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October 31, 2019

Elections and Voting
Southern Africa’s Tale of Two Elections: Mozambique and Botswana

Southern Africa recently wrapped up two dramatically different elections. In Mozambique, presidential, parliamentary, and regional elections were characterized by irregularities and even violence, but not by suspense. The ruling FRELIMO party had ensured its victory in the pre-election period, in part through the presence of “ghost voters” on the voters’ roll, and through a campaign of intimidation aimed at challengers to its power.

A woman casts her ballot at Moshupa village, in the Southern District of Botswana, October 23, 2019

November 30, 2016

United States
Michel Temer’s Shrinking Presidency

When he officially became president three months ago, Michel Temer’s game plan was simple and bold: in the roughly eighteen months before the 2018 presidential campaign ramped up, he would undertake …

Brazil's President Michel Temer looks on during a news conference at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia

October 18, 2019

West Africa
Worrying Trends in Côte d'Ivoire

Several successive years of being one of the world’s fastest-growing economies have made Côte d'Ivoire a darling of investors bullish about Africa. But the country’s strong economic performance has not been matched by political progress in overcoming the divides that drove the country into civil war twice in the last twenty years. With elections scheduled for 2020, many of the same antagonists that featured in those earlier conflicts are jockeying for position, giving observers and citizens an unwelcome sense of déjà vu.

Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara of the Rally of the Houphouetists for Democracy and Peace (RHDP) party talks after casting his vote at a polling station during a presidential election in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire on October 25, 2015

June 11, 2019

Sudan
Sudanese Opposition Needs Stronger International Support

The news out of Sudan, so recently full of fragile hope, is now deeply troubling. For over a week, the Transitional Military Council, or TMC, has been violently suppressing the very protestors whose bravery and persistence created the conditions for the security services to seize power from disgraced former President Omar al-Bashir. Over a hundred civilians have been killed, many more wounded, and the façade of shared goals and commitment to reform between citizens and security elites irreparably broken. 

Sudan-Protest-TMC-Support

October 8, 2019

Sub-Saharan Africa
A New Challenge to Confront: Rising Illicit Drug Use

New research suggests that African policymakers focused on the future have yet another pressing issue to add to their already full plate: A study released on the margins of the UN General Assembly meeting and funded by the European Union indicates that Africa will be the site of the world’s largest increase in illegal drug use over the next few decades.

A recovering drug addict receives his dose of methadone at a Medication Assisted Therapy clinic run by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) at Karuri Level 4 hospital in Kiambu, Kenya October 3, 2019.

October 3, 2019

Somalia
Diplomatic Progress in Somalia

The re-opening of the U.S. Embassy in Mogadishu, Somalia, is welcome news to many who have worked on U.S. policy issues in the Horn of Africa for decades. It represents not just a positive step in strengthening bilateral relations, but also a victory over those who would prioritize risk-aversion  ahead of the actual work of diplomacy

Italian and Somali security forces are seen near armored vehicles at the scene of an attack on an Italian military convoy in Mogadishu, Somalia September 30, 2019

September 22, 2017

Chile
A Conversation With Michelle Bachelet

President Michelle Bachelet discusses the importance of Chile's regional integration in South America. 

Play Michelle Bachelet

September 16, 2019

Eritrea
How Long Must Eritrea Wait for Change?

Last week, the Committee to Protect Journalists ranked Eritrea "the most censored country in the world." That unsurprising conclusion is only the latest dubious distinction for Eritrea, a state that often seems frozen in an authoritarian limbo in the midst of region characterized by profound changes. 

Eritrean refugees participate in a demonstration in support of a U.N. human rights report accusing Eritrean leaders of crimes against humanity in front of the Africa Union headquarters in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, June 23, 2016

September 6, 2019

Sub-Saharan Africa
Mugabe and the Zimbabwe He Left Behind

Robert Mugabe, who ruled over Zimbabwe for 37 years, died on September 6. His was an undeniably epic life of glaring contradictions. He was a passionate voice for the liberation of the Zimbabwean people from the injustice and humiliation of white minority rule, but a brutal oppressor when those same people sought to exercise political freedom.

Zimbabwe's former President Robert Mugabe looks on before casting his vote in Highfields outside Harare July 31, 2013

August 28, 2019

Sub-Saharan Africa
Keeping an Eye on Uganda’s Stability

Recently, Ugandan civil society organizations warned about the likelihood of increasing political violence leading up to the country’s 2021 general elections. Disturbing incidents of opposition figures like Bobi Wine being arrested and beaten, journalists being punished for covering those who challenge the state, and people associated with the new political opposition, like Michael Kalinda, being abducted, tortured, and even killed certainly support the case for sounding the alarm. 

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni sitting in attendance the High Level Consultation Meetings of Heads of State and Government on the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia January 17, 2019