Africa

Kabila Shows His Hand in DR Congo’s Electoral Poker

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As election preparations in the Democratic Republic of Congo proceed, President Joseph Kabila has announced he will not run for re-election. He may hope this important move will relieve outside pressure for free and fair elections. International actors should keep up the scrutiny. Hans Hoebeke ICG On 8 August 2018, the filing deadline, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)’s ruling majority coalition announced that Emmanuel Ramazani Shadari would be its candidate in the presidential election slated for 23… The announcement ... Read More »

Fighting the vanilla thieves of Madagascar

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A barefoot farmer is making his way through a forest. Quiet drops of rain tumble steadily through the night, picked out in the light from his torch. Nancy Kacungira * BBC The rusty machete he holds isn’t for cutting down vines or chopping away stubborn branches – it is a defence against thieves. Lots of other men – farmers like him – are out in the rain, patrolling the forest. For the past three months, they have left their homes ... Read More »

Cameroon’s Far North: A New Chapter in the Fight Against Boko Haram

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The Cameroonian government should aim at encouraging more Cameroonian Boko Haram members to surrender. ICG Community service, public confessions, symbolic ceremonies and vocational training can help reintegrate those who do not pose a threat. The government should also prepare for the demobilisation of some vigilantes. What’s new? As fighting between government forces and the Boko Haram insurgents in Cameroon’s Far North diminishes, a lasting peace depends on how the government deals with former members of the… Why does it matter? A well-designed policy toward ... Read More »

The fallout from Turkey’s crisis will cause damage far beyond its borders

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Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s hubris has destablised a nation of pivotal regional importance Simon Tisdall The Guardian Hubris begets nemesis, as the ancient Greeks opined. It’s a life lesson Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s arrogant leader, appears unable to absorb as his country teeters over an abyss of his making. Erdoğan argued in June’s elections that an all-powerful executive presidency was the best way to govern – and he was the best man for the job. His wish was granted. Now Turkey ... Read More »

Can military-style tactics help save the African rhino?

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These magnificent beasts are facing annihilation from ruthless poachers, but environmentalists hope that military-style operations to move the animals across borders may help save the species. Todd Pitock The Age As the sun drifts down on the rolling hills in the heartland of South Africa, Manie Van Niekerk sits with his fingers clasped in his lap. At 52, he wears his hair cropped, which along with a solid physique gives the impression of a man who cannot be easily shaken. ... Read More »

ITLOS ruling: Ghana, Ivory Coast successfully plots all coordinates; boundary dispute settled

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The boundary dispute between Ghana and Ivory Coast has been amicably settled after both parties reached a consensus on the plotting of the coordinates in Accra today. GhanaWeb The Coordinates provided by the International Tribunal for Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in its judgement of the boundary dispute brought before it by Ivory Coast, was to assist both parties draw the line that separates the countries. Head of Ghana’s delegation at the meeting and Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo explained ... Read More »

Kenya or Somalia: Who owns the sea?

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(MENAFN – SomTribune) – For years, Kenya and Somalia have argued over where their maritime boundary in the Indian Ocean runs. The International Court of Justice in The Hague could now decide who owns the sea, a decision that will only suit one. A narrow triangle off the coast of Africa, in the Indian Ocean, about 100,000 square kilometers (62,000 square miles), is the bone of contention between neighboring Kenya and Somalia. Both countries want the area because it supposedly ... Read More »

After the Showdown in Libya’s Oil Crescent

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A renewed struggle this summer over Libya’s main oil export zone cut sales in half, squeezing hard currency supplies amid outcry about mismanagement of hydrocarbon revenues. ICG To build trust, Libyan and international actors should review public spending and move toward unifying divided financial institutions. What’s new? Fighting in June in Libya’s “oil crescent”, a coastal area home to most of its oil export terminals, led to a brief military takeover of oil installations and, subsequently, an attempt to deepen ... Read More »

