Time for Concerted Action in DR Congo

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President Kabila’s delaying tactics are holding hostage DR Congo’s political transition, while internal strife and government repression are weakening the opposition. ICG Western and African actors need to coordinate their approach to the deepening crisis, support the advancement of democratic elections and encourage the opening of political space. What’s the issue? President Joseph Kabila’s apparent determination to remain in power threatens to prolong the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) political stalemate. Having subverted the… Time for Concerted… Read More »

Gambling addiction is on the rise in Kenya and leaving young people bankrupt and suicidal

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After losing 48,000 shillings ($465) on bad bets in just a few hours, Jackson Kimani was thinking of committing suicide. Abdi Latif Dahir Quartz The 26-year-old is a salaried employee who works at a mobile money agency in Nairobi. Kimani took money from his shop to put a stake in a number of football games but consecutively lost his bets. It was Saturday afternoon, and Kimani says he was fortunate his manager didn’t come in to check on the balance. ... Read More »

Egypt jails 14 for homosexuality

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An Egyptian court on Nov. 26 sentenced 14 men convicted of being homosexuals to three years in jail each for “abnormal” sexual relations, a defence lawyer said. Cairo – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Ishaq Wadie said the men were released on bail of 5,000 Egyptian pounds ($283, 230 euros) each until an appeals trial. The trial of three other suspects was delayed over procedural reasons, the lawyer said. Homosexuality is not expressly outlawed in Egypt, but gays have previously been charged ... Read More »

‘Horrified’ Rwanda offers to host African migrants facing slavery in Libya

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In an unusual gesture that could partly reverse a more familiar northward odyssey toward Europe, Rwanda offered on Thursday to house or help repatriate some of the thousands of African migrants being held in Libya and reportedly auctioned there as… Alan Cowell New York Times The Sydney Morning Herald  A statement from the country’s Foreign Ministry said Rwanda was “horrified” that “African men, women and children who were on the road to exile have been held and turned into… “Given ... Read More »

With Robert Mugabe gone, Zimbabwe has another chance to achieve greatness

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Zimbabwe faces a monumental task to rebuild after Robert Mugabe’s 37-year reign, which saw the country’s once-thriving economy completely collapse. Bruce Mutsvairo Brisbane Times Mugabe’s resignation on Tuesday, which followed a November 15 military intervention to stop internal strife engulfing his Zanu-PF party, makes the task of reconstruction an urgent one. Some have already dismissed Zimbabwe’s business-minded new leader Emmerson “The Crocodile” Mnangagwa, who is due to be inaugurated as president any day now, but he should be given a ... Read More »

Uganda’s Slow Slide into Crisis

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Growing discontent threatens the dysfunctional and corrupt political system built by President Museveni, who is now manoeuvering to extend his three decades in power by raising a 75-year age limit on presidential candidates. ICG As security, governance and economic performance deteriorates, Uganda needs urgent reforms to avoid greater instability. What’s the issue?  Popular discontent is growing over President Museveni’s apparent desire to remain in power while governance, economic performance and security deteriorate. Why does it matter?  Uganda is not in danger of ... Read More »

Zimbabwe’s Very Peculiar Coup

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Zimbabwe’s military has detained the country’s 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe and his wife, Grace Mugabe, and taken control of the streets of the capital and the main television station. The next step – apparently, a legitimate-looking transfer of power to someone of the army’s choosing – may prove less easy. Piers Pigou ICG The Zimbabwe Defense Forces have taken control of the country. What exactly happened? The crisis burst into the open on 6 November when President Mugabe fired Vice ... Read More »

Standoff in Zimbabwe as Struggle to Succeed Mugabe Deepens

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President Robert Mugabe plunged Zimbabwe into political crisis by firing his long-time ally and enforcer Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa on 6 November 2017. In this Q&A prior to an apparent army coup in Mnangagwa’s favour on 14-15 November, Crisis Group’s Senior Southern Africa Consultant Piers Pigou gives the background to the struggle to succeed the 93-year-old… Piers Pigou This Q&A on the background to Zimbabwe’s political crisis of November 2017 was published just before an apparent army coup on the ... Read More »

