A roundup of this week's news from Africa's Great Lakes region, from biofuels in Rwanda to threatened terrorist attacks against Burundi and Uganda by Somali Islamist militias.
US law enforcement has arrested several people suspected of helping Al Shabab, a Somalia terrorist group. Do those helping the group see Al Shabab's actions as terrorism, or as part of a nationalist struggle?
After 388 days as prisoners of Somali pirates, Paul and Rachel Chandler were released Nov. 14. They were among 1,052 hostages taken in 2009, in addition to the 773 hostages taken in the first nine months of 2010, according to a recent report by the International Maritime Bureau. Click through the following slides to read about the Chandlers' ordeal and other high-profile captures.
The new Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed was sworn in Sunday, taking on leadership in a country fraught with corruption and violence.
The 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index, released annually by Transparency International, shows northern Europe continues to be perceived as the world's least corrupt region, with six countries taking the top 10 spots. The island-state of Singapore climbed into first place this year with New Zealand and Denmark. The United States fell behind Chile and into 22nd place, marking the first time it failed to rank in the top 20. Russia ranked worst among global powers, falling from 146th place to 154th place, tied with Cambodia. Nearly three quarters of the 178 countries in the index were below five on a scale of 0 (high corruption) to 10 (low corruption). That means not just the following countries have a corruption problem.
According to Transparency International's annual Corruption Perceptions Index, Somalia is the world's most corrupt country, highlighting the convergence of conflict and corruption.
Somalia's prime minister nominee, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, is waiting on parliament to decide how to vote on his nomination. The delay could undermine him before he even takes office.
The US will soon begin direct engagement with would-be states in northern Somalia in hopes of stemming the influence and reach of Somalia's terrorist insurgency.
Two aid workers for British charity Save the Children were kidnapped Thursday night in Somalia, where kidnapping has become an industry and most aid groups have fled.
African refugees were receiving humanitarian supplies from the US Navy when their skiff capsized off the Somali coast. The number of refugees fleeing the Horn of Africa has skyrocketed in recent years.
After the militant group Al Shabab proclaimed a new war against 'invaders,' unidentified militants stormed a hotel in Mogadishu and killed at least 31 people in today's Somalia terror attack.
The Seychelles convicted 11 Somali pirates Monday and joined other small Indian Ocean countries in asking the European Union to fund a regional naval force to combat piracy. Is this emerging as an African solution?
Sunday's Uganda bombings show that the threat of Somalia's Al Shabab is very serious, so what should the US do about it? The status quo is not working, but if you think Afghanistan is a quagmire, you ain't seen nothing yet.