 billion coal-fired power plant and the rebuilding of road networks. Upgrades to a hydro-power plant and the airport in Victoria Falls will also continue. Excerpts from Minister Chinamasa’s remarks can be read here. On September 7th, the Associated Press reported that Zimbabwean authorities seemed to have cooled off on pursuing the case against Cecil the lion’s killer, American dentist Walter Palmer. Last month, Environment, Water, and Climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri announced the police would process paperwork to extradite Palmer for participating in a hunt that Zimbabwean authorities said was illegal. However, Zimbabwe’s National Prosecuting Authority, which is responsible for processing extradition requests, said the police had yet to process a docket for Palmer. Speculation is high that Zimbabwe may be backing off the case due to the potential impacts on the country’s hunting business. Details were reported here. On September 7th, the Minneapolis Star Tribune published an interview with the American dentist who killed Cecil the Lion, Walter Palmer. Breaking weeks of silence, Palmer said if he had known Cecil was so important to Zimbabwe, as well as to an Oxford University research project, he would not have hunted him. While Cecil was well-known at Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, Palmer claimed nobody knew of Cecil before the incident. Excerpts of the interview were highlighted here. On September 8th, the Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit, a South African ranger group consisting mostly of women, was awarded the Champions of the Earth Award by the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP). UNEP recognized the Unit for the rapid and impressive impact it has made in combatting poaching. Since its launch in 2013, the group has helped arrest six poachers, reduced snaring by 76 percent, removed over 1,000 snares, and put 5 poachers’ camps and two bush meat kitchens out of action. More information can be accessed here. On September 8th, South African power utility Eskom marked 30 straight days without rolling power cuts. Over the past several months, Eskom has been forced to implement controlled power outages to prevent the national grid from collapse. In recent weeks, the demand for power has lessened due to unseasonably warm temperatures and the addition of the new Medupi plant power station. Details can be viewed here. On September 9th, an IMF mission completed a visit to Harare, Zimbabwe to conduct the second review under the 15-month Staff-Monitored Program (SMP) approved by Management in November 2014. The mission reached a staff level agreement on policies for completion of the second review and observed that Zimbabwean authorities have moved forward with their reform program, despite increasing economic and financial difficulties. The IMF team’s visit to Zimbabwe was detailed here. On September 9th, the World Bank released its “Women, Business, and the Law 2016” report. The report finds that sub-Saharan Africa was the greatest reformer amongst all regions of the world in undertaking reforms to address legal and regulatory barriers to women’s ability to get a job and start a business. The report identifies Namibia and South Africa as having no legal barriers to women, but also highlights other countries in Africa, including Sudan, Mauritania, the DRC, Cameroon, Guinea, Benin, Swaziland, and Senegal as being the most restrictive for women. The full report can be downloaded here. On September 9th, the South African Government said it was monitoring a number of people linked to a reported threat against Americans in the country. However, State Security Minister David Mahlobo assured U.S. citizens that no one faced imminent danger. South Africa’s response to the terrorism warning was discussed here. On September 9th, former Zimbabwean Vice President Joice Mujuru released a political manifesto indicating she will challenge President Robert Mugabe for power. Mujuru was sacked by President Mugabe in December, along with several other Zimbabwe African National Union–Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) politicians. In her manifesto, Mujuru vowed to rebuild Zimbabwe’s economy and transform the country into a democratic state. An article on the manifesto can be read here. General Africa News On September 9th, representatives from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique, and Madagascar signed the Zanzibar Declaration on Illegal Logging. The document aims to improve communication between customs authorities and collaboration among forest officials to combat the growing problem of the illegal trade of timber. More information can be found here. On September 10th, Facebook said it had nearly 20 million users in Nigeria and Kenya, two of Africa’s largest markets for social media, with the majority of African users accessing their profiles using mobile devices. Facebook opened its first African office in Johannesburg, South Africa in June. The company reported 12 million active Facebook users in South Africa and indicated it will use its South African office to expand its business across the continent. Statistics on Facebook utilization in Africa can be accessed here. On September 10th, the Wilson Center Africa Program hosted a briefing titled, “The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit One Year On: Progress, Challenges, and the Way Forward for Economic Relations.” Speakers included House Africa Subcommittee Ranking Member Karen Bass (D-CA), GE Africa President and CEO Jay Ireland, Witney Schneidman of Covington and Burling LLP, AfDB Vice President of Infrastructure, Private Investment, and Regional Integration Soloman Asamoah, and East African Community (EAC) Secretary General Ambassador Richard Sezibera. Event details can be viewed here. * * * View ML Strategies professionals. Boston Washington www.mlstrategies.com Copyright © 2015 ML Strategies LLC. All rights reserved.