Tag: Democracy

 

Who’s Next? Who’s Still Standing? Africa’s 20-Year+ Club

Lots of speculation about which long-time autocrat might be toppled next and why [Zimbabwe, Cameroon, etc.] is not like [Egypt, Tunisia, etc.].  Our colleague Nic van de Walle has a terrific suggestion that 12 years is a sensible term limit for any leader.  In Africa, even with Ben Ali and Mubarak gone, there are still plenty who have been in power more than 20 years.  Here’s the list of who’s still standing (at least as of this morning):

Two Lessons from Tunisia

Recent events in Tunisia suggest two lessons.  First, the west is wrong to think of old dictators as useful allies.  Like other longstanding authoritarian despots before him, President Ben Ali managed to convince the United States (and also western allies like France and the UK), that the repressive nature of his regime was essential for regional stability.  In this case, his bloated police state was viewed as a necessary inconvenience by western diplomats, given the alleged threat of radical Islam, even if it meant that the West was maintaining close diplomatic relations with a corrupt and

Six Months, Three Elections, The Future of Africa

Long-delayed elections finally happened last Sunday in Cote d’Ivoire and Guinea (even the New Yorker noticed). Good for those countries and for West Africa. But it strikes me that there are three absolutely huge elections coming up in the next six months that—at the risk of being over-dramatic—will determine nothing less than the future of Africa.

Kimberley Process Keeps the Door Open for Zimbabwean Democracy

This blog post also appeared on the Huffington Post.

For four days, forty-nine Kimberley Process members were holed up in Tel Aviv contemplating Zimbabwe’s future. Countries like South Africa, Israel, the European Community, and the United States were deadlocked over whether to continue their existing export ban on Zimbabwean diamonds. What’s at stake is much bigger than diamonds. It’s about corruption, repression, and freedom. A vote to rescind the diamond ban could have slammed the door shut on a truly democratic future for Zimbabwe’s people. It would have been a massive coup for Robert Mugabe and his security force allies. And a death blow to those who have sacrificed everything for change. Thankfully, the Kimberley Process members sided with the forces of democracy. The diamond ban will stay.

After the Plane Bomber, Where in the World is Nigeria's President?

This entry was also posted on the Huffington Post, AllAfrica, and Sahara Reporters.

Amid all the media frenzy around the Nigerian underwear bomber and how America should have stopped him before he tried to blow up a passenger plane on Christmas Day, a critical piece to the counter-terrorism puzzle seems to have been missed: where in the world is the Nigerian President?

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