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Page added on September 7, 2011

Upcoming African Challenges for Washington

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The Upcoming Election in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is just one of the myriad of Challenges that not only the Obama Administration will have to deal with but also its European and African Allies as well. The potential of having some serious danger occurring before the Congo Elections is very good actually.

In recent days the date for the Presidential Elections in Cameroon was announced. The date that was announced was on October 9th. So this means that the “Official” Campaign is going to last just a little more than a month. A recent assessment from a South African Group called “Consultancy Africa Intelligence” reached the following conclusions:

President Biya is going to be reelected as President of Cameroon. Although there are issues with his advancing age and a new radical group within the ruling party that could loosen the control that the President currently enjoys. Another factor that has a chance to determine the outcome is the Opposition itself.  It has been seen as interchangeable with the current regime that has been in power since 1984, there are several challengers for the Presidency but none are seen as coherent or credible sadly.

However if any one of the Opposition Parties took it upon themselves and set up general guidelines which they would actually adhere to then voter confidence may actually return and improve the chances of Paul Biya actually being defeated. One thing that has not been reported at large has to be the remarks made by French President Sarkozy. He told a French Newspaper that He was expecting a Ivory Coast Situation to occur in Cameroon. So the question begs to be asked what does French Intelligence know and what role are they playing?

For all intensive purposes the Qadaffi Regime is over with in Libya. This is the latest victory for the Arab Spring Movement.  Most Intelligence and Counterterrorism Analysis think that the next Country that could face an Arab Spring could be Algeria.  But an interesting location in the future could surprise many people.  That Country is Senegal.

This Country on the West African Coast is in a interesting location. It has seen neighboring states Guinea and Guinea-Bissau recently change Governments. It has also had its own internal insurgency in the Casamance region as well.  Other factors that could determine whether or not Senegal has its own Arab Spring include the lack of electricity in the major cities, increased poverty, high unemployment and a growing concern that the current Government will do whatever it takes to remain entrenched in power.

This is a remarkable change within a Country that at one time was considered a darling to receive copious amounts of Foreign Aid. However Senegal appears to be like African States like Gabon with the running of the Country becoming the Family Business. President Wade is grooming his son to become Vice-President and in all likelihood to become President of Senegal at a Future Date. (Does this formula sound familiar?)

Any potential instability in Senegal will have a negative impact in Gambia and in the Guineas. Tensions are simmering in these states due to efforts at reform in the Guineas and in the Gambia due to the actions taken by President Jammeh to prevent any form of dissent from taking place in his country.

Both Cameroon and Senegal have had good relations with the United States.  So what will happen when the Elections take place in Cameroon? What will the reaction be if/when internal strife begins anew in Senegal?  The easy answer is that now we simply do not know. There will be contingency plans drafted for sure and the State Department and White House will monitor these situations as well as the Pentagon.

The Author Publishes Confused Eagle on the Internet. Confused Eagle can be found at  

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