It is that time of the year again. New York becomes the dream spot for virtually every Foreign Policy Junkie around the World. Every World Leader except for a few venture to the United Nations for the Annual Session of the General Assembly. This year a question on Facebook actually pondered which Leader would give the most off-the-wall speech this year.
During the days prior to the session there were reports of a push to allow for Palestine to take its rightful place as a member of the World Body. President Obama remarks about this issue need no further explanation save to show how vocal this debate is around the World. But there are several African Issues that will need to be discussed on the sidelines.
One of the first areas of discussion has to be the Post-Qadaffi Libya. Since the Forces of the Provisional Government have been successful in driving the Qadaffi Forces from Tripoli there are several questions that need to be answered. First is the status and whereabouts of the Colonel? Members of his family have shown up in both Algeria and Niger but He has yet to be seen. Secondly is what about the Mercenaries that he recruited from West Africa? There has been blowback against the African Population in Libya already. So the status of these men returning to their Native Lands will need to be ascertained.
Niger has already asked for Western (US and France notably) help in securing its borders. It is widely assumed that AQIM (Al-Qaida in the Maghreb) is active in the region conducting kidnapping and other acts in the region as well targeting Mali and Algeria. There have been discussions about a potential link with Boko Haram as well in Nigeria. These factors and a fragile stability currently in place in Ivory Coast could lead to new problems in the region.
The Situation in Sudan remains tense despite reports that the South Sudanese have set up Border Points in conjunction with the Khartoum Government. Despite these links tensions remain high as fighting continues along several border regions. Reports that the US is preparing to modify the Sanctions against Sudan to allow for US Oil Companies to conduct Exploration in South Sudan could jump start the Southern Economy as well. It is a safe bet that this isn’t the last that we hear of Sudan.
Another key area of concern is the Great Lakes Region. Elections are scheduled to take place this November in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Process is slow and has been rife with tension after the riots in Kinshasa earlier this month. If the elections occur as scheduled and the results are released with such a speed that is common in Zimbabwe or what has occurred in the last few hours in Zambia then there will be problems.
Any problem in the Congo may be seen as a failure by the Obama Administration and here is the reason why. In 2007 then Senator Obama drafted a Law that sought to Protect the Civilians of the Congo and Promote Democracy. This Law Public Law 109-456 has not been implemented either by President Bush or the current incumbent. This is good reason to show how this President is very political in the decisions that he makes.
And these issues are just the tip of the iceberg. Who knows what other crises will emerge during the next twelve months….
By Scott A Morgan
The Author Comments on US Policy Towards Africa and Publishes Confused Eagle. Confused Eagle can be found at confusedeagle.livejournal.com