Foreign Policy Blogs

Southern 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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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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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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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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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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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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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 working conditions from the world’s largest platinum producer. This comes shortly […]

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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 of the ANC…. Remove […]

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Of Marikana, Malema and Mangaung: South Africa’s Faultlines

Of Marikana, Malema and Mangaung: South Africa’s Faultlines

[Protesting mineworkers at Marikana mine in South Africa, September 5, 2012. Photograph by Mike Hutchings/REUTERS.] The Marikana Massacre, which pitted police against striking miners, labor against capital, and in the minds of many the state against the people, serves as a brutal and grim reminder of just how divided post-Apartheid South Africa is. The Mandela […]

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South Africa Invokes Apartheid Law against the Striking Marikana Miners

South Africa Invokes Apartheid Law against the Striking Marikana Miners

What a bizarre turn of events! The Marikana miners’ case took yet another twist as media reports that all charges against the 270 South African miners arrested for murder following their clash with the South African police two weeks ago were dropped this week. Initially, after having 34 of their colleagues killed and many more […]

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