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

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh's hold on power may be crumbling faster than his better-known counterpart over in Libya, and the pressure is starting to show.

A R A B I C A ارابيكا

By Kristen Gillespie


YEMEN VIA TWITTER

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh's hold on power may be crumbling faster than his better-known counterpart over in Libya, and the pressure is starting to show. Tens of thousands of protesters are hitting the streets around a country where citizens possess an estimated 23 million guns. Yemen may be fractured and tribal, but more and more people seem to agree that Saleh should step down immediately. Even his own powerful tribe appears to be deserting him. On Tuesday, Saleh claimed that the unrest in Yemen and across the Arab world is being masterminded from a room in Tel Aviv that is controlled by the White House,

*The conspiracy theory was met by @samihtoukan with a hearty: "hahahahahaha."

*@Dima_Khatib added: "Ali Abdullah Saleh is the last person to accuse Washington. Is he not the one who opened Yemen's doors for the Americans to bomb it?"

*"I was not annoyed when Ali Abdullah Saleh said that what is happening in Yemen was planned in a room in Tel Aviv, but was annoyed by the people who clapped," tweeted @almuraisy – a reference to the reaction in the room to his speech.

*Saleh's statement sounds suspiciously like Muammar Gaddafi's assertion on February 14th, just days before protests blew up in Benghazi, that one man was sitting in his house in Nice, France sending out messages to orchestrate the protests.

BLOGGED

*Harvard-trained businessman and blogger Jawad Abbassi observes that most Jordanians have moved beyond what was once the country's major social divide between those of Bedouin origin and Palestinian origin. Today, it is a "polarization that only appears when the discussion turns to reform, transparency and accountability."

GOING VIRAL

*The making of a revolution: "The people want the regime to fall" – the cry heard around the Arab world comes to Lebanon. This news report shows young people setting up the first demonstration tent in the middle of Saida. A soldier tries to get the organizers to leave, but one shouts back and says "the Lebanese are hungry" and goes back to setting up the tent. "We are all responsible for this open demonstration to bring down a corrupt regime," the same young man tells the interviewer. He expressed concern that the military would come back and try to close down the demonstration, but said they intend to stay. "We are trying to bring down a sectarian regime," another young man said. They said they are tired of war and sectarianism. "We are all Lebanese," someone else added.

DATA COLLECTION

*Egypt's youth-driven April 6 movement is beginning to collect the names of everyone who was arrested in connection with the January 25th revolution. The site asks for information about each detainee, including the reason for the arrest.

A TWEET FOR THE ROAD

*"Egyptians sparked the revolution and won their rights, including the right to demonstrate and protest so as not to use these rights and put them on a shelf," one Tweeter says, reminding citizens that work remains to be done.

March 1, 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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