Politics

South Sudan's president Salva Kiir Mayardit

Deal or no deal?

Warring parties have signed a peace agreement in South Sudan that paves the way for a transitional government. But key differences between the signatories means there is still no guarantee of a halt in fighting.  On 26 August, South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, added his signature to a peace agreement signed nine days earlier by [...]

President Bouteflika's ailing health has left him confined to a wheelchair

Bouteflika debate consumes Algerian politics

Opponents question the ailing president’s fitness to govern, but critics say the country lacks a credible alternative. Al Jazeera – 8 August 2014 Last month, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika surpassed the 100-day mark of his term after winning an unprecedented fourth mandate on April 17. In other parts of the world, the 100-day point presents [...]

Erdogan lined up for victory in presidential election

Erdogan lined up for victory in presidential polls

Frontline Club – 25 July 2014 Turkey’s prime minister Racep Tayyip Erdogan will win next month’s presidential elections and become the country’s first directly elected president, according to a panel of experts assembled at the Frontline Club on 22 July 2014.


Salva Kiir, president of South Sudan

Another toothless ceasefire for South Sudan

African Energy – 30 May 2014 On paper at least, the new ceasefire signed on 9 May between South Sudan President Salva Kiir and his opponent Riek Machar is a step forward. Not only does it recommit them to the terms of the 23 January ceasefire, but provisions for a transitional unity government and fresh [...]

Algerian independent opposition candidate Kamal Benkoussa

Silence please, Algeria is dying: an interview with Kamal Benkoussa

The Atlantic Council – 17 April 2014 Today is Election Day in Algeria and analysts predict that the aging and ailing incumbent President Abdelaziz Bouteflika stands to win yet another term in office, effectively making him president for life. The political space has remained closed since the government canceled the country’s first democratic elections in [...]

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika Algeria

Bouteflika win likely in Algeria amid dissent

Despite unprecedented opposition protests, Algerians are poised to re-elect president to fourth term. Al Jazeera – 13 April 2014 A group of protesters gathered last month at Algiers University in the centre of the city, ready to demonstrate against Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s decision to run for a fourth consecutive term as president of Algeria. Police were [...]


Algeria's president Bouteflika

Algeria: A fourth term for Bouteflika?

Establishment has rallied around ailing president’s decision to run for another term, but many Algerians want change. Al Jazeera – 2 March 2014 The announcement by Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal on February 22 that Algeria’s president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, intends to stand for a fourth term in the upcoming presidential elections is a blow to [...]

South Sudan's foreign minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin

South Sudan talks continue amid violence

The cases of political detainees remain a sticking point in negotiations, says South Sudan’s foreign minister. Al Jazeera – 20 February 2014 Three weeks after a ceasefire agreement was signed on January 23, there are few signs that newly resumed peace talks are likely to bring an end to a conflict in South Sudan that [...]

Salva Kiir agrees deal on South Sudan oil exports

South Sudan officials charged with treason

Seven opposition leaders are accused of plotting a coup to overthrow President Salva Kiir’s government. Al Jazeera – 6 February 2014 An announcement by South Sudan’s government that it plans to charge seven leading opposition politicians with treason threatens to derail a fragile peace process just days after a ceasefire was signed in Addis Ababa. [...]


South Sudan's president Salva Kiir Mayardit

South Sudan ceasefire is only a first step

Under a peace agreement signed in Addis Ababa on 23 January, the government and dissident elements of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army have committed to ceasing “all military actions”, to “freeze their forces at the place they are in” and to “refrain from taking any actions that could lead to military confrontations”. They also agreed [...]

Omar al-Bashir, president of Sudan

South Sudan plays dangerous game of politics with Khartoum

African Energy – 16 January 2014 Reports that both the government of South Sudan and nominal opposition leader Riek Machar have been in talks with Khartoum over securing control of South Sudan’s oilfields have roused fears that the already bloody fight could escalate further. Speaking at Juba airport on 6 January at the conclusion of [...]

Salva Kiir agrees deal on South Sudan oil exports

Sudan-South Sudan relations: Now for (yet another) hard part

Focus turns to political challenges as Sudan and South Sudan reach deal on oil 9 September 2013 Now that Khartoum has agreed to drop its threat to prevent South Sudanese oil exports via its pipeline infrastructure, a series of political challenges remain if the two countries are to continue to co-operate on the energy sector [...]


