Foreign Policy Blogs

Sub-Saharan Africa

Mandela’s Health, and South Africa’s

Mandela’s Health, and South Africa’s

[Mail & Guardian] Nelson Mandela is once again in the hospital and as has been the case so often in the past, his lungs are the source of his health problems. Mandela is obviously such a symbolically resonant figure in the country’s history that it is nearly unimaginable that he has slowed down to the […]

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What’s Next for the Central African Republic?

What’s Next for the Central African Republic?

On Wednesday March 20, Seleka rebels in the Central African Republic (CAR) called off a truce negotiated at the beginning of 2013 and began an invasion of several towns on their way to the capital of Bangui. The rebels claimed that President François Bozizé failed to live up to the original agreement by expelling nearly 2,000 […]

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Agang: Contender or Pretender?

Agang: Contender or Pretender?

So Mamphela Ramphele has re-entered South African politics in a big way. Ramphele, an anti-apartheid stalwart, Black Consciousness Leader, Medical Doctor, and academic leader recently announced the formation of a new political party, Agang, which she casts in the role of saving her country. Coming from a Sotho word meaning “Build,” Agang represents a frontal […]

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Trend of Trophy Hunting Ban is Promising for African Wildlife

Trend of Trophy Hunting Ban is Promising for African Wildlife

Botswana has maintained a long and extensive history of hunting, as trophy hunters have flocked from all over the world at a chance to shoot some of the world’s most exotic animals. However, recent shifts in the benefits of the industry have prompted drastic changes for potential hunters and hunting organizations. Towards the end of […]

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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 what they were […]

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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 part of a region that is home […]

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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 across different borders. Depending on one’s purview, […]

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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 up to the sky in sharp […]

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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 times in the last 15 years with […]

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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 is familiar with […]

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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 to even if such individuals […]

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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 biggest blow since they mutinied […]

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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 commands to the organization. The two top […]

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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 began in April, has already displaced over 250,000 residents in […]

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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 group has abducted […]

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