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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


CONFLICTING REPORTS #1

*A tweet from Ahmad Humeid on Libya: "God is great,thankfullyinBenghaziafterthe news ofthe voteon theno-fly zone."

*But Al Jazeera reports that Gaddafi's forces continued to bomb rebels after declaring the ceasefire.

*In Mitsurata, "witnesses said Gaddafi's troops are still bombing the city, killing 25 people," the network reported. Witnesses told Al Jazeera that snipers are on the rooftops, killing pedestrians who pass by.

CONFLICTING REPORTS #2

*Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh expressed regret over the massacre of at least 30 unarmed civilians protesting near Sanaa University on Friday, calling it "something unfortunate."

*Contradicting multiple accounts of witnesses and medical sources who told wire agencies that snipers and security forces fired into the crowds, the president blamed "confrontations between citizens and protestors after the protesters expanded into residential neighborhoods and disrupted life there." Saleh stressed that "the police did not fire any shots."

*Samih Toukan tweets, "Arabic television has not reported anything about the massacres in Yemen. God is great with the hypocrisy of the Arabs."

POPULAR REVOLT, STAGE 1

*Protests are continuing in Syria despite 32 people being charged on Thursday with the crime of "harming the image of the state." At a protest in the port city of Banias, the Facebook group "Syrian day of anger" posted the protesters demands which include: "allowing demonstrations, the release of political prisoners, the release of teenaged blogger Tel al-Molohi, freedom of speech and providing job opportunities for young people."

POPULAR REVOLT, STAGE 2

*Unlike most of Egypt's opposition, the Muslim Brotherhood support draft constitutional amendments that will be voted on in a referendum on Saturday. This poster reads, "Yes to the constitutional amendments. Share you opinion to build a future for Egypt – appointment on Saturday, March 19th."

*The official website containing all sorts of information about the referendum is estefta2.eg. The site has mapped out polling stations around the country. Click on a city, and the site directs users to a street map with an exact location and directions for how to get there.


March 18, 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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