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UN Peacekeeping Again Under Fire

UN Peacekeeping Again Under Fire

If reports coming out of South Sudan are true the United Nations may be facing its biggest embarrassment since its missteps in the Democratic of Congo. The New York Times reports that UN Peacekeepers stood by idly while Nuer tribesman massacred fleeing Murles. Unconfirmed reports ...

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CPJ and Amnesty Blast Zenawi and Ethiopian Government Over Sentencing of Swedish Journalists

CPJ  and Amnesty Blast Zenawi and Ethiopian Government Over Sentencing of Swedish Journalists

Ethiopia and Eritrea raely have things in common but this week they now rank 1 and 2 as Africa’s worst jailers of journalists. In a move that many observers have called politically motivated an Ethiopian Court has handed down an 11-year sentence to two free-lance Swedish journalists, Johann Personn (left, ...

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Liberia: On Balance, Not A Bad Year

Liberia: On Balance, Not A Bad Year

2011 in Liberia was all about the elections and although they could not be deemed a complete success because of the opposition’s successful, but ultimately fruitless boycott– 2011 was still a very good year for Liberian democracy. The year was also very good to Liberia’s President Sirleaf, Africa’s ...

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Deadly Clash on Day Before Liberian Election

Deadly Clash on Day Before Liberian Election

Al Jazeera is reporting that three people have been killed in in an exchange of gun fire with riot police in Monrovia. There are also reports of injuries to several UN peacekeepers, part of the 8000 strong UNMIL mission which has been in the country since ...

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Is the Nobel Committee Playing Politics?

Is the Nobel Committee Playing Politics?

Today’s announcement that President Sirleaf of Liberia has won the Nobel Peace certainly must have come as great news to the head of the Unity Party’s reelection committee in Monrovia. What a gift to have your candidate win the Nobel Prize just days before a hotly contested ...

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Cuts in U.S. Foreign Aid Will Be a Disaster for Africa

Cuts in U.S. Foreign Aid Will Be a Disaster for Africa

Today’s New York Times reports that serious cuts in U.S. overseas assistance are being contemplated by Congress. Using our own economic woes as an excuse, many lawmakers deem it necessary to make cuts in programs they feel are not justified when so many remedies are required ...

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Nzaramba Case Exposes Museveni

Nzaramba Case Exposes Museveni

I first heard about Vincent Naramba in a piece by Jackee Budesta Batanda, a Ugandan human rights journalist who is currently a Neuffer Fellow at M.I.T. Mr. Naramba, a grass-roots political activist from the slums of Kampala, was inspired by the works of Gene Sharp, ...

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Amnesty International Slams Liberia’s Prison System

Amnesty International Slams Liberia’s Prison System

Overcrowded, unhealthy, unmanaged and inhumane: that is how Amnesty International has characterized Liberia’s prison system in a damning report issued last week entitled “Good Intentions are Not Enough.” The report documents situations in several government run facilities where there is no sanitation, prisoners are forced to sleep ...

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Where are the Progressive African Voices?

Where are the Progressive African Voices?

One of the many indignities that African countries suffer is that their circumstances are often debated in the absence of voices from the continent. Part of the problem is lack of networks between African universities and policy institutions with partners in the North and also an absence ...

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And the Winner of Liberia’s 1st Qualified Men’s Marathon is…

And the Winner of Liberia’s 1st Qualified Men’s Marathon is…

An Ethiopian by the name of Mehari Gebre. But no matter, young Liberian Lucy Massaquoi,16, took the gold in the women’s event and a fun time was had by all. The event, which was held on August 28th, was the brain-child of BHP Billiton, the Australian mining ...

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Boko Haram: A Darker Shade of Nigerian Unrest

Boko Haram: A Darker Shade of Nigerian Unrest

Yesterday’s bombing of the UN compound in Abuja, Nigeria by the radical-Islamist sect Boko Haram is finally setting off alarm bells throughout the Nigerian Government and the global anti-terrorism establishment. And well it should. Boko Haram– the nickname for the group which is largely composed of disaffected, ...

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Liberia’s Hanging Chad

Liberia’s Hanging Chad

In my inaugural post for the FPA blog I would like discuss recent events in the country where I have most recently been: Liberia. On Tuesday the 23rd Liberians went to the polls for a referendum vote on three issues. One of them was whether Supreme Court ...

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About the Author

Michael Keating
Michael Keating

I am the Director of Operations at the Center for Peace, Development and Democracy at the University of Massachusetts Boston. I also lecture in the graduate program in International Relations. I have spent much of the past decade looking, learning and hopefully contributing in West Africa, most deeply in Liberia. My interests are in the areas of economic development, political leadership, media and higher education. In a former life I was a Partner with the Boston Consulting Group and an executive with Bertelsmann. I can be reached at [email protected]

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