Since Mali adopted a new constitution in 1992, the country was considered democratic as subsequent elections were lauded free and fair as President Alpha Oumar Konare served his term and retired graciously after 2002. His successor President Amadou Tuomani Toure was on the verge of retirement after his two year term, when he was arrested by the military led by Captain Sanogo in March 2012 making Mali the main concern for the African Union’s peace and security agenda in the continent.
On the fateful Tuesday evening that Professor Atta Mills passed on, I met with a Ghanaian friend who works in Nairobi to catch up. My friend received a phone call from Ghana, in which the caller announced that Mills was dead and then promptly hung up. We thought at first it was a prank since Mills had died many times before, courtesy of rumour mongers and distractors. However, after considering the finality of the caller’s tone we scampered for the internet, immediately checking Twitter and myjoyonline.com, a popular Ghanaian news site. The websites confirmed that Professor Atta Mills had indeed just passed on at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra.
Since November 2010, Wikileaks has been a prominent force in the media after it published thousands of diplomatic cables of the American State Department. The leaks reenergised important debates considering the conduct of orthodox diplomacy in the twenty first century, with the general public becoming increasingly engaged in the conduct of states at national and international levels. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange found support in a number of transparency and human rights activists who advocate for an increased level of openness in government. However, the release of these diplomatic cables was followed by allegations of rape that were levelled against him by two women in Sweden.
As South Sudan meets its date with history on 9 July, the battle over Abyei, the disputed town at the border of Sudan and Southern Sudan, threatens to scuttle the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in 2005. South Kordofan, another border area, has also registered conflict and citizen displacement recently, thereby increasing the anticipation of the historic independence of South Sudan on 9 July. Abyei, the epicenter of the painful divorce, flared up on 21 May 2011 with an estimated 50,000 residents fleeing the border town after a Khartoum government-supported army attacked the Dinka Ngok residents while facilitating an influx of the nomadic Misseriya into the area. This was the North’s bid to change the demographics of the town before the Abyei referendum and 9 July 2011 split, according to UN field reports. The invasion has been likened to the earlier janjaweed invasion sponsored by the Khartoum government in the Darfur region.
Meu nome é Njoki. Como você está? Obrigada. I thank my seatmate for a quick Portuguese language lesson and memorize the introductory lines one last time as our plane from Oliver Tambo Airport in Johannesburg lands at Guarulhos Airport in São Paulo.