The African Union Becomes a Dictator’s Best Friend – Annual summit decides to live with, not solve, the continent’s conflicts

“African Solutions to African Problems” has been a rallying cry for both African governments and citizens — for good reason. Western nations and international powers, disillusioned by the lack of progress managing conflict on the continent, make ill-informed decisions which affect millions of people.

But a more perverse meaning of this vision has begun to take shape — courtesy of the African Union and the current crop of geriatric would-be presidents-for-life running the show. The new cry is for keeping these leaders, many of them corrupt and authoritarian, in power for as long as possible...

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As Bodies Pile Up on the Streets, Burundi’s Regime Breaks Out Genocidal Rhetoric

The crisis in Burundi is continuing to intensify six months after president Pierre Nkurunziza announced he would stand for a third term, which opponents claim is unconstitutional. With hundreds killed in violence perpetrated by government and opposition forces, the latest escalation is a rhetorical one.

“Go tell them [those who have weapons]: If something happens to them, they shouldn’t say ‘if only we had known’ … The day when we give people the authorization to ‘work,’ it will finish and you will see what will happen,” Révérien Ndikuriyo, the Senate president and a staunch Nkurunziza ally, told a crowd on Oct. 29. ...

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How to Ignite a Civil War

Bloody protests have rocked Burundi’s capital Bujumbura and several other cities for more than a week after the country’s president, Pierre Nkurunziza, launched a controversial bid for a third term.

At least nine people have died and dozens of protesters and security personnel have been wounded. Whether or not Nkurunziza’s campaign is legal depends on who you ask.

What’s not in doubt is that his campaign for a third term risks chaos, the loss of lives and even the resurgence of Burundi’s devastating civil war.

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German company buys into Burundian rare earths

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Only days before his announcement to run for an unconstitutional third term led to violent demonstrations and an enduring political crisis, Burundian President Pierre Nkrununziza sold the rights to the Gakra rare earth deposit to a Guernsey-based shell company that will resell the minerals to ThyssenKrupp:

.The signature of the decree follows an offtake agreement signed on 14 April by another company of the same group, Rainbow Rare Earths Limited, withThyssenKrupp Metallurgical Products GmbH, part of the German ThyssenKrupp group. According to the deal, the German firm will purchase 5,000 tonnes per annum (“tpa”) of Rare Earth concentrate or downstream products resulting from this concentrate. Besides, Rainbow appointed ThyssenKrupp Metallurgical Products as its exclusive agent for sale worldwide. Production should begin during the last quarter of 2015, says Rainbow’s Managing Director, Martin Eales.

We'll see how ThyssenKrupp will position itself, should the political crisis in Burundi continue.

Source: German firm to sell Burundi’s rare earths | Kongo-Echo

Rich Links: Oil and Uranium across Africa

Quite a long list of noteworthy reading material this time around:

Falling gold prices lead to job cuts

Mining company AngloGold Ashanti Limited will lay off 400 miners in Ghana, reacting to falling prices for gold on the world market. Gold has fallen by $500 over the last months, coming down from a historic heigh point. The lay-offs in Ghana are the first signs of wider repercussions for gold miners around Africa. Mining Review

Oil - a blessing or a curse?

A series of articles from different media look at the benefits and drawbacks of petroleum exploitation for African societies. AllAfrica/This is Africa | AllAfrica/NewVision | AllAfrica/Deutsche Welle

Uncertain times for Somalia's oil and gas business

Recent finds bring hope for new revenues for Somalia's embattled government, but the recent attacks on a Kenyan shopping centre also put the remaining challenges for foreign investment under the spotlight. AllAfrica/Sabahi | Africa Confidential (subscription required)

Uranium mining around Africa

There is a rising interest in uranium mining across Africa. Recent articles look at projects in Tanzania and Botswana. Mining Review | African Mining Brief | AllAfrica/Tanzania Daily News

Petroleum exploitation in central Africa

The Jeune Afrique takes a look at the fortunes of the petroleum industry in central Africa. Jeune Afrique

East African states take stake in Ugandan refinery

The planned refinery project in Uganda, which will be provided with oil from the country's nascent oil fields, has been given another boost with neighbouring states Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi agreeing to take a 40 per cent stake in the project together with the host country. The remaining 60 per cent will be financed by private companies involved in the exploitation of oil reserves. Engineering News | Africa Energy Intelligence

Benefication laws in Zambia lead to growing backlog for copper stocks

After the Zambian government has enacted laws forcing copper mining companies to process a larger part of their production in the country itself, those companies complain over limited smelting capacities. Stockpiles have been growing, according to the industry and threaten to block operations at the mines. Some observers allege that the bottleneck has been created intentionally by investors, to force the government to loosen the new regulations. Mining Review

Oil theft in Nigeria

A look at the origins and consequences of oil theft in Nigeria. Baobab | the guardian