Turkey’s Africa Presence

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In Somalia this past September, Turkey opened its first military base on the African continent. Over the past ten years, Turkey has expanded its presence in Africa, establishing 36 embassies and major trade links. VoA Turkey has a long history with North African countries, says David Shinn, a professor at George Washington University’s Elliot School of International Affairs. In 2016, Turkey had more than $10 billion in trade with Egypt, Algeria and Morocco. Now Turkey is expanding into African countries ... Read More »

Serbian and Albanian PMs speak at panel in Morocco

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Prime Minister Ana Brnabic participated on Friday at the first plenary session of the World Policy Conference (WPC) in Marrakesh, Morocco. Brnabic, along with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, who also participated in the panel, spoke with Thierry de Montbrial, the founder and chairman of the World Policy Conference, about the challenges that the Western Balkans and Southeast Europe are facing, as well as their common future in the EU, the Serbian government announced on its…The prime ministers of ... Read More »

An Election Delay Can Help Avert Kenya’s Crisis

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The rerun of Kenya’s presidential elections scheduled on 26 October risks escalating a political crisis, as the main opposition leader has withdrawn and the risk of violence is high. ICG The election commission should seek from the Supreme Court a 30-45 day delay to the vote. Kenya’s political leaders should support such an extension and commit to participate. What’s happening?  On 26 October, Kenya is scheduled to hold repeat presidential elections following the Supreme Court’s annulment of the previous vote ... Read More »

Managing the Disruptive Aftermath of Somalia’s Worst Terror Attack

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The 14 October 2017 twin bombings in Mogadishu mark the deadliest attack in Somalia since 2007 ICG As Somalis unite in their disgust at the most likely perpetrator Al-Shabaab, President Farmajo must immediately provide care for victims and use surging support for the government to redouble efforts aimed at overcoming the divisions in Somalia’s society that make Al-Shabaab such a… What happened? On 14 October 2017, twin truck bombings in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, killed upwards of 300 people. Al-Shabaab, an Islamist insurgency, was ... Read More »

Angola Has an Opportunity to Lead

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A change in leadership often signals a natural time for transformation and, of course, challenges. The first peaceful transition of power in Angola took place in August, with the election of João Lourenço as the new president, replacing long-serving José Eduardo dos Santos, who led the country for thirty-eight years. Eugen Iladi  The National Interest International observers called the election process fair, with the ruling MPLA party taking 61 percent of the votes. In mid-September, the Constitutional Court of Angola ... Read More »

Theresa May should give Netanyahu a piece of her mind – Thatcher would have

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A hundred years after the Balfour declaration that established a pathway to a Jewish state, the prime minister should acknowledge its role in Palestinian suffering Donald Macintyre  The Guardian He has not yet confirmed that he is coming. But having warmly described Theresa May’s invitation to visit Britain to commemorate the centenary of the Balfour declaration as “speaking volumes” about the UK-Israel relationship, the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is unlikely to pass up the opportunity. The anniversary of Arthur Balfour’s letter ... Read More »

The Social Roots of Jihadist Violence in Burkina Faso’s North

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Jihadist violence in the West African Sahel has now spread to the north of Burkina Faso The response of Ouagadougou and its partners must go beyond the obvious religious and security dimensions of the crisis, and any solution must take into account deep-rooted social and local factors. Executive Summary Long spared by the Sahel’s armed groups, Burkina Faso now faces increasingly frequent and lethal attacks in its north. Although this insecurity in large part is an extension of the Malian ... Read More »

Hamas, Fatah sign deal on Palestinian reconciliation

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Rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah signed an agreement yesterday on ending a decade-long split following talks mediated by Egypt in Cairo, with president Mahmud Abbas calling it a “final” accord. Hurriyet Under the agreement, the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority is to resume full control of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip by Dec. 1, according to a statement from Egypt’s intelligence agency, which oversaw the talks. Abbas welcomed the deal in comments to Agence France-Presse and said he considered it a ... Read More »