South Africa: A country at the crossroads?
May 6, 2019
South Africa is on the heels of its general elections that will mark 25 years since the end of apartheid. The country rose from five decades of white minority rule under a repulsive system of racial segregation. The first open elections in 1994 were the first in which black South Africans participated, who at the time represented no less than 77% of the country’s population. The African National Congress (ANC) won and its renowned leader, Nobel peace…
Venezuela: Another Syria in the making?
May 1, 2019
Venezuela will not become "another Syria" for Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a Russian state newspaper. This comes after a several tense weeks between the US and Russia as both countries exert their muscle for geopolitical control over the country. The U.S., along with dozens of other countries, back Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó, the former leader of the National Assembly. Guaidó declared himself the country's interim president and was recently recognized by the Organization of…
Israel Swipe Right on Africa
April 26, 2019
In 2016, Netanyahu stated that ‘Israel is coming back to Africa, and Africa is coming back to Israel’. In January 2019, Netanyahu and Chadian President Idriss Déby officially announced the resumption of diplomatic ties. In February, Israel opened its first embassy in Rwanda. Now, after the election in Israel, it is expected that Netanyahu will host Malian President Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga to restore and heighten diplomatic relations between the two. But why? Israeli…
Cementing its presence in Africa: Russia’ meddling in Madagascar’s elections
April 15, 2019
The 2018 presidential campaign in Madagascar was among the most closely fought in its post-independence history. Former president Andry Rajoelina was elected following a second round in late December. Since the election, Rajoelina has promoted closer ties with Russia, including strengthening military cooperation. This may come as no surprise after a BBC Africa investigationrevealed that at least six candidates were offered money by Russians. The interference in Madagascar’s elections is just the latest in a series of strategic covert…
Haftar’s Move on Tripoli: Opportunity and Leverage
April 12, 2019
In January, the Libyan National Army’s (LNA) commander Khalifa Haftar’s siege on the Fezzan in Libya put him in control of about two-thirds of the Libyan territory, vast energy infrastructure, and armed forces through forming of alliances. In my previous analysis of the situation, I asked if Haftar’s strong hand would prompt him to continue his ‘war on terrorism’ northwards towards Tripoli? Or, if he would pause and await the scheduled elections to take place? On the…
Will ‘Mauritanian Spartacus’ See an End to Slavery?
April 11, 2019
While enjoying rapid economic growth in the 21stcentury, largely a product of fishing along its 700-kilometer long coastline and exploiting its abundance of minerals, most notably iron, copper, phosphate, and gold – Mauritania has failed to transform this growth into societal development, most importantly to end hereditary slavery. Meanwhile, the ‘Mauritanian Spartacus’ is preparing for the June presidential election. Ethnic Divisions and Slavery An estimated 25% of the population is Afro-Mauritians made up…