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ARABICA - A Daily Shot Of What the Arab World is Saying/Hearing/Sharing
Kristen Gillespie


A R A B I C A
ارابيكا

PALESTINIAN FEUD
One of the most powerful men in the Palestinian Authority, Mohammed Dahlan, is under investigation on murder and corruption charges. Palestinian security forces raided Dahlan's home near Ramallah on Thursday, seizing 16 weapons and 12 vehicles, and detaining 12 "illegal" armed men, Al Jazeera reported. A government spokesman said that having armed personal bodyguards violates a law stating that a citizen cannot do so "without the consent of the security services."

Dahlan, who in 2003 then-President George W. Bush called a "good, solid leader" is widely referred to as a "strongman" who sought to crush Hamas in Gaza in the 1990s. Last month, the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, broke off ties with Dahlan, who still maintains parliamentary immunity as an elected member of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

SYRIAN CHESSBOARD
Pan-Arab daily Al Hayat reports on a meeting between Jordan's King Abullah and French President Nicholas Sarkozy. Sources "familiar" with the meeting confirmed Sarkozy as saying "there is no longer any hope for the Syrian regime." The king, citing the totalitarian nature of the Syrian regime and its ubiquitous intelligence services and military structure, said "there is no alternative now to Assad," and expressed hope that Turkey would have a positive influence on events in Syria.

SYRIAN MAP
As the Syrian revolt intensifies, the multiplying locations of uprisings across the country appear to outpace the military's efforts to be everywhere at once, to stamp out protests. The tally of unrest reported in 24 hours is long and detailed, with Syrians in cities and towns continuing their efforts to unseat the Assad regime. In Kanaker, a suburb of Damascus, it was "a bloody day," wire agencies reported, with 11 civilians killed, two of them children, ages 7 and 11. In Hasrata, "security forces and the army were deployed in the streets, arrested hundreds, demolished the walls of houses and cut off electricity, water and the Internet." The southern town of Daraa, where the uprising began in March, is "in turmoil" with "widespread, intense security in key areas." The list goes on.

SYRIAN VIDEO
The Syrian Revolution Facebook group posted a video called "The Syrian Arab Army: what it was and what it is now." You don't have to speak Arabic to understand through the montage of clips that the soldiers are perpetrating atrocities against unarmed prisoners.

July 28, 2011

photo credit: illustir

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photo of Senegal President Macky Sall coming out of his airplane

President of Senegal Macky Sall arrives Monday at Andrews Air Force Base for the U.S.-Africa summit. Md., Dec. 12, 2022.

U.S. Air Force, Airman 1st Class Isabelle Churchill
Alex Hurst

-Analysis-

Some 100 of the most important political eyes in Africa aren’t turned towards the U.S. this week — they’re in the U.S. For the first time in eight years, the White House is hosting 49 African heads of state and leaders of government (and the Senegalese head of the African Union) for a U.S.-Africa summit. Not invited: any nation that has recently undergone a military putsch, or otherwise not in good standing with the African Union, like Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, and Sudan.

It’s only the second such summit, after Barack Obama held the inaugural one in 2014. For African nations, it’s a chance to push for trade agreements and international investment, as reports FinancialAfrik, as well as to showcase their most successful businesses. According to RFI, dominant in its coverage of West Africa, on the agenda are: fighting terrorism, climate change, food security, and a financial facility intended to facilitate African exports to the U.S.

These themes are recurrent in national coverage and official diplomatic communiqués, from the likes of Cameroon (whose communiqué pointedly notes the U.S.’s “lack of colonial history” in Africa), which is seeking to regain access to the the U.S. market under the African Growth and Opportunity Act, to Madagascar, which as an island nation, is particularly concerned with climate change.

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But is the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit and the accompanying nice talk all just cynical cover for what are, in fact, purely U.S. strategic interests in its wider global competition with China? That’s certainly the message from Chinese media — but also a point of view either echoed, or simply acknowledged as matter of fact, by African voices.

“No matter how many fancy words the U.S. uses, the country still sees Africa as an arena to serve its strategic goal of competing with China,” Liu Xin writes for China’s state-run Global Times.

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