John Campbell

Africa in Transition

Campbell tracks political and security developments across sub-Saharan Africa.

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What We’re Watching This Week in Africa

by John Campbell
March 4, 2011

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I now have the capacity to embed google maps into the blog, and I think that it will be a useful tool to help illustrate the issues covered in this space. Consider this the beta testing phase while I discover the advantages and drawbacks. And of course thoughts and suggestions are welcome.

Cote d’Ivoire

This week tensions between Gbagbo and Ouattara continued to escalate toward civil war. In one instance, Gbagbo forces opened fire on Ouattara supporters, killing at least six women in Abidjan, the capital. In the north, where Ouattara derives much of his support, power and electricity have been cut.


Despite its historic referendum for southern independence, Sudan’s oil producing regions continue to experience violence. In Abyei, one of the most contentious regions in the secession, fighting broke out, resulting in killings and displacement. While officials are having difficulty producing an exact death toll from Thursdays violence, UN officials reportedly witnessed thirty-three bodies buried. In Jonglei, another oil producing region further to the south, fighting between the Southern People’s Liberation Army and a rebel group left up to one hundred people dead.


Now only weeks away from the beginning of Nigeria’s 2011 state and national elections, campaigning and its accompanying violence is in full swing. At least one bomb blast near a ruling People’s Democratic Party campaign rally in Suleja, near the capital of Abuja, left at least fourteen people dead. In the North, members of radical Islamic sect, Boko Haram, continued their rampage against the federal government, killing two police officers. Ethnic and religious violence also continues unabated near the Middle Belt city of Jos, where a family of five was killed in night time raids. On the campaign front, Goodluck Jonathan’s stop to opposition controlled Lagos was reportedly sparsely attended while opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign stop in Kaduna brought the city to a standstill.

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  • Posted by Kevin Wells

    I have recently started a non-profit Facebook page titled “GIS Care”. I am very interested in assisting non-profits or NGOs that may need mapping or GIS assistance for their projects. One of my interns is also a grad student from Tanzania so we also have knowledge with the swahili/kishwahili language. Let me know if you need any assistance in these areas.

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