While I know that there are a lot of other crises in Africa, the one in Mauritania (North of Senegal and South of Morocco) is just different enough from the more ordinary (and no more or less horrible, I admit) to merit mention. It is an attempted coup against President Maya--here is the most current Reuters report on it--but seem to be wrapped up in how Maya, although a devout Muslim, became both an anti-Saddam guy and anti terrorist (post 9/11) and even pro-Israel; in other words, he is pro-Western. The latest chaos seems to be the result of his crackdown on extermist Islamic elements after we went into Iraq. Apparently the crackdown was not popular. Here is the CIA Factbook (written in January, 2003) on Muritania.