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Tunisia: Confronting Social and Economic Challenges

"Eighteen months after initiating the Arab spring, Tunisia still can boast of an ongoing, successful transition. The former regime, which came to symbolise corruption and social injustice, is gone and democratic gains are palpable. Yet, formidable...

Tunisia: Combatting Impunity, Restoring Security

"Since January 2011, not only has the former leader, President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, fallen from power, but an entire system has been overwhelmed, if not overhauled, relatively peacefully and with the support of a fairly broad consensus. The co...

Popular Protest in North Africa and the Middle East (V): Making Sense of Libya

"The character of the Libyan crisis today arises from the complex but so far evidently indecisive impact of the UN-authorised military intervention, now formally led by NATO, in what had already become a civil war. NATO’s intervention saved the a...

Guinea: Military Rule Must End

"The killing of at least 160 participants in a peaceful demonstration, the rape of many women protestors, and the arrest of political leaders by security forces in Conakry on 28 September 2009 showed starkly the dangers that continued military rul...

Sudan: Preventing Implosion

"Sudan is sliding towards violent breakup. The main mechanisms to end conflicts between the central government and the peripheries – the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the Darfur Peace Agreement and the East Sudan Peace Agreement – all suffe...

Guinea in Transition

For too long, public figures within and outside Africa have been timid about discussing Guinea’s deep-rooted problems. Its strong anti-imperialist stance in the 1960s and beyond earned it respect among pan-Africanists, but the hands-off attitude t...

Liberia's Elections: Necessary But Not Sufficient

Everything indicates that Liberia's October 2005 presidential and legislative elections are likely to be transparent and fair. Many hope this will permit an exit strategy to be implemented that could see international actors leaving the country as...

Nigeria’s Elections: Avoiding a Political Crisis

Nigeria’s democracy faces a crucial test. Presidential, parliamentary and state gubernatorial and assembly elections scheduled for 14 and 21 April 2007 are not a routine quadrennial ritual. Success would offer the country the first opportunity to ...

Somaliland: Time for African Union Leadership

On 18 May 2006, the self-declared Republic of Somaliland marked fifteen years since it proclaimed independence from Somalia. Although its sovereignty is still unrecognised by any country, the fact that it is a functioning constitutional democracy ...

Somalia: The Tough Part Is Ahead

Somalia’s Islamic Courts fell even more dramatically than they rose. In little more than a week in December 2006, Ethiopian and Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces killed hundreds of Islamist fighters and scattered the rest in a li...

Sudan: Saving Peace in the East

The low-intensity conflict between the government and the Eastern Front risks becoming a major new war with disastrous humanitarian consequences if the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) proceeds with its scheduled withdrawal from eastern S...

Somalia’s Islamists

Somalia’s long civil conflict and lack of central governing institutions present an international security challenge. Terrorists have taken advantage of the state’s collapse to attack neighbouring countries and transit agents and materiel. The cou...

The AU's Mission in Darfur: Bridging the Gaps

The international community is failing in its responsibility to protect the inhabitants of Darfur, many of whom are still dying or face indefinite displacement from their homes. New thinking and bold action are urgently needed. The consensus to su...

The Khartoum-SPLM Agreement: Sudan's Uncertain Peace

The January 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) formally ended war between the Khartoum government and the insurgent Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), Africa's longest civil conflict. Yet as SPLM Chairman John Garang was sworn...

To Save Darfur

The international strategy for dealing with the Darfur crisis primarily through the small (7,000 troops) African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) is at a dead end. AMIS credibility is at an all-time low, with the ceasefire it could never monitor prop...

The Swamps of Insurgency: Nigeria’s Delta Unrest

A potent cocktail of poverty, crime and corruption is fuelling a militant threat to Nigeria’s reliability as a major oil producer. Since January 2006, fighters from a new group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), have fou...

Zimbabwe: An End to the Stalemate

After years of political deadlock and continued economic and humanitarian decline, a realistic chance has at last begun to appear in the past few months to resolve the Zimbabwe crisis, by retirement of President Robert Mugabe, a power-sharing tran...

Zimbabwe: An Opposition Strategy

The risk of an explosion that could cost thousands of lives in the country and shatter the stability of Southern Africa is growing in Zimbabwe. Political reform is blocked, and virtually every economic indicator continues to trend downward. Inflat...

Zimbabwe’s Continuing Self-Destruction

With scheduled presidential elections less than eighteen months away, Zimbabwe faces the prospect of greater insecurity and violence. The economy’s free fall has deepened public anger, and the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front...

Algeria's Economy: The Vicious Circle of Oil and Violence

The crisis in Algeria, now a decade old, is not merely a consequence of the interruption of the December 1991 elections by an army-backed coup to keep the Front Islamique du Salut (FIS: Islamic Salvation Front) from power. It is also an economic c...

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