High 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.
Yet 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.
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.
This 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.
Read 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.
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.
Here is my text on cultural and social identities in Africa which appeared in the October 2014 issue of Konkret magazine. It is the fifth and final part of a small series on theory and daily life on the continent. I try to explain why ordinary people in Africa use a wide range of different identities in their daily lifes and report on the phenomenon Afropolitanism and the discussions about this concept. You can download the article here (in German).
Leading German politicians advocate a more ‘active role’ for their country in crisis-ridden zones of the world, also militarily. Think tanks and a number of scientists call for an explicit formulation of interests in Africa. But the current debate on an expanded role especially in Africa already reveals a good part of German interests on the continent: the containment of migration, the roll back of insurgencies and the protection of business opportunities on the ‘continent of chances and growth’ are high on the agenda. Read my text in the latest issue of Konkret (pdf, German).
The Islamist sect Boko Haram intensifies its attacks in the North of Nigeria. Not much is known about the structure of the organisation. Read an English version of my text for Jungle World here.
The assailants arrived late afternoon in the small town Konduga near Maiduguri in the Northeast of Nigeria. Mallam Baba Abubakar, an inhabitant of Konduga told the Nigerian daily Vanguard of two armoured personnel carriers, five pick-ups painted in the camouflage colors of the army and five motorcyles. (more…)