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The views expressed here are my personal views and not those of American University of Nigeria.  You are welcome to leave a comment or share.

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Rethinking Narratives of Bin Laden's Death

Posted by Jacob Jacob on May 14, 2011 at 7:02 AM Comments comments (1)

It is interesting listening to students’ views about the death of Osama bin Laden. It is amazing the number of people that believe there is something sinister about the commando raid on the Abbottabad lair of the Al Qaeda kingpin. I do not blame them. I place the whole blame on the doorsteps of President Obama’s Communication handlers. The problem, I believe is not with the raid itself but with the narratives of the raid.

 

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Is the West Losing the Information War in Libya

Posted by Jacob Jacob on March 28, 2011 at 11:55 AM Comments comments (0)

I recently presented a paper on the new outsourcing of UN strategic communications at a forum organised by Political Communications Research Group at the ICS, University of Leeds. Somehow, discussions shifted from Somalia and the DRC where my lecture was largely drawn to the ongoing international intervention in Libya. One of my guests Professor Gary Rawnsley made a very interesting comment. He spoke about the need for the allies to deploy a strong Information component in Libya. He sa...

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Tweet-Mapping the Libyan Crises

Posted by Jacob Jacob on March 12, 2011 at 12:20 PM Comments comments (0)

This is a dynamic mapping of the crises in Libya compiled from tweets from trusted accounts on Twitter. Due to the difficulty faced by international journalists in their coverage of the Libyan crises, regular tweets from trusted sources on ground are invaluable. The open source protests in North Africa has been markedly leveraged by the open source r...

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Libya on My Mind

Posted by Jacob Jacob on March 11, 2011 at 12:23 PM Comments comments (0)

While the EU, the UN and the US are wondering what to do with Libya, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi is digging in. He's taken back the key town of Zawiyah and pushing relentlessly to take back the oil town Ras Lanuf. The EU in its meeting on Friday in Brussels seemed to be unable to reach a common position on the imposition of no-fly zone in Libya. If Gaddafi is determined to use violence against Libyans, there is nothing much a no-fly zone can do to stop him. A no-fly zone as a stand-al...

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Philip M. Taylor: Musings of the Mind

Posted by Jacob Jacob on December 7, 2010 at 12:44 PM Comments comments (0)

 

Phil, the finest, the best

 

I first read ‘Munitions of the Mind’ in 1997. I was in the final year of my undergrad in Nigeria. The book was in the Special section of the library and could not be borrowed. So I had to keep a date with it every morning 7.30am to 8.30am before attending the day’s lecture. It was like attending an interesting talk every morning. Every new chapter was intriguing. I was fascinated not just with the contents b...

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Who will Save Somali Media from Islamists?

Posted by Jacob Jacob on October 6, 2010 at 12:47 PM Comments comments (0)

 

The situation in Somalia is becoming more troubling. Al-Qaeda linked Islamist groups Al-Shabaab and Hizbul Islam have intensified their operations against independent Somali media institutions. They recently seized two radio stations and will now use them to broadcast their ...

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Rape as an Instrument of Total War in Congo

Posted by Jacob Jacob on September 10, 2010 at 12:56 PM Comments comments (0)

 

Rape is not uncommon in times of war. During the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia for instance, tens of thousands of women were raped in an organised and systematic manner. In the Rwandan genocide of 1994 several thousands of women were also raped. There are cases also in Sierra Leone, Cambodia, Vietnam, Biafra and in several other conflicts where rape was used for the purpose of humiliating, shaming, degrading and even terrifying the enemy society. Indeed rape in warf...

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Another Rwandan Genocide?

Posted by Jacob Jacob on August 29, 2010 at 1:03 PM Comments comments (0)

 

When I conducted field studies in South Kivu, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo at different periods between 2008 and early 2010, I met and discussed with several Rwandan Hutus. They repeatedly told me (across four towns in Uvira, Mwenga, Fizi and Walungu) that a genocide has been and was still being committed against Hutus by the Rwandan army and the Tutsi-led CNDP, generally believed to be backed by the Rwandan Government. A number of Congolese autochthons in those towns...

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Aid Aint Free: Britain's New Securitization of Aid

Posted by Jacob Jacob on August 29, 2010 at 12:59 PM Comments comments (0)

 

Talking about leaked documents, I came across this interesting article in today's Guardian Newspaper. A leaked document from the Department for International Development (DfID) lays out plans by the British Government to create a more intimate link between aid and security. The opposition Labour party has protested against what it sees as a new securitization of aid. Basically, the National Security Council will now control how parts of the Oversees Development Assistance budg...

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The Killing of Indian Peacekeepers

Posted by Jacob Jacob on August 18, 2010 at 1:13 PM Comments comments (0)

 

It was another sad day for the UN last Wednesday when three Peacekeepers were killed in North Kivu, eastern DRC. Seven others were seriously wounded in a pre-dawn attack by militias suspected to be members of the Mai Mai armed group in Kirumba. The attack took place in one of MONUSCO's Company Operating Bases (COB) - the 19 Kumaon Regiment in Kirumba. The base which has about 130 peacekeepers was attacked by about 60 militias with matchetes, spears and locally built guns....

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