Namibia’s long fight for justice

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Over a century later, descendants of the Herero and Nama peoples, victims of Germany’s forgotten genocide, are demanding reparations – and an apology. Gouri Sharma reports New Internationalist ‘Justice now,’ they shouted. ‘Give us an apology’, they said, ‘genocide is genocide,’ they declared. It was a sunny Sunday afternoon in the German port city of Hamburg. Activists, students and journalists from Germany and the African continent had gathered outside St. Michael’s church, the city’s largest, to begin their protest march ... Read More »

Restoring Public Confidence in Tunisia’s Political System

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Whether Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed will remain in his post or resign has been at the heart of a political crisis for several weeks. Should major political parties and trade unions fail to find a compromise, putting in place a technocratic government could help shore… ICG What’s new? Tunisia is going through a governmental crisis sparked chiefly by a dispute between political forces about whether the prime minister, Youssef Chahed, should resign and by a struggle for control of ... Read More »

Why the media are to blame for racialising Melbourne’s ‘African gang’ problem

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Just before Channel 7 aired a Sunday Night special devoted to Melbourne’s “African gangs” problem earlier this month, the race discrimination commissioner, Tim Soutphommasane, went on Twitter to criticise a promotion spot as “fear-mongering and… John Budarick The Conversation The same could be said of a string of stories in the Australian media in recent months on violent incidents committed by “African gangs” or people of “African appearance”. The death of a 19-year-old Sudanese woman at a party in Melbourne ... Read More »

Trump seeks to revive ‘Arab NATO’ to confront Iran

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The Trump administration is quietly pushing ahead with a bid to create a new security and political alliance with six Gulf Arab states, Egypt and Jordan, in part to counter Iran’s expansion in the… WASHINGTON – Reuters Hurriyet The White House wants to see deeper cooperation between the countries on missile defense, military training, counter-terrorism and other issues such as strengthening regional economic and… The plan to forge what officials in the White House and Middle East have called an “Arab NATO” of ... Read More »

Somalia’s president pays rare visit to Eritrea

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ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Somalia’s president paid a rare visit to Eritrea on Saturday in a sign that Asmara is trying to use the opportunity created by a rapprochement with Ethiopia to improve its regional ties. By Aaron Maasho Yahoo Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki’s decision to invite President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo marks a new chapter for the countries after years of sour relations. Discussions will focus on “regional issues of interest to both countries,” Eritrea’s information ministry said. Previous Somali ... Read More »

Tensions Rise Ahead of Zimbabwe’s Elections

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On 30 July Zimbabwe will hold elections. For the first time since independence Robert Mugabe is not a candidate. Piers Pigou ICG His successor presents himself as a reformer – but many doubt the polls will be clean. The opposition warns that Zimbabweans will not tolerate another stolen election. What’s so important about the credibility of these polls? On 30 July 2018 Zimbabweans will go to the polls to elect a president, parliamentarians and local councillors. The elections are an ... Read More »

Turkey is ready ‘to fight’ in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea

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Ankara “counterattacks” on the occasion of the preparation of exploratory drillings by Exxon Mobil, Qatar Petroleum, Total and ENI, within the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus, for the… Nefeli Tzanetakou ibna According to a report in the Turkish newspaper Yeni Şafak, “Turkey’s maritime jurisdiction issues are back on the agenda as the fight for energy supplies in the Eastern Mediterranean continues.” The quantities in the meantime hosted in the Eastern Mediterranean zone, according to a survey cited by the ... Read More »

Tunisian economy continues to struggle

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TUNIS — More than any time in the country’s past, Tunisia must now engage in reforms to ease the financial and economic strains affecting its trade and balance of payments, according to the governor of the Central Bank of Tunisia, Marouane el-Abassi. Mohamed Ali Litfi Al-Monitor The International Monetary Fund (IMF) this month approved the fourth tranche of its $2.8 billion loan to Tunisia, which was arranged in 2016. The $250 million payment brings IMF’s total loans to Tunisia so far to approximately $1.14 billion. Speaking at a ... Read More »