The Sahel / Sahara as a board game, and other links
If North Africa and the Sahel were a board game, it would look something like this. Oil wells give you 1 resource card each turn, 3 for that uranium up in Niger - if you can hold it.
From Staying for Tea, a humerous look at social media, IT and other harsh realities affecting development workers. (And the sequal, in which Cracked.com wins for the most influential blog post on development aid.)
Senegal’s elections: the new president gets a big majority in the legislature. Election day was pretty quiet here in Dakar, and most people I talked to seemed more apathetic than anything else. Students will be happy at the result, though.
Another Syrian general defects, apparently “because of anger at civilian deaths.” I suspect there’s some self-interest involved as well, with Assad’s isolation growing. But if these defections are motivated, at least in part, by Assad’s atrocities, it does give one some hope for that country.
Gotta add Mali to the list today: interim president is still recovering in Paris from after being assualted by demonstrators in his own office, and now a cholera outbreak is reported in Gao (French link). I hate to not balance this with something positive, but it’s hard to see a way out of this chaos anytime soon.
Happy belated birthday, USA!