n Conflict Trends - Towards a peace journalism approach to reporting African elections

Volume 2015, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


With the exception of a few countries, election periods in Africa are usually anticipated with apprehension, because so often they culminate in violence and bloodshed. Elections often turn violent in countries such as Nigeria, Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zimbabwe, Burundi and so on, where the governments are typically authoritarian, the people severely divided along ethnic and/or religious lines and the management of political opposition is aggressive. In most African countries without a well-developed respect for the rights of citizens, elections increase political polarisation and potentially increase human rights abuses; thus, electoral violence seems to be the norm rather than an occasional occurrence in many African countries. From 1960 to 2010, the world witnessed more than 350 unique cases of violent post-election protests, with most occurring in Africa.

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