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,
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).
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.
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.