from Africa in Transition

What We’re Watching in Africa This Week

March 18, 2011

Blog Post
Blog posts represent the views of CFR fellows and staff and not those of CFR, which takes no institutional positions.

More on:

Ivory Coast

Kenya

Libya

International Organizations

Regional Organizations

[cetsEmbedGmap src=http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&ll=7.885147,13.53515… width=570 height=425 marginwidth=0 marginheight=0 frameborder=0 scrolling=no]

Click on map placemarks for more details. Zoom in and out for a better look.

I have been paying particular attention this past week to the following:

Libya

The Arab League and the African Union have taken diametrically opposed positions on a Libyan no-fly zone or other forms of foreign intervention for humanitarian purposes. With the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 1973, we anticipate that some Western nations and possibly others will start military action this weekend. Libyan strongman Qaddafi is calling for a cease-fire, but it’s not clear what that means. We will be watching closely for the reaction from African governments to the prospect of outside military intervention, particularly any formal response from the African Union. Note, however, that the African countries currently serving as non-permanent members on the UN Security Council—Gabon, Nigeria, and South Africa—all voted in favor of the resolution.

Cote d’Ivoire

Gbagbo is still hanging on to power, with speculation that if he can get through March he may remain in office for a long time. We continue to watch Cote d’Ivoire’s apparent descent into civil war and the high likelihood of appalling humanitarian consequences. Along with the New York Times, I continue to be concerned that Cote d’Ivoire has lost the international community’s attention. Note, however, that on March 17 UN officials requested increased “effort and funding" to deal with the worsening humanitarian situation in the country.

Kenya

Kibaki’s attempts to sideline the current International Criminal Court cases against Kenyan political leaders—the “Ocampo Six”—have largely failed. The Hague issued summons on March 8 for the six suspects’ Pre-trial Chamber appearances on April 7 and 8, and we will be observing the legal proceedings closely, not least because of the political effects in Nairobi. I am skeptical of claims from Kibaki’s party that the ICC trials would exacerbate ethnic conflict in Kenya.

More on:

Ivory Coast

Kenya

Libya

International Organizations

Regional Organizations

Close