Riek Machar

South Sudan politics: Machar mulls his moves

6th August 2013 The Economist SPEAKING from his government house in the centre of South Sudan’s capital, Juba, Riek Machar knows that it will not be his home for much longer. The man who had been the country’s vice-president since its secession from Sudan two years ago was unceremoniously sacked, along with the entire cabinet, [...]

Salva Kiir

Sudan-South Sudan oil deal has its limits

17th April 2013 Foreign Policy – The Middle East Channel Sudan and South Sudan reached a deal in the early hours of March 12, after a week of negotiations in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, which should spark the beginning of exports of South Sudanese oil from Sudan’s Port Sudan, on the Red Sea coast, for [...]

Sexual violence Congo DRC Frontline Club I Dream of Congo

Violence in DR Congo could abate if international community takes decisive action

15 February 2013 Frontline Club More than 5m people have died in fighting in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 1998. But now there may be a window of opportunity for the international community to take action. The coming year could be a window of opportunity for the international community to tackle the violence [...]


Political change fails to quell unrest in Tunisia

10 January 2013 MEED When President Moncef Marzouki visited the small town of Sidi Bouzid in western Tunisia on 17 December, he met with a hostile reception. In a conscious echo of the protests in January 2011 that brought the end of the 23-year rule of Marzouki’s predecessor, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, demonstrators chanted “the [...]

Referendum victory a hollow one for Morsi

President Morsi must turn his attention from parliamentary politics to building a genuine consensus After a first round of voting in Egypt’s referendum on a new constitution, the ‘yes’ campaign is set for certain victory. Ten out of 27 governorates have voted, and the ‘yes’ vote is in the clear with 57 per cent, according [...]

Bahrain's unreported oppression

Bahrain’s unreported oppression continues – with a little help from the West

The Frontline Club – 24 August 2012 At an event hosted by the Frontline Club, an expert panel of speakers shed light on the ongoing oppression of political opposition in Bahrain, one of the most under-reported aspects of the Arab Spring, and the government’s systematic use of Western public relations companies to manage the regime’s [...]


Algiers’ smoke screen of reform

Against the backdrop of popular unrest in the region, Algiers promised political change. Yet, despite concessions, the regime is maintaining its grip on power Ever since January 2011, when Algerians took to the streets to protest their economic plight and demonstrate their political frustration alongside their neighbours in Tunisia and Egypt, the government has promised [...]

Muslim Brotherhood’s rise sparks paranoia in the GCC

Gulf states wary about the group’s recent political successes in North Africa Speaking at a Ramadan event in late July, Dubai’s police chief, Dahi Khalfan Tamim, issued a dramatic warning against any attempt by the Muslim Brotherhood to overthrow the Gulf monarchies. The movement, he claimed, had “met people from the Gulf” to discuss “toppling [...]

The political crisis in Egypt is threatening the transition to a new democratic regime

Political crisis threatens transition in Egypt

6 April 2012 Egypt is enduring one of its most politically fragile periods since Hosni Mubarak was forced from office A little more than 12 months after President Hosni Mubarak was removed from office, Egypt is teetering on the brink of a political and economic crisis. Plans to draw up a new constitution are in [...]


The elections in October 2011 are the greatest achievement of Tunisia's new government, according to Merhezia Lebidi Maiza, Ennahda member and deputy speaker of Tunisia's constituent national assembly, speaking at Chatham House on 21 March 2012

Tunisia divided on new political regime

21 March, 2012 Yesterday Tunisia celebrated the 56th anniversary of its independence from French colonial rule. But a little over a year since the ouster of president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali after 23 years in power, it is no longer freedom from imperialism that defines the politics of this small North African nation. The key [...]

Israel continues to champion pre-emptive attack on Iran

A pre-emptive strike against Iran would be justifiable in the case of an imminent threat of attack, according to a senior Israeli diplomat speaking in London on 16 March. “Iran represents an existential threat to the state of Israel and we will not compromise on our national security,” said Ran Gidor, minister-counsellor for political affairs [...]

Why the two-state solution is not dead – yet

Speaking at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies on 14th March, Gershon Baskin argued that the solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict is just waiting to be implemented. But fundamental problems with the peace process itself mean that hopes are still at a low ebb. It is easy to understand why people may have given [...]