Thu, Oct 03, 2013 - Page 9 News List

African nations bracing for aftermath of Nairobi mall massacre

While gruesome details of the torture of Nairobi hostages by their Somalian Islamist capturers emerge, so does news of fresh lawlessness and conflicts across the Sahel

By Michael Meyer

Diplomats view these developments with alarm. Over the past year, Darfur has spun out of government control. As Darfur goes, many analysts say, so goes Sudan.

Conditions across the wider Sahel are similarly worrisome. Mali may be stable for now, but, with the separatist Tuareg rebels in country’s north having just suspended their participation in peace talks, many experts believe that it is only a matter of time before the conflict there reignites and spreads. Drug barons and local warlords control increasingly large swaths of territory from Guinea on the Atlantic coast through Senegal to Mali, Niger and beyond. Libya is already partitioned among rival warlords, with a “national” government that operates only at the indulgence of the armed groups that support it.

Against this background, the stakes in Kenya’s fight against terrorism in and emanating from Somalia are high. It is not a struggle that Kenya should wage alone.

Michael Meyer, former communications director for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the UN mission in Darfur, is dean of the Graduate School of Media and Communications at Aga Khan University in Nairobi, Kenya.

Copyright: Project Syndicate

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