Africa

Ethiopia: Abiy Ahmed brings new hope, but faces some familiar, old problems

Many countries in Africa have suffered because of the gerontocratic nature of their politics, an issue I have often lamented. Stephen Chan The Conversation Some “elders”, such as Robert Mugabe, lost touch with modern statecraft and the changing conditions of life – and have been toppled. Others, such as Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari, are loathe to let go of power, and not only grow old but sick, too. Others still, like Gabon’s longstanding Bongo dynasty, are determined to be fixtures who ... Read More »

Need for International Unity as DR Congo Awaits Electoral Results

The Democratic Republic of Congo awaits the official results of 30 December 2018 elections, amid hints that unofficial numbers show an opposition presidential candidate winning. ICG Conflicting tallies could spark violence. Outside powers should stand together in urging calm and careful verification of the electoral outcome. The Independent Electoral Commission in the Democratic Republic of Congo will likely declare results of the 30 December elections this week. Already there are worrying signs of divisions among international actors, after a… Need ... Read More »

Competitive elections are good for democracy – just not every democracy

The 2018 U.S. midterm elections were fierce, expensive and full of upsets, with political newcomers ousting long-tenured incumbents and Democrats unseating Republicans to retake the House of Representatives. Authors: The Conversation That makes them an exemplary democratic exercise from a political science standpoint: American voters booted the congressional representatives who they believed did not fight for their interests. That’s exactly what elections are meant to do: Hold politicians accountable. But it doesn’t work that way everywhere. In younger democracies, our ... Read More »

How to negotiate infrastructure deals with China: four things African governments need to get right

“You don’t negotiate with China !” I was quickly told when I started interviewing African public servants about their infrastructure deals with Beijing. Folashade Soule The Conversation There is a widespread view in Africa that you accept whatever terms are offered, for fear that the money might go somewhere else instead. China is the leading infrastructure finance provider on the continent – as demonstrated by a recent pledge of US$60 billion (£47 billion), most of which is for infrastructure projects. Big projects on the slate include hydropower plants ... Read More »

Congo to EU: Mind your own business

An election that’s been delayed for two years is about to be held, and the country has booted out the EU ambassador. Giulia Paravicini Politico KINSHASA — The message from the Democratic Republic of Congo to the EU was loud and not-at-all subtle. The African nation’s decision to expel the EU ambassador, Bart Ouvry, days before a long-delayed election, was done in public, humiliating fashion. On Thursday evening, Congo’s foreign affairs minister gathered the diplomatic community for a meeting in the capital, Kinshasa. ... Read More »

DR Congo Elections: Reversing a Dangerous Decision

After postponing long-awaited elections, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s electoral commission has announced a second delay in voting in some conflict-affected areas – until after a new president takes office. ICG This decision disenfranchises 1.25 million Congolese and risks major unrest. The commission should rescind it.  The latest twist in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s tortuous electoral saga may well be its most worrying and dangerous yet. On 26 December, the Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) announced that parts of North ... Read More »

10 Conflicts to Watch in 2019

As U.S. leadership of the international order fades, more countries are seeking to bolster their influence by meddling in foreign conflicts. In this new era of limit testing, Crisis Group’s President Robert Malley lists the Ten Conflicts to Watch in 2019. In a world with fewer rules, the only truly effective one is knowing what you can get away with. The answer today, it turns out, is: quite a lot. As the era of uncontested U.S. primacy fades, the international ... Read More »

UN report sheds light on ‘unimaginable horrors’ faced by migrants and refugees in Libya, and beyond

Migrants and refugees are being subjected to “unimaginable horrors” from the moment they enter Libya, throughout their stay in the country and – if they make it that far – during their attempts to cross the Mediterranean, according to a report released on Thursday, by the United Nations political mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the UN human rights office (OHCHR). UN News “There is a local and international failure to handle this hidden human calamity that continues to take place ... Read More »

Somalia’s South West State: A New President Installed, a Crisis Inflamed

Against all sensible advice, the Federal Government of Somalia muscled in on a local election to shove aside an Islamist conservative candidate. Rashid Abdi ICG It scored a tactical victory but created significant additional risk for the country already wracked by conflict and divided along regional and clan lines. On 19 December, local lawmakers in Somalia’s restive South West state elected Abdiasis Mohammed “Laftagareen” president in a controversial poll that is certain to sow new instability. Laftagareen, former MP and ... Read More »

One more death on third day of protests in Sudan

At least one protester was killed in the northern Sudanese city of Atbara on Dec. 21, the security chief said, as people took to the streets across the country for a third day against price rises and… KHARTOUM – Reuters Hurriyet Police fired teargas at groups who gathered in Atbara and the capital Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman after noon prayers, witnesses said, and residents reported hearing gunfire in surrounding areas and… Web users reported problems accessing the internet, and ... Read More »

Nigeria’s 2019 Elections: Six States to Watch

Nigerian elections are high-stakes affairs often marred by street clashes and worse. ICG As the 2019 contests approach, the risk of disturbances is particularly high in six states. The government and its foreign partners can limit campaign-related violence by enhancing security and promoting dialogue among rivals. What’s new?  As presidential, gubernatorial and legislative elections draw near in Nigeria, the risk of violence is widespread, particularly in six states where stakes are high or other conflicts fester. Why does it matter? ... Read More »

Why do the media demonise African Australians?

Calling out the media for its biased reporting of crimes committed by African Australians is not about defending criminals or failing to sympathise with victims. Nyadol Nyuon The Age No African Australian I know supports criminal activity, thinks it is OK or wishes to excuse it in any way. What we are trying to do, however, is to highlight that the media consistently reports crimes committed by black people vastly differently from the way it reports crimes committed by white ... Read More »

Sisi aspires for greater African integration

The “Africa 2018” forum held in Sharm al-Sheikh comes amid aspirations to achieve greater regional integration and to facilitate intraregional trade as well as increase investments between African… Al-Masry Al- Youm Egypt Independent He explained that this would be achieved through the implementation of joint and cross-border projects, especially in infrastructure, energy and information technology in light of the launch of the… In his speech at the opening session of the forum, Sisi said that Egypt aspires to achieve these ... Read More »

‘Dark day’: migrant rescue ship Aquarius ends operations

Médecins Sans Frontières says ‘smear campaign’ by European governments hampered work in Mediterranean Reuters The Guardian Search and rescue ship Aquarius, which has saved tens of thousands of migrants from drowning in the Mediterranean, has ended its operations, said Médecins Sans Frontières, the charity that runs the ship. MSF and its partner SOS Mediterranee said they were forced to terminate its operations due to a “smear campaign” by European governments. The ship has been blocked at the French port of ... Read More »

Chad: Defusing Tensions in the Sahel

Growing discontent among young people in Chad’s Sahel regions risk driving them into the arms of rebels in neighbouring countries. ICG Authorities should end the impunity of individuals guilty of a range of abuses and distinguish between economic migrants and potential rebels. What’s new?  Anger at the state is rising among youth in Chad’s Sahel regions of Bahr el-Ghazal and Kanem. Impunity for abuses committed against locals and the authorities’ treatment of all young people leaving for Libya – many ... Read More »

Chad: Defusing Tensions in the Sahel

Growing discontent among young people in Chad’s Sahel regions risk driving them into the arms of rebels in neighbouring countries. ICG Authorities should end the impunity of individuals guilty of a range of abuses and distinguish between economic migrants and potential rebels. What’s new?  Anger at the state is rising among youth in Chad’s Sahel regions of Bahr el-Ghazal and Kanem. Impunity for abuses committed against locals and the authorities’ treatment of all young people leaving for… Why does it ... Read More »