Foreign Policy Blogs

Sub-Saharan Africa

Zimbabwe’s Election Year

Zimbabwe’s Election Year

[Image From SW Radio Africa] Zimbabwe no longer occupies a great deal of space in international media coverage. Even in South African media the neighbor north of the Limpopo has returned to secondary status, on the backburner but not on the boil. And it is true that things in Zimbabwe are not ...

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Racial Inequality in South Africa at the Heart of Workers Strikes

Racial Inequality in South Africa at the Heart of Workers Strikes

On January 9, 2013, violent clashes between farm workers and police broke out in De Doorns town, South Africa, resulting in the use of rubber bullets and approximately 50 arrests. De Doorns is a major grape producing area nestled about two hours northeast of Cape Town. It is ...

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Connecting Dots in the Triangle of Threat

Connecting Dots in the Triangle of Threat

  Just as the temperature of the “security threat” slowly declines in Somalia, it rises in other parts of East Africa. Elements of mainly political, religious, and clan/ethnic nature continue to shift and create new volatile conditions. Though not entirely interdependent, these conditions could create a ripple effect ...

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Name changes, killing continues

Name changes, killing continues

It was Zaire then. As I sat along the shore of Lake Tanganyika in Bujumbura, Burundi,   I marveled at the moment. Baby hippos splashed playfully in the water as their adults looked carefully from across the way. The sun set with purples and yellows and pinks, in rays shooting ...

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Peace in the DRC Not Feasible until Tensions between Tutsis and Hutus are Resolved

Peace in the DRC Not Feasible until Tensions between Tutsis and Hutus are Resolved

As peace talks commenced almost a week ago in Kampala, Uganda, the prospects of a lasting agreement between the rebel group M23 and the central government in Kinshasa seemed more of a ‘pipe dream’ then an actuality. The Democratic Republic of Congo has been down this road a multitude of ...

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Lumumba (2000)

Lumumba (2000)

While the subject matter is fascinating, this film falls short in at least a couple of ways. First, the music doesn’t seem to sync up with the action, being loud and dramatic during quiet scenes and being almost silent during the high drama that takes place. It also presupposes that the viewer ...

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The Corroding “Lead Camel” Effect

The Corroding “Lead Camel” Effect

  As in old caravans “Where the lead camel goes, so shall others.” Such goes the Somali proverb, notwithstanding its regional variations and dialectical flavors. The Lead Camel Effect (LCE) describes a syndrome or a common human tendency to blindly follow leaders, role-models, and all those whom authority is attributed ...

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New War in Eastern DRC: A Snapshot at U.N. Ineffectiveness in Settling Conflict

New War in Eastern DRC: A Snapshot at U.N. Ineffectiveness in Settling Conflict

On November 20th, the M23 rebels entered Goma, the capital of the North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) — positioned on the border of Rwanda and the shores of Lake Kivu. By seizing the city with a population of one million people, the rebels struck their ...

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Amid Accusations of Supporting Rebels in DRC, Uganda and Rwanda Rewarded?

Amid Accusations of Supporting Rebels in DRC, Uganda and Rwanda Rewarded?

In an expert report released last week regarding the ongoing conflict in the North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, neighboring countries Rwanda and Uganda were both fingered as supporting the M23 rebel group, including implications that top officials of the Rwandan government actually issue the ...

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U.N. Forces in the Congo Are Having Little Impact

U.N. Forces in the Congo Are Having Little Impact

As a new rebellion remains active in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, talk of a neutral force, comprised entirely of neighboring African nation troops from the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), is heating up. This rebellion, which ...

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Grace, Milly, Lucy…Child Soldiers (2010)

Grace, Milly, Lucy…Child Soldiers (2010)

This documentary is excellent. It documents the after effects of war on three young women who were abducted as children and forced to serve in the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). That rebel Ugandan force, led by Joseph Kony, is notorious for kidnapping and forcing those captured to fight. For more than 20 years his ...

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South African Miner’s Strike: When Will the Government Step In?

South African Miner’s Strike: When Will the Government Step In?

News over the weekend that platinum-producing giant Anglo American Platinum (Amplat) had fired 12,000 workers from its mining operations in Rustenberg, South Africa, just north of Johannesburg, added fueling to an already highly combustible situation. The workers are striking in hopes of obtaining higher wages and improved ...

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Is the World Doing Enough for the Congo?

Is the World Doing Enough for the Congo?

While the civil war in Syria continues to grab headlines, prompting some in the international community to call for immediate intervention, another major conflict, displacing thousands of civilians, rages in Central Africa. Despite the rising number of refugees and internally displaced persons, as well as the reports of ...

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What Do You Do About a Problem Like Malema?

What Do You Do About a Problem Like Malema?

  In the latest twist of the saga in current South African politics former ANC Youth League President Julius Malema has been charged with money laundering. Malema, once an ally of President Jacob Zuma now counts himself as Zuma’s chief foe. “We must make sure Jacob Zuma does not become president ...

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Ethiopia: New Prime Minister Creates Opportunity for Reform

Ethiopia: New Prime Minister Creates Opportunity for Reform

Hailemariam Desalegn was sworn in as Ethiopia’s new prime minister last week. He has some big shoes to fill. A cult of personality surrounds his predecessor, Meles Zenawi, who died last month.. Zenawi was a regional leader, fighting terrorism in Somalia and mediating the Sudan-South Sudan conflict. At home, ...

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