John Campbell

Africa in Transition

Campbell tracks political and security developments across sub-Saharan Africa.

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Showing posts for "Burundi"

Burundi: What Went Wrong?

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
A protester who is against Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza and his bid for a third term shouts in Bujumbura, Burundi, June 4, 2015. (Courtesy of Reuters/Goran Tomasevic) A protester who is against Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza and his bid for a third term shouts in Bujumbura, Burundi, June 4, 2015. (Courtesy of Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)

This is a guest post by Claire Wilmot, an intern for the Council on Foreign Relations Africa Program. She is a master of global affairs candidate at the University of Toronto.

Over the weekend, 170 opposition fighters were captured and thirty-one killed by Burundian armed forces in the Chibitoke region (near the borders of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo). This is the latest in a series of violent incidents following President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid to run for a third term in office in violation of Burundi’s constitution. Last week Nkurunziza’s party, the National Council for the Defense of Democracy–Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD), announced victory in the parliamentary elections, despite an opposition boycott and the UN proclamation that the vote was not free, fair, or credible. Once a post-conflict success story, Burundi now threatens to relapse into violence, raising questions about what went wrong in the peacebuilding process. Read more »

What to Expect from the African Union Summit

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
The opening ceremony of the 22nd Ordinary Session of the African Union summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 30, 2014 (Courtesy Reuters/Negeri). The opening ceremony of the 22nd Ordinary Session of the African Union summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 30, 2014 (Courtesy Reuters/Negeri).

This is a guest post by Jason Warner. He is a PhD candidate in African Studies at Harvard University, serving as a U.S. Government Boren National Security Fellow in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Late January in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia brings waves of impenetrable traffic, pan-African flags adorning the central Bole Road, and scarcely a vacant room in the city’s infamously hotel-filled landscape. The cause: the semi-annual African Union (AU) Heads of State Summit, which this year began on Friday, January 23. As the AU’s most important annual meeting kicks into high gear this week, here are some of the more pressing questions that observers and participants will have on their minds. Read more »

Rwanda and Genocide

by John Campbell
Newly arrived refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo gather at the Nakamira transit camp from the La Corniche border crossing near Gisenyi, northwest Rwanda, May 2, 2012, after fleeing the Masisi region in Congo's North Kivu province after fighting broke out between Congolese troops and fighters loyal to a renegade general. (Reuters staff/Courtesy Reuters) Newly arrived refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo gather at the Nakamira transit camp from the La Corniche border crossing near Gisenyi, northwest Rwanda, May 2, 2012, after fleeing the Masisi region in Congo's North Kivu province after fighting broke out between Congolese troops and fighters loyal to a renegade general. (Reuters staff/Courtesy Reuters)

The ongoing tragedy in eastern Congo is closely related to the history of genocide in Rwanda. Herman J. Cohen, former assistant secretary of state for Africa, former ambassador to Senegal and Gambia and once deputy chief of mission in Congo-Kinshasa, has just published a must-read article (gated): “Rwanda: Fifty Years of Ethnic Conflict on Steroids.” Cohen shows that the 1994 genocide in Rwanda was not a one-off event but part of an ethnic conflict that started in 1959. Its root causes included overpopulation, poverty, and bad colonial policies, especially with respect to sharpening ethnic differences and identities. Read more »