Foreign Policy Blogs

Sub-Saharan Africa

Zimpressions

Zimpressions

I think I have a new slogan for the Zimbabwe tourism board: Zim: It’s not as Horrible as You Think! But, yeah, some aspects of it seem to be pretty wretched. I should provide the standard caveats, of course. Zimbabwe, despite its politicians, is beautiful, its people are warm, its potential vast. And while my […]

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Early South Africa Observations

Early South Africa Observations

I arrived in South Africa yesterday after a week in London. Wouldn’t you know, I effectively skirted jetlag in the U.K., then after an overnight flight here on which I was unable to sleep, I arrived yesterday at a bit before seven in the morning. It took a while to skirt traffic and get to […]

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Al-Shabaab’s Bloody Attack in Mogadishu

Al-Shabaab’s Bloody Attack in Mogadishu

The gruesome attack on the U.N. compound in Mogadishu that killed 18 people has shocked the world. Once the “Breaking News” hit the social media, condemnations, condolences, and blame started pouring. This latest bloody attack couldn’t come at a worst time — when security in Mogadishu was rapidly improving, when the country (especially Mogadishu) was […]

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There’s trouble in River City, and it’s spelled D-A-M

There’s trouble in River City, and it’s spelled D-A-M

There is a village in Afghanistan by the name of Kobakai, a few winding hours from Kabul, where the lives of the residents changed because of one thing: water. With help from outside groups such as CARE, one morning the residents of Kobakai (ko-BAH-ki) woke to find that beginning that day they would not have […]

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In Mali, Now Comes the Hard Part

In Mali, Now Comes the Hard Part

Beginning in January, French and Malian forces took just over a month to rid Mali’s north of Islamic militants. The Tuareg-dominated MNLA however claims a remote, remaining area. With elections scheduled the end of July, most Malians are refusing to compromise Kidal, a city in the far north-east, is the hub of Kidal province, bordering […]

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Mandela and Mugabe: A Study in Contrasts

Mandela and Mugabe: A Study in Contrasts

[Robert Mugabe and Nelson Mandela] Nelson Mandela has been hospitalized for more than a week and South Africans are on edge. Robert Mugabe has controversially announced a quick July 31 date for elections in Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans are on edge. Of course South Africans are on edge because they fear losing their beloved Madiba, the […]

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Time for Mugabe to go

Time for Mugabe to go

  The violent, mismanaged and tyrannical rule of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe must end. As the opposition parties in the country unite to dig their heels in bracing to defend against another example of the blatant and rampant corruption that has engulfed Mugabe’s reign, which has lasted more than three decades since the country’s independence […]

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Why Obama’s visit is important for South Africa

Why Obama’s visit is important for South Africa

  As Barack Obama is about to embark on his historic tour of Africa, many South Africans are asking why it should matter to them. There are numerous reasons why a visit from the President of the United States is an historic occasion. First, the U.S. helps save South African lives. Since 2004, Washington has […]

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Zim Elections

Zim Elections

[Reuters. Robert Mugabe signs Zimbabwe’s new Constitution into law in Harare in May 2013.] In the wake of a court order mandating that Zimbabwe hold Presidential elections by the end of July, President Robert Mugabe has vowed to do just that. Many opposition figures hoped the court would allow for a delay, believing that the […]

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Africa Showing Zero Tolerance for Organized Terror

Africa Showing Zero Tolerance for Organized Terror

Nigeria increased its offensive last week against the insurgence group Boko Haram in an attempt to reclaim the northwest region where the rebel group has attempted to carve out an Islamic state for the last four years. The conflict has left more than 3,000 people dead and thousands living in a state of fear as […]

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Somalia and the Slippery Slope of ‘Jubbaland’

Somalia and the Slippery Slope of ‘Jubbaland’

  If the latest development in Somalia gives you the feeling of being trapped in the Twilight Zone — somewhere between relative security and renewed bloodshed — you are not alone. Due to the array of competing internal and external interest groups and the federal government’s lack of clear grand strategy or capacity to assert […]

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Repression in Zim?: An Election Must Be Nigh

Repression in Zim?: An Election Must Be Nigh

There is an old cliche about three similar events making a trend. Well, it appears we have a trend in Zimbabwe, where, not coincidentally, there is supposed to be an election this year. In recent weeks a young activist, Solomon Madzore, found himself in jail for likening President Robert Mugabe to a lame donkey. Not coincidentally […]

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Somalia Conference and Rivalry of Civilizations

Somalia Conference and Rivalry of Civilizations

A few days before the “Somalia Conference 2013” held in London on May 7, a foreign journalist friend of mine sent me an e-mail asking what my thoughts were regarding the upcoming conference hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron. I replied: “My heart’s belief in miracles outweighed my mind’s interest in the pursuit of objective […]

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U.N. offensive operation in DRC a long time coming

U.N. offensive operation in DRC a long time coming

  In March, the United Nations Security Council came to a uaminous and monumental decision by approving an intervention brigade through Resolution 2098, which permits the use of offensive tactics against the M23 rebels and other  militia groups operating in the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The U.N. continues to maintain its […]

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Somalia, Side-effect of an Overpriced ‘Panacea’

Somalia, Side-effect of an Overpriced ‘Panacea’

With its meager financial and human resources, the Federal Republic of Somalia (FRS) has been doing better than a satisfactory job. However, in recent months, it has been profoundly frustrated by various challenges. Chief among them is what I would refer to as the first side-effect of a $60 million “panacea” known as the provisional […]

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