Africa: Politics and Societies South of the Sahara

Namibia: Little Reason to Celebrate

Posted in African Politics, Culture, Namibia by ruben eberlein on June 1, 2015

namibiaRead 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,

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Central African Republic: Teetering on a Knife’s Edge

Posted in African Politics, Central African Republic by ruben eberlein on May 19, 2015

The conflicts in the Central African Republic that killed thousands and routed hundred thousands of people in 2013/2014 are not yet over. The EU mission, however, left the country with a “mission accomplished”. Until the end of the year, French troops will also withdraw. The general mood within the “international community” is that quick elections will solve the problems of the CAR. Read my text that appeared in the latest issue of Blätter des iz3w (German).

Atalanta: Militarisation of the EU’s Foreign Policy

Posted in African Politics, Somalia by ruben eberlein on April 30, 2015

This text for Jungle World deals with the EU’s military mission Atalanta off the coast of Somalia. Atalanta is often mentioned these days as a paradigm for the fight against migrants arriving in ships across the Mediterranean. The armed defence against human traffickers is – like Atalanta – just one step in the militarisation of the EU’s foreign policy. Read my article here or download the respective page.

Killing Fields South Sudan: A War That Pays Off

Posted in African Politics, South Sudan by ruben eberlein on April 25, 2015

Hititel05gh were the expectations of the people in South Sudan when the country gained independence from the Sudan. But the time of peace only lasted a little more than two years. Since December 2013, two fractions of the ruling SPLM/A are at war with each other over power, money and positions. No side of the opponents is interested reaching a lasting peace agreement, because for them, the war pays. It demonstrates also the total failure of the Western mediators which supported the independence of South Sudan as a magic bullet against the decade-long conflict between North and South. Read my text on the subject in the latest issue of Konkret.

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Nigeria: Committed to the Caliph

Posted in African Politics, Nigeria by ruben eberlein on April 17, 2015

1505TitelJungleYet another text about Boko Haram, its declaration of loyalty to the Islamic State and the fight against the Jihadists for Jungle World. This issue of the weekly deals with African Islamists from Nigeria to Somalia. Not only the terror of the Islamists is internationalising, so does the counter-insurgency. You can download the page of my report here.

Elections in Nigeria: Fifth Time Lucky

Posted in African Politics, Nigeria by ruben eberlein on April 9, 2015

For Jungle World, the weekly newspaper from Berlin, I wrote a text about the elections in Nigeria that appeared in its latest issue. It is a summary of the results that brought Muhammadu Buhari into power – after four unsuccessful attempts. I describe the challenges of the new government and report about national and international reactions. Read it here as html or download the pdf of the page here.

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Namibia After 25 Years of Independence: Rich Country, Poor People

Posted in African Politics, Namibia by ruben eberlein on March 23, 2015

Read my interview with Henning Melber about 25 years of independence in Namibia. Melber came with his parents 1967 to South West Africa and supported the independence struggle in the country as a member of SWAPO. He is an early critic of SWAPO as a liberation movement in power. His latest book about the last two and a half decades in Namibia was published by Brandes & Apsel recently. Download the interview that appeared in the German daily Neues Deutschland as a pdf here (German).

Nigeria: Out of Control

Posted in African Politics, Nigeria by ruben eberlein on March 3, 2015

titel03_start-27aa41c0This text deals with the background of Boko Haram’s terror in Nigeria and neighbouring countries. It appeared in the current issue of Konkret magazine. I had a short interview with Murray Last who researches societies in Northern Nigeria for five decades now. “To be truthful, no one knows exactly what’s up either within Boko Haram or within the army. So there’s a mountain of speculation out there. If, as a journalist you wanted to visit Boko Haram, you’d not get far – they don’t want, nor need, such visitors, neither Nigerian ones nor foreigners”, he comments. You can download the article as pdf.

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Nigeria: Before the Elections

Posted in African Politics, Nigeria by ruben eberlein on February 27, 2015

nigeriaelectionRead my article about Nigeria’s situation shortly before the elections which have been postponed to end of March. Not only Boko Haram poses a real danger for a smooth election, but also politicians who arm groups of followers and use them as violent enforcers. Will a new (or not so new) leadership have real consequences for Nigerian “democrazy”? I doubt it. However, the time of elections offers young and able men and women for a short time the possibility to earn some Naira extra. You can download a pdf of the text here.

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DR Congo: Kabila Forever

Posted in DR Congo by ruben eberlein on February 6, 2015

Read my text on the recent violent suppression of opposition protests against a suspected postponement of the elections in November 2016. 40 people lost their lifes during the riots in Kinshasa and other cities of the country. The article appeared in Jungle World. You can also download a pdf of the article.

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