July 31, 2010

Water World, Power Sharing Agreements, and Other News

Gentle readers, I appreciate your patience as The Azanian Sea has been a bit quiet due to my academic obligations. Studying Arabic is a full and a half time job, so I've been taking a break from blogging to categorize majzoom and munaasib verbs and other grammatical delights.

It's been a busy summer for world headlines in East Africa and the Indian Ocean. A tragic airline crash and a horrific bombing of a prominent Sufi shrine in Lahore meant Pakistan was again in the headlines for negative reasons. The US continued its controversial drone-initiated missile attacks against the Pakistani Taliban in Waziristan. Elsewhere in Sudan, the government released Hassan al-Turabi a month and half after his arrest.

In Zanzibar, the ruling party CCM (Chama Cha Mapinduzi) and its opposition CUF (the Civic United Front) head into a vote today expecting a change in Zanzibar's election laws to allow opposition parties to form coalition governments. It is hoped that the change will reduce the tension between the two parties, which had become acrimonious and at times violent following elections in 2001 and 2005.

The ongoing water wars between Egypt and the nine other countries that share the Nile River continued with the Egyptians being accused of hiding behind the 1929 colonial-era Nile Water Agreement, which states that Egypt gets 90 percent of the river's water. The disagreements promise to continue, as Egypt is loathe to budge from its claims over the Nile's water, as a large portion of its agricultural economy is dependent on that water. Past attempts to negotiate water rights have largely been conducted between Sudan and Egypt but Ethiopians have been increasingly vocal in voicing their opposition to the current water situation.


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