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May 19, 2022

Sudan
The Horn of Africa’s Dubious Dialogues

It’s a matter of conventional wisdom that the crises gripping the Horn of Africa are fundamentally political, and that viable, sustainable solutions can be found only through inclusive political dialogue. But in both Sudan and Ethiopia, current dialogues—one internationally backed and one a domestic project—inspire little confidence. The United States has real interests at stake in the region that are ill-served by relying on these processes to stabilize these two fragile countries.  In Sudan, where a more just and accountable political dispensation has been a U.S. priority for decades, the administration seems determined to defer to the United Nations (UN)-African Union (AU)-Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) tripartite mechanism, which the State Department recently described as “the most inclusive mechanism to achieve an urgently needed agreement” on a way forward in Sudan.

Secretary Anthony Blinken shakes hands with Workneh Gebeyehu from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development. Both wearing suits, ties, and black face masks.

April 18, 2022

West Africa
Under Threat: Democracy in Africa

Our panelists discuss the most recent rise in violent conflict and coups in Africa, the threats these coups pose to fragile democratic institutions, governance, and civil society, and options to prev…

Play National observers look on while electoral official organize votes during the closing of the polls in a polling station in the city of Bahir Dar, on June 21, 2021. - Ethiopia voted on June 21, 2021, in an election billed as the most democratic yet in Africa's second-most populous country, but taking place as famine blights its war-torn Tigray region.

April 26, 2022

Wars and Conflict
Africa’s Reaction to the Russian Invasion of Ukraine, With Ebenezer Obadare

Ebenezer Obadare, Douglas Dillon senior fellow for Africa studies at CFR, sits down with James M. Lindsay to discuss how African countries are responding to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Podcast South African sand sculptor Sithembiso Buthelezi gives the final touches showing a message calling for peace between Ukraine and Russia on the North beach in Durban, on February 27, 2022.

April 28, 2022

Sub-Saharan Africa
Africa Must Be Wary of Cutting Its Nose to Spite Its Face

Invoking historical rough justice and persistent infantilization by the West, African countries have, to widespread astonishment, refused to give a full-throated backing to Western sanctions against Russia. Seventeen of the thirty-five abstainers from the United Nations General Assembly vote on March 2, 2022, to condemn the Russian “aggression against Ukraine” were African. More troublingly, even more African countries abstained from voting on the UN April 7, 2022, resolution to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council over “gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights” in Ukraine. The latter list included South Africa, Cameroon, Ghana, and Nigeria, which hitherto had joined 140 other UN members to condemn the Russian invasion.

Kenyan Ambassador to the United nations sits in front of his microphone.

April 22, 2022

Energy and Climate Policy
How Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Will Impact Africa’s Energy Transition

Here are seven ways Russia's invasion of Ukraine could impact Africa’s energy transition.

A child is seen in the foreground of a picture, with smokestacks far off in the distance.

April 6, 2022

Burkina Faso
Blaise Compaore’s Conviction Is a Momentous Victory for the Rule of Law and Citizen Power in Africa

Former Burkinabe President Blaise Compaore’s sentence of life imprisonment by an Ouagadougou military court for complicity in the murder of his predecessor, Thomas Sankara, marks an important victory for the rule of law in the country and the region as a whole. In exile in the Ivory Coast since his ouster from power following a popular uprising in 2014, Compaore was tried in absentia. Erstwhile Presidential Security Chief Hyacinthe Kafando, currently at large and also tried in absentia, similarly received a life sentence.

Burkina Faso's former president looks to the side wearing a suit and tie.

March 16, 2022

East Africa
East Africa’s Growing Food Crisis: What to Know

Conflicts in Ethiopia and Ukraine are exacerbating food scarcity in a region where millions of people already suffer from severe hunger.

March 22, 2022

Sub-Saharan Africa
Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine May Drive a Wedge Between the West and Africa

The apparent reluctance of many African countries to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caught many Western governments, diplomatic experts, and observers of Africa’s international relations by surprise. Although twenty-eight African countries voted in favor of the March 2, 2022, UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution demanding that Russia “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders,” notably, seventeen African nations abstained while no votes were recorded from another eight. Unsurprisingly, Eritrea, whose leader Isaias Afwerki enjoys a close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and who has long staked out an anti-Western diplomatic stance, joined Belarus, North Korea, Russia, and Syria in voting against the resolution. In total, 141 (out of 194) UN member states endorsed the resolution.

United States Ambassador to the United Nations wearing a red jacket speaks into a microphone while seated at the United Nations.

March 9, 2022

Burkina Faso
What the Sankara Assassination Trial Means for West Africa

The trial against Burkina Faso’s exiled former leader for a decades-old assassination case could signal progress on accountability at a time of coups and upheaval regionwide.

People attend the opening of the trial against alleged perpetrators of the assassination of former President Thomas Sankara in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

October 5, 2021

Peacekeeping
The Role of Peacekeeping in Africa

Africa continues to have more peacekeeping missions than any other continent. As conflict-stricken countries increasingly look outside the United Nations for support, experts say reforms are necessar…

Uruguayan peacekeepers in blue helmets and military gear look out atop a vehicle during a patrol in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo.