Africa: Politics and Societies South of the Sahara

South Sudan: No State, Nowhere

Posted in African Politics, South Sudan by ruben eberlein on July 4, 2016

The latest issue of Blätter des Informationszentrums Dritte Welt (iz3w) is devoted to questions around separatism. I contributed a piece on South Sudan, where the high hopes of the people at the time of independence 2011 have been frustrated by the ruling SPLM. Since 2013, the war between two factions of the SPLM killed tens of thousands and displaced millions. You can download the article as pdf here.

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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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Terror Without Borders

Posted in African Politics, Cameroon, Chad, Global Africa, Niger, Nigeria by ruben eberlein on December 15, 2015

boko-600x338Here is my latest piece on Boko Haram and its operations in the border region between Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon for Jungle World. The sect is the most deadliest terrorist organisation ahead of the Islamic State. The recent successes of the Nigerian and Cameroon armies in the fight against the jihadists are welcome news, but it takes a decisive shift in development policies vis-à-vis this neglected region in order to defeat Boko Haram.

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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Book Review: Foreign Intervention in Africa

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa, Reviews by ruben eberlein on October 29, 2013

The Cold War between the superpowers has been quite a hot affair in Africa. Millions of people lost their lifes. A new book sheds light on this immediate history. Read the English version of my review which appeared in Konkret 11/13.

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The Islamist Push: Gin & Jihad

Posted in African Politics, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia by ruben eberlein on October 20, 2013

Read my article on the islamist push in East and West Africa in the latest issue of Jungle World or download the pdf of the print issue.

Central African Republic: Bangui, Zero Hour

Posted in African Politics, Central African Republic by ruben eberlein on May 24, 2013

An interesting and detailed piece by taz author Simone Schlindwein about the takeover and its aftermath in the Central African Republic you should read if you are familiar with German.

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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.

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…)

Niger Delta: Bomb Attacks and an Amnesty

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa, Nigeria by ruben eberlein on September 24, 2009

After a massive military intervention, the Nigerian central government wants to pacify the oil-producing Niger Delta with an amnesty. This strategy will most likely fail, but nevertheless prepare the ground for the 2011 elections. Read an updated English version of my text published by Konkret 9/09 here or download the original article as pdf. (more…)