- Simon Allison
Nigerians have voted in what commentators are describing as Africa’s most important election. There have been problems - even President Goodluck Jonathan failed to vote on his first attempt - but this shouldn’t take away from what has been an impressive process so far. There are grounds for cautious optimism, although the real test comes later, when the results are announced. By SIMON ALLISON.
Whippings, forced labour, evictions, humiliations galore and killings with impunity: you’d think you were reading about Portuguese colonial abuse in Angola. Instead, you’re reading investigative journalist Rafael Marqes’ expose of the Dos Santos regime. MERCEDES SAYAGUES reviews the book that has the generals running scared – and that landed its author in court.
The INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP offers insights into potential crisis areas the world over. Ahead of Nigeria heading to the polls, NNAMDI OBASI, Senior Analyst, Nigeria, discusses possible outcomes of the general elections rescheduled for 28 March and 11 April, and how the international community should prepare for post-election unrest that looks increasingly likely.
There are two competing visions of how to promote peace and justice in situations of violent political conflict. One vision reifies the International Criminal Court (ICC) as the ethical and political successor to the Nuremberg trials, the famed series of Allied tribunals that prosecuted leading Nazis in the aftermath of the Second World War. The other contrasting vision places politics at the core of conflict management and resolution, with all the messy compromises that entails. By MARTIN KIMANI.
Nigeria’s first credible opposition party - the All Progressives Congress (APC) - has positioned itself as the face of change ahead of the March 28 presidential election. Is its vague rhetoric based on evidence? In the second of two pre-election reports, AFRICA CHECK investigates. By TOLU OGUNLESI, ADEWALE MAJA PEARCE & ADAM ALQALI.
Lesotho’s emergency election was designed to drag the country out of its political crisis. However, with most results in, and despite a surge in popularity for embattled Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, no one has been handed a clear mandate. The new order, whatever its final composition, already looks as dangerously unstable as the old. By GREG NICOLSON and SIMON ALLISON in Maseru.
The Libyan government – what remains of it – wants more weapons to fight off various militant groups and install some semblance of stability in the country. But the United Nations won’t lift the arms embargo until some form of stability is already achieved. It’s a paradox that suggests that everyone is asking the wrong questions. By SIMON ALLISON.
Olusegun Obasanjo is the elder statesmen of Nigerian politics. He may not have any official government role, but his opinion matters. By leaving the party he founded, and steered to two election wins, he has made his opinion very clear – and it’s more bad news for President Goodluck Jonathan. By SIMON ALLISON.
Just in case there was any lingering doubt about its intentions, the Islamic State underlined their arrival in Africa in typically brutal fashion. By beheading 21 Egyptian Christians, and precipitating an aerial assault in Libya, the radical Islamist group showed that the tactics which have worked so well in Iraq and Syria are just as effective elsewhere. Be afraid. By SIMON ALLISON.
Sounding far too much like Robert Mugabe for comfort, Baleka Mbete has blamed unnamed western governments for the rise of the EFF and the chaos currently engulfing South Africa’s political landscape. The West is an easy scapegoat, but Mbete’s conspiracy theory actually reveals more about her own government that it does about anyone else’s. By SIMON ALLISON.
There was a time when Darfur was the quintessential African conflict. Between the mad dictator, the gruesome genocide and the Hollywood celebrity intervention, it had it all. Nearly a decade later, and the world’s attention has moved on – even as the fighting, and the atrocities, continue. By SIMON ALLISON.