The Somali terror group al-Shabaab strikes soft targets in Mogadishu and attacks troops of the African Union. Meanwhile, severe allegations are raised against the Kenyan contingent of the African Union Mission to Somalia (Amisom). (more…)
This week, the International Crisis Group alerted to the possibility of a renewed war in South Sudan. Many low-intensity conflicts and the non-implementation of the August peace agreement support this view. Here is my interview with Alex de Waal about the agreement and the situation in the country. (more…)
Here is my latest piece on Boko Haram and its operations in the border region between Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon for Jungle World. The sect is the most deadliest terrorist organisation ahead of the Islamic State. The recent successes of the Nigerian and Cameroon armies in the fight against the jihadists are welcome news, but it takes a decisive shift in development policies vis-à-vis this neglected region in order to defeat Boko Haram.
Read my article about the counter coup in Burkina Faso in September that appeared in the latest issue of Konkret. I was lucky to take part in a symposium on the situation in the country here in Berlin, organised by Afrique Avenir. Smockey and Sams K Le Jah, popular musicians who started the civic movement Le Balai Citoyen, and others discussed the immediate past, present and future of Burkina Faso. They sent a strong message of courageousness that the days of repression and persecution of dissent are over in the “country of upright citizens”.
My review of James Ferguson’s new book, Give a Man a Fish, has been published by Blätter des Informationszentrum Dritte Welt (iz3w). This interesting collection of essays describes the rise of new welfarism in the Global South, especially in Southern Africa. Contrary to the talk about the demise of state intervention in times of neo-liberalism, more and more people receive cash payments by their governments in countries such as Namibia, Zambia, South Africa or Brazil and Mexico. Ferguson discusses this development and its consequences for progressive scholarship and activism. Read the review here (German).
Salva Kiir, the President of South Sudan, made it explicitly clear: He only signed the peace accord with his opponent Riek Machar late in August because of international diplomatic pressure. Not exactly bright prospects for an end of warfare among the two fractions of the ruling SPLM. As the finances to get dissenters into an elite compact are vanishing, we are likely to see the war to proceed. Here is my text that appeared in the latest issue of Jungle World.
The new issue of Konkret is dedicated to the German and European debate about immigrants. Several articles focus on how the German government tries to limit the possibilities of refugees to ask for asylum. My own text (pdf here) reports about the so-called Khartoum process. The European Union – and especially Germany as a member of the steering committee – plans to cooperate and close a deal with several rogue states in East Africa including Sudan, South Sudan and Eritrea. These contracts aim to block refugees in their countries by way of training of the police, a “strengthening of government institutions” and the establishment of training centres for migration control.
According to Amnesty International, soldiers of the UN mission Minusca in the Central African Republic (CAR) are implicated in several cases of sexual violence and violence against civilians. Meanwhile, the conflict in the CAR has disappeared from the radar of the international community. Elections are planned for October this year, but hundreds of thousands of people are still displaced, and those responsible for human rights abuses are still at large. I wrote a text for Jungle World about these issues. Find it here as pdf.
Read my text about the fight against the terrorists of Boko Haram in Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad. Many Nigerians have high hopes that the country’s new president, Mohammadu Buhari, is better prepared to defeat the Islamists than his predecessor Goodluck Jonathan. But while Buhari seeks military aid in the US, there are new damaging allegations by Amnesty International (AI) against the army. According to a report by AI, 7.000 men and boys died in custody between 2010 and 2014. 1.200 people are said to be killed unlawfully by the soldiers. The article was published by Blätter des Informationszentrums 3. Welt. You can download it here as pdf.
Read my review of the new book by Henning Melber, Namibia: Gesellschaftspolitische Erkundungen seit der Unabhängigkeit. The author, for a long time connected both to SWAPO and Namibia, takes an unerring look on society, politics and the practices of memory in the country after 25 years of independence. The review was published by Brandes & Apsel just in time for the inauguration of the new president, Hage Geingob, in March 2015. Download my text (German) here,