Foreign Policy Blogs

Africa

The Tinderbox of South Sudan

The Tinderbox of South Sudan

South Sudan, the world’s youngest state, faces a serious prospect of ethnic civil war. When it gained independence from Sudan in July 2011, after decades of war between north and south, the world’s attention was focused on the disputed territory of Abyei. A declining oil-producing region Inhabited by southern farmers …

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U.S. Stability Operations Shouldn’t Short-change Africa

U.S. Stability Operations Shouldn’t Short-change Africa

Al-Qaeda’s incursion into Iraq’s Fallujah area last weekend illustrates the conflict as primarily a stability operations battle – a test over who can legitimately and ably govern – and not a weakness of the U.S. withdrawal or shortfall of Iraqi forces.
Predictably dozens of

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2014 African Election Preview

2014 African Election Preview

Millions of citizens of African countries will go to the polls in Presidential, parliamentary/legislative, state/provincial, and local elections in 2014. We will surely cover many of those here at the FPA. Here is an early preview of which elections are happening where (as of January 8) with brief commentary on …

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South Sudan in Crisis

South Sudan in Crisis

[European Union]
South Sudan earned its independence just over two years ago. Yesterday, really. By the standards of international policy most countries had not even begun to think about South Sudan as anything other than a regional roadblock, never mind as its own entity. Hell, I don’t even have a coherent …

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Where the ‘Ikhwan’ goes, so shall Egypt

Where the ‘Ikhwan’ goes, so shall Egypt


There are many—both in the East and the West—who have been confidently betting on the overt plan to marginalize, and, in due course, eradicate the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan) as a sociopolitical movement. In light of the on-going vicious Ikhwanophobia and emboldened …

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Will It Work This Time?

Will It Work This Time?

This is something rare. Knowledge of a rapidly deteriorating situation in Africa and a somewhat timely, actual action by those in the world with the power to intervene.
The situation is in the Central African Republic. And that intervening is the first step to stabilizing the slaughter and – hopefully – …

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Remembering Mandela and his Foreign Policy

Remembering Mandela and his Foreign Policy

When I heard the news that Nelson Mandela, our beloved Madiba, was gone, I had flashbacks to the first time I laid eyes on my South African wife. I didn’t know much about South Africa at the time, and for some reason or another I kept calling her “Mandela” over …

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Madiba: Hamba Kahle

Madiba: Hamba Kahle

It happened when I was watching ESPN. I discovered that Madiba had passed.
It was like a punch to the gut, even though I knew it was coming. He had been ill since I was in South Africa in June, July, and August, and yet it came from nowhere.
And so now …

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African youth perceptions of the U.S.

African youth perceptions of the U.S.

 
Being an American professor living in Africa and teaching international relations, I have been involved in numerous debates about my country and its foreign policy. Obviously you get your mix, some pro-U.S. and some not.
To try and make better sense of the situation, I decided to embark on a little …

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Delivery and South African Politics

Delivery and South African Politics

Recent protests in Cape Town (and an article about those protests in the Mail and Guardian) provide a useful reminder that much of the discontent among South Africans, even those who otherwise would proclaim their fealty to the African National …

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Even if Kony turns himself in, he still emerges as the victor

Even if Kony turns himself in, he still emerges as the victor

In 1986, after years of terror under the reign of Idi Amin and a resistance that yielded two successful military coups, Yoweri Museveni emerged as the unchallenged leader of Uganda, as his National Resistance Army seized Kampala and installed Museveni as president. …

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AFRICOM and US-African Relations

AFRICOM and US-African Relations

What is the United States interest in Africa? What do African leaders and the people they are supposed to serve want from American engagement in their continent and in their countries? If we have a Venn diagram where the answers to these two questions exist as circles, where is the …

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Where’s a leader when you need one? In Morocco.

Where’s a leader when you need one? In Morocco.


Check out this very insightful piece from Ahmed Charai on Huffington Post, “A Regal Response to an Undue Provocation.”
Ahmed makes …

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With M23 on the run, DRC has golden opportunity for peace

With M23 on the run, DRC has golden opportunity for peace

Mouvement du 23-Mars (M23) rebels fled their stronghold in Bunaguna, a small town in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on the border with Uganda, the rebel movement’s political leader, Bertrand Bisimwa, called for a ceasefire to …

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China, Africa, and South African Regional Influence

China, Africa, and South African Regional Influence

This past week South Africa’s Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe attended the fifth South Africa-China bi-national commission (BNC) in Beijing. There is nothing particularly shocking about this. China has worked hard in the last decade or more to establish relationships with African countries. And while …

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Senior Blogger

Derek Catsam
Derek Catsam

Derek Catsam is an associate professor of history at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. Derek writes about race and politics in the United States and Africa, sports, and terrorism. He is currently working on books on bus boycotts in the United States and South Africa in the 1940s and 1950s, the Freedom Rides, and South African resistance politics in the 1980s. He has lived, worked, and travelled extensively throughout southern Africa. He is also a lifelong sports fan, with the Boston Red Sox as his first true love. He was one of about three dozen people to write books about the 2004 World Champion Red Sox, and the result is Bleeding Red: A Red Sox Fan's Diary of the 2004 Season. He writes about politics, sports, travel, pop culture, and just about anything else that comes to mind.

Areas of Focus:
Africa; Zimbabwe; South Africa; Apartheid

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