Africa: Politics and Societies South of the Sahara

‘West Should Support Democratic Forces in Angola, not Corrupt Elites’

Posted in African Politics, Angola, Global Africa by ruben eberlein on August 28, 2009

Here is my interview with the Angolan human rights and peace activist Emanuel Matondo. The journalist and author, residing in Germany since the early 1990s, reports on the recent persecution of journalists, the general state of press freedom and on political corruption in the Southern African country. (more…)

Anthropologically Speaking – A View from Nigeria and Germany

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa, Nigeria by ruben eberlein on August 25, 2009

Olumide Abimbola, a Nigerian PhD student in Social Anthropology, writes in his column ‘Anthropologically Speaking’ for Business Day newspaper about such different things as a visit to the Buchenwald concentration camp, female husbands, driving around with an external license plate in Lagos or Berlin and much more. Check it out!

18 Months After Election Violence – Kenya Set for Contentious Census

Posted in African Politics, Kenya by ruben eberlein on August 24, 2009

<BBC Online> Kenya is preparing to hold its first national census for 10 years, amid controversy over a question which asks which ethnic group people belong to. Many Kenyans believe the question is insensitive, coming 18 months after more than 1,000 people were killed in ethnic violence after an election. Ministers say the question is needed to help the authorities plan better. Critics say the census will be misused by politicians and could damage efforts to heal rifts between communities. More …

Thirst for African Oil – New Report by Chatham House

Posted in African Politics, Angola, Global Africa, Nigeria by ruben eberlein on August 17, 2009

Alex Vines, Lillian Wong, Markus Weimer and Indira Campos provide an extensive overview of the engagements of Asian national oil companies in Nigeria and Angola in their recently released report (pdf).

The Dark Sahara: Interview with Keenan on US Strategy in the Sahel

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa by ruben eberlein on August 15, 2009

Watch the interview on the book by Jeremy Keenan ‘The Dark Sahara: America’s War on Terror in Africa’ on Democracynow. The Professor of Anthropology from SOAS says that the US military and their friends in the Algerian secret service ‘fabricated’ a terrorist threat in the Sahara by staging the hostage-taking of European tourists in 2003.

On the Warpath in Somalia for the Sake of Free Markets

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa, Somalia by ruben eberlein on August 13, 2009

Ansgar Graw is fed up to the back teeth. The journalist deplores the payment of 2 Million Euro to Somali pirates for the release of the ‘Hansa Stavanger’ (Die Welt, 5/8/09). He calls for ‘bold steps’ after acknowledging the ‘declaration of war against the free trade’ by the buccaneers. ‘Who cashed ransom should be tracked by special forces in the interior’, writes Graw. The coasts of ‘failed states, in any way powerless zombie states, should be administered by healthy states’. One wants to witness Ansgar Graw leaving his convenient office at the Axel-Springer-Straße, swapping the laptop with an AK 47 and crawling through the streets of Mogadishu.

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Who Calls the Congo? A Response to Jeffrey Herbst and Greg Mills

Posted in African Politics, DR Congo, Global Africa by ruben eberlein on August 10, 2009

drcflagTo make peace in Congo we should engage the Congolese, writes Timothy Raeymaekers in this response to a commentary on the DRC by Jeffrey Herbst and Greg Mills. The two established scholars argued in Foreign Policy for the abolishment of the DRC as a unitary state. What is needed, Raeymaekers suggests, is ‘a long term engagement with Congo’s local communities in helping them re-establish trust and mutual cooperation’. (more…)

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Northern Nigeria: Breaking the Silence, But to What End?

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa, Nigeria by ruben eberlein on August 7, 2009

Hundreds of alleged Islamists died during fights and an ensuing massacre of the army in the North of Nigeria last week. For a growing number of young Nigerians in the North, a rigorous dictatorship by the clergy seems more attractive than the current societal situation. Read my report translated to English here or download a pdf of the original article in German. (more…)

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Mahmood Mamdani and the Anti-Imperialism of Yesteryear

Posted in African Politics, Culture, Global Africa, Reviews, Sudan by ruben eberlein on August 4, 2009

You can read in this review why I think one can learn more about the Sudan by studying Flint/de Waal or Prunier rather than Mahmood Mamdani’s new book ‘Saviors and Survivors’, which is deeply committed to an antiquated anti-Imperialism of the Cold War era (German only). (more…)

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Clinton in Angola: Chitchat and Oil Business as Usual or Change?

Posted in African Politics, Angola, Global Africa, Nigeria by ruben eberlein on August 2, 2009

Starting this week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit seven countries in Africa. She is, inter alia, expected in Nigeria and Angola. Will Clinton raise the subject of the growing prosecutions of independent journalists by the ruling elite in Angola and thus induce a real change of US politics vis-á-vis Angola? Read my detailed interview with an activist from the Southern African country about the situation of the media, to be posted at this blog shortly.