Africa: Politics and Societies South of the Sahara

South Sudan: Horror and Morsels

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa, South Sudan by ruben eberlein on March 18, 2016

Africa-South-Sudan-Clinton-Kiir-Oil-Pipeline-deal-08062012A new UN report details the brutality and the sexualised violence against women and children by factions in South Sudan’s civil war. In the meantime, the Women body of the United Nations invites the spouses of President Salva Kiir and his rival, Riek Machar, to New York to speak about “the role of women in the peace process”. Here is my report. (more…)

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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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Complicate Africa: “Bye bye, Barbar”

Posted in African Politics, Culture by ruben eberlein on January 26, 2015

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).

New Wars in Africa

Posted in African Politics by ruben eberlein on November 7, 2013

What is new about the ‘New Wars’ in Africa? In the third part of a small series for Konkret magazine (pdf here), I focus on violent upheavals and long-running wars at the continent, their features and courses. In the end, it is concluded that the confrontations between rebels, warlord troops and the (remnants of the) state can indeed be described as war of gangs, but that this fact should not make us underestimate the importance of ideology.

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Kenya: Impunity for Murder and Theft Continues

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa, Kenya by ruben eberlein on December 4, 2009

Read an article about the massive abuse of power in Kenya by Jan Bachmann, a political scientist based in Oxford, and myself in the current issue of Konkret. You can download the original article as pdf here.

Kenya: Eating Until it Cracks in a ‘Government of National Impunity’

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa, Kenya by ruben eberlein on October 14, 2009

Next month’s issue of Konkret will have an article about state violence, impunity and the theft of public resources in Kenya, written by Jan Bachmann and me. The ‘government of national impunity’ comes under increasing international pressure to go against those responsible for the deadly fights after the elections 2007. ‘Given that some of Kenya’s most ambitious and thrusting young politicians have blood on their hands, it’s very hard to see those really responsible for the 2008 violence being held to account’, we hear from Michela Wrong, author of It’s Our Turn to Eat.

Armed Groups, Power and Domination: The Dilemma of Violence

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa, Reviews by ruben eberlein on October 4, 2009

lrasoldiersKlaus Schlichte published his book In the Shadow of Violence recently with Campus Verlag. The political scientist provides an ambitious study about the use of violence, questions of legitimacy and the stabilisation of domination by armed groups. He draws on extensive evidence from the fields, a good part of it cumulated by himself and his students. Read my review here. (more…)

Nigerian Military in a Frenzy up North: Kill ‘Em All – Parole of the Day

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa, Nigeria by ruben eberlein on July 31, 2009

A lot of media are reporting about what they call ‘fightings’ and ‘combats’ in the North of Nigeria that started Sunday last week. But it becomes more and more clear that the military once again staged a massacre in which up to 600 people are reported to have died. The killing of Boko Haram leader Muhammed Yusuf while in police custody is just the tip of the iceberg. Read my article on the violence in North Nigeria late next week here.

Improve Image and Profit from AGOA, Kenya’s Leaders Told by US

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa, Kenya by ruben eberlein on July 23, 2009

It would be a boon if Kenya’s top officials use the visit by US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and other ministers early in August to improve the battered image of the country, advises the US embassy in Kenya and suggests that this would certainly yield fruit. Is that an incentive big enough for the ruling elite to actually act on the Waki Report and on the list of alleged perpetrators of post-election violence in 2007/08, compiled by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR), which implicates some of them? A tricky choice indeed.

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…)