- Simon Allison
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.
The United Nations has halted a planned offensive against rebels in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, citing its unwillingness to work with dodgy Congolese generals. This is a respite for South African troops in the area, who would have led the charge, but gives under-fire Congolese President Joseph Kabila yet another headache. By SIMON ALLISON.
South Sudan’s conflict is now more than a year old. The last year has witnessed a string of agreements to cease hostilities, all of which were violated days or hours after signing. Twenty percent of the population has been displaced, an untold number of people have been killed and relationships among communities are at an all-time low. The warring parties continue to pursue military victory at all costs and civilians are bearing the brunt of the conflict. It is time to begin exploring in earnest opportunities for United Nations-backed investigations and accountability mechanisms. By DAVID K. DENG.
With not much else to do, thousands of disaffected young men in the border region between Liberia and Cote D’Ivoire have turned to illegal gold mining – a dangerous, draining profession with scant reward and potentially devastating consequences. A special report from Liberia by the AFRICAN NETWORK OF CENTRES OF INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM.
There’s good news in the fight against Ebola – or, at least, some cautious optimism. The spread of the virus is slowing, and healthcare workers are beginning to talk about how they might eradicate it entirely. For Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, however, this is only the very first step in a long, bitter road to recovery. By SIMON ALLISON.
David Horsey, 61, got into rallying in Kenya as a navigator for his brother. He soon shifted to the driver’s seat, finishing runner-up in the Kenya championship in 1983 in a Datsun 1300 bakkie, and winner of the African championship the following year in a Peugeot 504 bakkie. The top of the Anwar in his Mombasa dining-room is piled today full of Safari trophies. GREG MILLS found out more.
Is there anyone out there who believes Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko’s claim that he is fighting tooth and nail to get rid of Hawks boss Anwa Dramat over allegations that he was involved in the illegal rendition of four Zimbabwean nationals? We have been on this ride before, time and time again. High-profile deployees in the state – particularly in the law enforcement agencies – get caught up in factional political battles or refuse to toe their political masters' line and the axe gets wielded. The ANC watches its members do battle and does nothing to intervene, to protect the integrity of the state or to prevent the loss of high-calibre, skilled officials. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
Blaise Compaoré’s resignation on 31 October 2014, the day after a historic insurrection, came as no surprise. Growing old and out of touch with reality, his regime has given way to an uncertain transition, led by a military-civilian government that must work with provisional, weak institutions. The government has nine months to organise presidential and legislative elections scheduled for 11 October 2015. International partners must help Burkina Faso achieve this goal, while maintaining a dialogue with the army to ensure it does not remain in power at the end of the transition. They also must not repeat the mistake of turning a blind eye to poor governance and supporting the Compaoré regime to safeguard their own strategic interests. By the INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP.
A convoy of 400 Chadian military vehicles and hundreds of soldiers is en route to Cameroon and north-eastern Nigeria. The target: Boko Haram, which is running rings around Nigeria’s own security forces. But which Chad will turn up? The efficient, professional militant-hunters who did so well in Mali? Or the human-rights violators and rebel colluders who were so unpopular in the CAR? By SIMON ALLISON for ISS Today.
Mogadishu International Airport illustrates how much has changed in what was once described, by former British foreign secretary William Hague, as the world’s “most failed state”. Among other notable changes, a scheduled Turkish Airways flight stands in front of a spanking new charcoal grey terminal. But Mogadishu’s airport also illustrates how much remains to be done before Somalia fully escapes the reality of being a failed state. By GREG MILLS and DICKIE DAVIS.
Maiduguri is the jewel of Nigeria’s north-east: it is the biggest city, the most important trading hub and a historical icon. It was also the birth place of Boko Haram, and the militant group is determined to make it the capital of its Islamic Caliphate. The city is under siege, and it seems to be only a matter of time before Boko Haram make good on this threat. By SIMON ALLISON.