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November 23 2014

From The Official Blog of Amb. David H. Shinn Sun Nov 23 2014, 08:50:00

BBC Radio 5 Live "Up All Night" program asked me to comment 22 November 2014 on the al-Shabaab attack on Kenyan civilians traveling on a bus between Mandera and Nairobi.  You can listen to the five minute commentary here.  It begins about seven minutes into the program which aired on 23/11/2014 London time. 

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November 21 2014

From The Official Blog of Amb. David H. Shinn Fri Nov 21 2014, 17:33:00

The Washington-based Woodrow Wilson Center published on 17 November 2014 a commentary titled "Military Integration after Civil Wars: Any Lessons for Somalia?" by Paul Williams, George Washington University.

Williams draws on information from a new book edited by Roy Licklider titled New Armies from Old: Merging Competing Military Forces after Civil Wars.  The book provides eleven case studies: Sudan, Zimbabwe, Lebanon, Rwanda, Philippines, South Africa, DRC, Mozambique, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sierra Leone, and Burundi.  Based on the research in the Licklider book, Williams asks if it has lessons for the situation in Somalia. 

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From The Official Blog of Amb. David H. Shinn Fri Nov 21 2014, 13:11:00

Pambazuka News published on 18 November 2014 an analysis titled "Situating Transitional Justice in the Context of South Sudan" by Wani Mathias Jumi, secretary general of the South Sudan Law Society.  He argues that the root cause of current problems in South Sudan is failed leadership. 

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From The Official Blog of Amb. David H. Shinn Fri Nov 21 2014, 11:44:00

Pambazuka News published on 18 November 2014 an analysis titled "Somalia: Let's Just Forget the Past?" by Marco Zoppi, a PhD fellow at Roskilde University in Denmark.  He calls for a bottom-up reconciliation process in Somalia based on the indigenous social contract or at least the integration of some of its tenets.  These include measures for dispute settlement.

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November 20 2014

From The Official Blog of Amb. David H. Shinn Thu Nov 20 2014, 20:14:00

The Washington-based Institute for Defense Analysis published on 20 November 2014 a brief analysis titled "Nile Waters Dispute Tips toward a Peaceful Solution" by George Ward, editor of Africa Watch.

Ward concludes that Egypt's negotiating stance and public posture on the Nile waters question has moderated since the inauguration of Egyptian President al-Sisi.  Negotiations are no longer about whether there will be an Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile, but about the size, environmental and hydrological impact, and fill rate of the structure that will be completed.  

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From The Official Blog of Amb. David H. Shinn Thu Nov 20 2014, 19:44:00

The Enough Project published on 20 November 2014 a report titled "Life under Siege: South Kordofan Needs Assessment."  The study was conducted in August 2014 by anonymous researchers with access to rebel-held parts of Sudan's South Kordofan state.

Sudan Armed Forces and the Sudan People's Liberation Army-North (SPLA-N) have been in armed conflict in Sudan's South Kordofan state for more than three years.  The assessment provides a picture of the humanitarian needs in South Kordofan. 

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November 19 2014

From The Official Blog of Amb. David H. Shinn Wed Nov 19 2014, 21:34:00

The Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington held on 18 November 2014 a panel discussion dealing with the political crisis and humanitarian disaster in South Sudan.  Panel members included: Sudan Page, former US ambassador to South Sudan and now senior adviser in the Office of the US Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Jeremy Konyndyck, director of USAID's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, Melanie Teff, International Rescue Committee, and Casie Copeland, International Crisis Group.  You can view the one hour and 42 minute video of the panel discussion.

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From The Official Blog of Amb. David H. Shinn Wed Nov 19 2014, 21:06:00

The Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies published in November 2014 a study titled "Thinking beyond Roadmaps in Somalia: Expanding Policy Options for State Building" by Dominik Balthasar, researcher, policy analyst, and international development consultant.

Balthasar concludes that Somaliland's experience provides useful insights for Somalia's state-building endeavor.  He suggests international policymakers and their local partners in Somalia might benefit from taking a close look at Somaliland's state building, which followed an unconventional path compared with approaches in Somalia.  Balthasar encourages Somalis and their international partners to think more flexibly and creatively about the way ahead. 

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From The Official Blog of Amb. David H. Shinn Wed Nov 19 2014, 15:35:00

There has been considerable speculation recently in China-Africa circles that China is considering creating a new, independent aid agency along the lines of USAID or the German GTZ.  Today, most Chinese development aid is administered by China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM).

Sinologist Marina Rudyak translated MOFCOM's draft "Measures for the Administration of Foreign Aid," which states that MOFCOM is the designated body to implement foreign aid on behalf of the Chinese government.  Rudyak recently wrote that it does not look like there will be a new aid agency in the near future.  Instead, MOFCOM and its Department of Foreign Aid will likely get more staff and budget to handle China's aid program, more than half of which now goes to Africa. 

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From The Official Blog of Amb. David H. Shinn Wed Nov 19 2014, 15:18:00

Foreign Affairs published on 18 November 2014 a brief report titled "Black Market: How the Charcoal Trade Fuels Al-Shabab" by Tom Keatinge, an associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute.  The article underscores the degree to which the charcoal trade finances the operations of al-Shabaab in Somalia.

Access to the entire article requires a subscription to Foreign Affairs.

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