Heavy Fighting in South Kordofan. Not Looking Good For Rebels

Fighters backed by the Sudanese government forces have made big tactical gains against rebels in South Kordofan, along the border with South Sudan. “Now in control of Angartu, Sudanese forces are just 20 kilometers east of Kauda. This is the closest government forces have come to the town, which serves as the de facto capital of rebel-controlled South Kordofan. The capture of Kauda is frequently used by Sudanese president Omar Bashir as symbol of victory in the conflict with the SPLA-N. The government victory has moved SPLM-North civil administration as well as thousands of civilians within range of Sudanese government guns…Civilians have taken shelter inside rebel held territory but it is unclear how long it will remain a safe-haven. Civilian bombardment continues at an unprecedented pace, and with government forces massed on both sides of the Nuba Mountains, residents are preparing for the fierce battles to come.” (Nuba Reports http://bit.ly/1y5Xdcp)

#RememberBaga...Survivors of an assault by Islamic militants that killed hundreds of civilians in Nigeria have described days of relentless violence in which, one witness said, some people were slaughtered “like insects.” (AP http://yhoo.it/1AQHsGA)

DAWNSer of the Day…Francesco Mancini “I work, write, and teach on international relations, mediation, conflict analysis and resolution. Living in Singapore. You can read my latest articles at http://bit.ly/1tK1evz  and follow my work @ManciniFr” Find him on LinkedIn!

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A Nigerian archbishop called Monday for the same international support to tackle Boko Haram as France has received since it was hit by Islamist attacks last week. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1xgFJmM)

Burundi’s government boycotted Monday the launch of the UN observer mission for elections in May and June, as concern mounts of the risk of violence in the key polls. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1AQIy5a)

Police fired tear gas on Monday at demonstrators trying to protest against a parliamentary debate on a proposed census in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s which, if approved, could delay next year’s elections. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1BTQnpG)

China will not follow the path of “Western colonists” in Africa, its foreign minister said during a five-nation tour of the continent, parrying criticism that his country’s hunger for resources has led to one-sided policies and damaging projects. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1BTP7mD)

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh apologized to former colonial master Britain on Sunday for saying its nationals were involved in a failed coup attempt last month. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1BTQKRk)

Uganda’s government says it wants the rebel commander who recently surrendered to be tried in the country for war crimes and crimes against humanity. (AP http://yhoo.it/14pvtl0)

Developing and bringing to market effective Ebola vaccines requires extreme measures and unprecedented international cooperation, global health experts said on Monday. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1BbdIU0)

Hundreds of Tanzanian schoolgirls returned home Monday after spending three months hiding in safe houses to escape genital mutilation, state television said. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1AQHDSp)

China has been quietly toughening travel restrictions on students and businessmen traveling from Ebola-hit West Africa even as it increases support to fight the deadly disease on the ground in the region, diplomats say. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/14pwmtO)

UNICEF has expressed concern about what it called “escalating violence against children in northern Nigeria.” (VOA http://bit.ly/1C84hD6)

A British nurse who contracted Ebola while working as a volunteer in Sierra Leone is “no longer critically ill”, the London hospital treating her said Monday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1Bbf9l9)

Despite such a success in the health sector, not all aid projects fulfill the hopes originally placed in them. In 2013 alone, $1.4 billion of development aid went to Tanzania, which is the second-largest recipient of development aid in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite this, half the population still lives in poverty and frustration is growing. (DW http://bit.ly/1BU0Ph8)


The UN Security Council condemned on Sunday a suicide bombing in Lebanon in the “strongest terms” after an attack on a cafe in the northern city of Tripoli killed nine and wounded 37. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1AQHfTS)

Human Rights Watch called on Kuwait on Monday to drop charges against former lawmaker Saleh al-Mulla, facing trial for tweets deemed critical of the emir and the Egyptian president. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1xgFpEu)

The head of Libya’s recognised government has pleaded for more help from the international community, warning that the country could become a dangerous haven for jihadists on Europe’s doorstep. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1AQHYo6)

Information gathered from migrants rescued at sea “confirms that social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are widely used to share information on how to enter the EU illegally,” says the analysis compiled by security experts for EU policy makers. (AP http://yhoo.it/14pwABb)


The home and former offices of Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai, an outspoken critic of Beijing who also played a prominent role in large pro-democracy protests last month, were firebombed early on Monday, a spokesman said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/14pvN3k)

Pakistani children returned on Monday to the school where Taliban gunmen killed 150 of their classmates and teachers last month, clutching their parents’ hands tightly in a poignant symbol of perseverance despite the horrors they had endured. (AP http://yhoo.it/1BTQtxK)

Vietnam plans to open bonded warehouses in Angola, Cameroon and Mozambique as part of measures to boost rice exports to African countries to meet an expected higher demand in 2015, according to the Industry and Trade Ministry, the Thanh Nien newspaper reported. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1Bbe3WL)

Taiwan’s surprise hoisting of its flag in Washington this month may have been calculated to prove its strength to a restless public at home. Taiwan lacks formal relations with the United States, which recognizes China instead. Analysts say Taiwan wants to show it still has tight relations with Washington, a partner many voters on the island prefer over Beijing. (VOA http://bit.ly/1C84rue)

The Americas

Haiti’s president forged a last-minute accord with leaders of four opposition parties after days of closed-door negotiations, possibly creating a viable path to ending a political standoff stalling long-delayed elections. (AP http://yhoo.it/1AQIq5Z)

Cuba has released all 53 prisoners it had promised to free, senior U.S. officials said, a major step toward détente with Washington. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1AQInHh)

Haiti marked the fifth anniversary of a devastating earthquake with an early-morning church service and a gathering of dignitaries at a mass grave. (AP http://yhoo.it/1BTQguq)

US hacked, again…The Twitter and YouTube accounts of the Pentagon’s command for its forces in the Middle East have been hacked, according to defense officials Monday” (USA Today http://usat.ly/1w9ZZpY)

Southeastern Brazil is expected to get about half the normal amount of rainfall for this time of year by Jan. 27, the Reuters Weather dashboard showed on Monday, renewing concerns over the area’s crops and reservoirs. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1AQI7rz)


Global Dispatches Podcast: Fletcher School Dean and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Admiral James Stavridis is Mark’s guest. He discusses why we need a “Geneva Conventions” for cyber war and discusses his unique journey to become one of America’s most respected scholar/warriors. http://bit.ly/1IEmkCH

Five years after the earthquake, Haiti remains on unsteady ground (GlobalPost http://bit.ly/1sq3woN)

I am Charlie, but I am Baga too: On Nigeria’s forgotten massacre (Daily Maverick http://bit.ly/1xUoxbz)

Why did the world ignore Boko Haram’s Baga attacks? (Guardian http://bit.ly/1C7Zvpb)

On the IMF and Ebol (An Africanist Perspective http://bit.ly/1xgZFFV)

Are Europe and Africa Ready to Tackle the Post-2015 Era? (ECDPM http://bit.ly/1BU0iLY)

Should Ugandan LRA Commander Be Prosecuted or Forgiven? (WAZA http://bit.ly/1BbntkQ)

Taxation in Africa (An Africanist Perspective http://bit.ly/1AR55ih)

Chasing Misery (book review) (Aidnography http://bit.ly/1xgZESA)

Multiple surrenders of commanders cast a big blow on Raia Mutomboki (Eyes Wide Open http://bit.ly/1AR5yBd)

Ebola Survivors Share Stories, Health Tips, on New App (Newsweek http://bit.ly/1xh00sn)