Africa Conflict Monitor - latest Issue
Author James HallSource: Africa Conflict Monitor 2016 (2016)More Less
This year's final report of Africa Conflict Monitor (ACM) offers its annual retrospective of the major trends of the year that is now concluding. Drawing from ACM's monthly coverage, this analysis presents a broader perspective which the year's end allows. Explaining what it all means from a detailed, local point of view has always been the mandate of ACM, and the capping of 2016 with a thorough, historical assessment calls into focus the year's significant developments, separating these from transitory crises.
The President of Burundi offered practical examples that other African despots follow : Africa-wide - influential African of the yearSource: Africa Conflict Monitor 2016, pp 4 –11 (2016)More Less
The most significant shaper of events on the African continent in 2016 did not inspire betterment for his country and region, but rather the reverse. He held up an example that, rather than allow for peoples to achieve social justice and peace, showed fellow authoritarians how to manipulate their nations' political systems to stay in power longer. In so doing, Burundi's president, who violated a peace agreement that ended his country's nightmare civil war, and in so doing laid the groundwork for the next civil war, further destabilised Africa's most unstable region and gave encouragement to anti-democratic forces across the continent.
2016 : a year of conflict dominated by despots and jihadist insurgencies : Africa-wide - featured analysisSource: Africa Conflict Monitor 2016, pp 13 –28 (2016)More Less
For Africa, the year 2016 saw a continuation of trends rooted in the past and perpetuated by leaders and movements that were also not new. No groundbreaking developments occurred. No Arab Spring rattled the comfort zone of the continent's despots. The predations of terror groups, both indigenous and foreign in origin, waxed and waned in response to counter-insurgency efforts against them. Southern Africa was hit by a record drought that affected hundreds of millions of people; but famine was averted and in many areas, the natural disaster was a continuation of ongoing climate change effects.
Liberia's cyberattack a devastating indictment of Africa's cyber insecurity : Africa-wide - monitoring economiesSource: Africa Conflict Monitor 2016, pp 29 –35 (2016)More Less
On 3 November 2016, 70% of Liberia's internet service suddenly became unavailable. Cyber-security experts suspect the computer virus attack was merely an experiment for the day when a country can be completely taken off-line. The economic and political results of such an attack would be critical.
Making African security and defence policy coherent and sustainable : Africa-wide - informed insights - interviews with expertsSource: Africa Conflict Monitor 2016, pp 36 –40 (2016)More Less
African governments must become more professional and even scientific in the formation of policies to deal with crises in an increasingly complicated and sophisticated world, particularly with democratisation replacing the whim of the dictator. How best to formulate policy to deal with conflict situations is the subject of academic debate coupled with practical trial and error. ACM discusses this issue with Professor Henry Wissink, the Dean and Head of the School of Management, Information Technology and Governance at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, and who specialises in the fields of Public Management, Policy Analysis, Policy Science and Development Studies.
Source: Africa Conflict Monitor 2016, pp 41 –46 (2016)More Less
Morocco's King Mohammed VI cleverly side-stepped an Arab Spring uprising by offering partial government reform that broadened political representation. If Africa's last absolute monarch of a significant country hoped these reforms would be a permanent barrier against democracy, popular dissatisfaction expressed on the streets provided a glimpse of reality.
Magufuli's two-headed governance approach in Tanzania : reform gestures and autocratic tendencies present two faces to the world : East Africa - regional analysisSource: Africa Conflict Monitor 2016, pp 48 –54 (2016)More Less
One year after his inauguration on 5 November 2015, President John Magufuli has shown an enthusiasm for swift action against corrupt individuals and has taken publicity-generating populist action. He has also shown worrisome autocratic tendencies against advice and criticism, earning for him the perception of a wolf in sheep's clothing.
Mali : the Sahel's gateway to Sub-Saharan Africa for jihadist terrorists : West Africa - regional analysisSource: Africa Conflict Monitor 2016, pp 55 –60 (2016)More Less
As a local election was held under a State of Emergency, jihadist militants linked with al-Qaeda mounted attacks to further destabilise the fragmented country. The Islamic State (ISIS) also seeks Mali's breakup to open a way for the terror group's migration southward.
Constitutional coup d'état extends the Kabila regime's hold on the DRC : Central Africa - regional analysisSource: Africa Conflict Monitor 2016, pp 62 –69 (2016)More Less
Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) President Joseph Kabila is not about to allow his family's ruling dynasty to end because of legal term limits. Kabila hid his machinations until a surprise move to upend the constitution with the help of co-opted minor political parties and docile courts. Central Africa's mineral-rich and perennially conflict-ridden state is now an autocracy in all but name.
Journalists put their lives on the line to bring Southern Africa's news to the world : Southern Africa - regional analysisSource: Africa Conflict Monitor 2016, pp 70 –76 (2016)More Less
Journalists face intimidation and death in parts of the sub-continent directly in proportion to a rise in political oppression in some countries. The role of the media is not appreciated by leadership in the region's democracies, and is thwarted in non-democratic states.
ACM country in focus : The Gambia
Assessing the political, business and economic impacts of conflict : back pagesSource: Africa Conflict Monitor 2016, pp 77 –78 (2016)More Less
After his government's human rights abuses alienated Western donors who had financed much of the national budget, President Yahya Jammeh turned East for support and investment, reinstating diplomatic ties with China. Whether these ties will remain seems problematic after Gambians voted Jammeh out of power on 1 December, rejecting his 22-year rule. Construction of the Trans-Gambia Bridge, which began in February 2016, is set to benefit consumers and ease long-standing tensions between The Gambia and Senegal over border crossings.
Quotes of the year - from the perpetrators of conflict, the peacemakers and the bystanders : back pagesSource: Africa Conflict Monitor 2016, pp 79 –80 (2016)More Less
In 2016, words mattered. Ethnic hatred was enflamed by demagogues' malevolent rhetoric. Chilling threats made by terrorists unsettled societies. Words also soothed and inspired, when visionary leaders captured imaginations with ideals of peace and prosperity, uniting instead of dividing.
Depending on what was said, when and by who, some statements also proved memorable, encapsulating the year's developments in a few choice (or thoughtless) words.