The EU reached a deal with Mali earlier this month for the return of asylum seekers from Europe and to tackle the local ‘root causes of immigration’. However, the deal will only work if internal security in Mali is supported. And there, the story is less than encouraging.
The year 2009 will start the way 2008 ended; with the Zimbabwe question unresolved. Foreign military intervention is unlikely to take place, and in the present situation a neighbouring country will find it difficult to justify invading Zimbabwe. If the MDC wish to give force to their ultimatum, they should not allow themselves to be steamrollered into joining a Government of National Unity.
Congo is the third largest country in Africa and possesses vast mineral wealth, but its immense economic potential has never been realised. If Africa is gradually shaking off its image as ‘the hopeless continent’, today the Congo would still epitomise the ‘hopeless country’.
Although religious tensions between Christians and Muslims are a major factor in the recent violence in the Nigerian town of Jos, the disturbances there are also symptomatic of wider systemic problems in Nigeria.