Africa: Politics and Societies South of the Sahara

Book Review: Contested Identities

Posted in African Politics, Cote d'Ivoire, DR Congo, Kenya, Liberia, Reviews by ruben eberlein on June 21, 2013

Read here an English version of my review of Politics of Origin in Africa. Autochthony, Citizenship and Conflict by Morten Bøås and Kevin Dunn which is published by the journal Welt-Sichten in its June edition. (more…)

Danny Hoffman takes Deleuze to West Africa

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa, Liberia, Sierra Leone by ruben eberlein on April 19, 2013

WarMachinesA book that really inspired me recently is Danny Hoffman’s account of the Kamajor militia in Sierra Leone and other groups in Liberia during the wars of the 1990’s/early 2000’s. “The War Machines. Young Men and Violence in Sierra Leone and Liberia” takes the theoretical thinking of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari to an African conflict. “Recent trends in the reorganization of global security are laying the groundwork for continued mobilizations of exactly the kind represented by the Mano River War”, writes Hoffman, while calling the conflict a “laboratory of the future”.

I abstained from writing a review because everything is nicely summed up by Mats Utas already. Buy this book and be fascinated by a rare combination of investigative guerilla journalism and innovative theoretical thinking.

US Policy Towards Somalia: More of the Same, Once Again

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

gunmansomaliaThe killing of a suspected al Qaeda militant cell leader in Southern Somalia by US special forces is big in the news. French soldiers are also suspected to have taken part in the raid which left several people dead. Taken together with the arms shipment and the finance of weapons acquirements by the US (see Foreign Policy’s report here), nothing points to a new approach of the Obama administration vis-à-vis the war-torn country.

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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Regime in Guinea-Bissau, Built on Coke, Looking for New President

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa, Guinea Bissau by ruben eberlein on July 19, 2009

At the end of July, a run-off will decide about the next President of Guinea-Bissau. Its result will not change the patrimonial coke-rule of the military profoundly. Read my text on this issue here. If you prefer German, then download the Jungle World-article here. (more…)

Perpetrators of Violence in Kenya at Waki’s List: Guess Who’s on it

Posted in African Politics, Kenya by ruben eberlein on July 15, 2009

Last week, Kofi Annan – in his position as the UN’s chief mediator in the aftermath of the violence that has shaken Kenya following the elections of December 2007 – handed a list of alleged perpetrators over to the International Criminal Court. Speculation is rife about who is on that list: Financial Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Minister for Agriculture William Ruto and Najib Balala are said to be some of the 200 people mentioned. Read the executive summary of the report by Philip Waki’s commission, partly published on the web. And find a link to the list of the KNCHR in the comment section. (more…)

Curse of the Black Gold. 50 Years of Oil in the Niger Delta

Posted in African Politics, Culture, Global Africa, Nigeria, Reviews by ruben eberlein on July 1, 2009

oilburnsThis book, released in 2008, gives an extremely deep and easily accessible insight into the conditions that prevail in this oil-producing region. The powerful photos by Ed Kashi succeed to catch the dreadful social and political situation in the South of Nigeria. Several essays by well-established writers look at the issue from diverse perspectives. Read excerpts and see photos of this strongly recommended book here. (more…)

‘Western Powers and Somalis Will Not Accept a Taliban-style Regime’

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa, Somalia by ruben eberlein on June 29, 2009

Interview with Paula Roque, Horn of Africa Researcher at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS, Pretoria), about the current situation in southern Somalia and Mogadishu. She comments on the motivations of young people to join al-Shabaab, the international approach to Somalia and the presence of international Jihadists in the country. (more…)

IYC: Why State, Army Officials Want Conflict in Niger Delta to Continue

Posted in African Politics, Nigeria by ruben eberlein on May 31, 2009

udengseradiriIn the wars of Nigeria’s southern, oil-producing region, government officials, military officers and insurgents often act in collaboration with each other in order to extract funds from the undocumented export of oil or from the security budgets. Read an edited transcript of my interview with Udengs Eradiri, Secretary General of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC, Photo), on that subject. (more…)

Niger Delta Revolts: Kick it Like Professor Utuama

Posted in African Politics, Nigeria by ruben eberlein on May 12, 2009

Countless conferences, seminars and workshops have been devoted in Nigeria over the last three decades in order to find a lasting resolution for the unrest in the oil-producing Niger Delta in the south of the West African country. Now an astonishing straightforward solution has been offered by the Delta State Deputy Governor: Football will do it, he says. (more…)