John Campbell

Africa in Transition

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

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Showing posts for "United Nations"

South Sudan Conflict: Personalities, Resources, and Threats

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
Rebel fighters walk in a rebel controlled territory in Upper Nile State February 14, 2014. (Courtesy Reuters/Goran Tomasevic) Rebel fighters walk in a rebel controlled territory in Upper Nile State February 14, 2014. (Courtesy Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)

This is a guest post by Allen Grane, intern for the Council on Foreign Relations Africa Studies program. Allen is currently an officer in the Army National Guard. His interests are in Africa, conflict, and conflict resolution.

In March, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the international organization that represents east African nations, announced plans to deploy a stabilization and protection force to South Sudan by mid-April. As of April 1, IGAD also announced that peace talks between the warring factions in South Sudan were suspended for a month. There is no update on the development of the stabilization force. Read more »

Medicines Sans Frontiers Critical of UN Mission in South Sudan

by John Campbell
People displaced by recent fighting wait to get water inside a United Nations Mission in South Sudan  camp in Malakal, Upper Nile State March 3, 2014. (Andreea Campeanu/Courtesy Reuters) People displaced by recent fighting wait to get water inside a United Nations Mission in South Sudan camp in Malakal, Upper Nile State March 3, 2014. (Andreea Campeanu/Courtesy Reuters)

Medicines sans Frontiers (MSF –“Doctors Without Borders”) issued a detailed criticism of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) for its alleged failure to improve conditions at the Tomping displaced persons camp in Juba. UNMISS is trying close the camp and remove the displaced persons elsewhere. This will pose logistical challenges during the rainy season, now underway. Read more »

Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons in Northern Nigeria

by John Campbell
Families from Gwoza, Borno State, displaced by the violence and unrest caused by the insurgency, are pictured at a refugee camp in Mararaba Madagali, Adamawa State, February 18, 2014. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters) Families from Gwoza, Borno State, displaced by the violence and unrest caused by the insurgency, are pictured at a refugee camp in Mararaba Madagali, Adamawa State, February 18, 2014. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters)

The ongoing insurgency in northern Nigeria, called “Boko Haram,” and the government’s often brutal attempts to suppress it, have produced a tide of refugees and internally displaced in one of the world’s poorest regions. With the “fog of war,” government restrictions on news agencies, and a poor communications infrastructure, it is difficult to survey needs with precision. Read more »

The Central African Republic: Where Elections Could Do More Harm Than Good

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
(L-R) Archbishop of Bangui Dieudonne Nzapalainga; Bangas Nicolas, a minister in the evangelical church; and imam Oumar Kobine Layama, representative of the Muslim community in Bangui attend during a meeting between religious representatives, Bangui residents and African and French peacekeeping forces, in Bangui, February 10, 2014. (Luc Gnago/Courtesy Reuters) (L-R) Archbishop of Bangui Dieudonne Nzapalainga; Bangas Nicolas, a minister in the evangelical church; and imam Oumar Kobine Layama, representative of the Muslim community in Bangui attend during a meeting between religious representatives, Bangui residents and African and French peacekeeping forces, in Bangui, February 10, 2014. (Luc Gnago/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Emily Mellgard, research associate for the Council on Foreign Relations Africa Studies program.

Elections are often seen as progress toward democracy in Africa. Elections confer legitimacy on governments, especially abroad. However, in some conflicts, conducting elections credible enough to confer legitimacy is an unrealistic goal. Instead there are “election-like-events.” These may even exacerbate internal cleavages within a society. Rushing into elections in the Central African Republic will not resolve the breakdown of order there and could make it worse. Read more »

Tapping into Africa’s Potential: Why the Marginalized Matter

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
A woman sets up her shop at the Konyo Konyo market in Juba, South Sudan, May 12, 2012. (Adriane Ohanesian/Courtesy Reuters) A woman sets up her shop at the Konyo Konyo market in Juba, South Sudan, May 12, 2012. (Adriane Ohanesian/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Lynn ElHarake, research associate for the Women and Foreign Policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations.

“Africa is now the world’s youngest continent,” writes Makhtar Diop, vice president for Africa at the World Bank. “These young people have high expectations, and African policy makers are increasingly concerned about how to meet them.” Read more »

Repatriating Somali Refugees: A Kenyan National Security Red Herring

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
Refugees who have been living in the outskirts of the proper camps in Hagadera load their belongings onto trucks as they choose to relocate to the newly-opened Kambioos settlement, at Kenya's Dadaab Refugee Camp, situated northeast of the capital Nairobi near the Somali border, August 29, 2011. (Jonathan Ernst/Courtesy Reuters) Refugees who have been living in the outskirts of the proper camps in Hagadera load their belongings onto trucks as they choose to relocate to the newly-opened Kambioos settlement, at Kenya's Dadaab Refugee Camp, situated northeast of the capital Nairobi near the Somali border, August 29, 2011. (Jonathan Ernst/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Alex Dick-Godfrey, program coordinator, Studies administration for the Council on Foreign Relations Studies program. 

Even before the Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya last September, the Kenyan government was wary of the threat posed by Somali terrorist organizations, especially al-Shabaab. After the attack, Kenyan lawmakers heightened their focus on the terrorist organization, and swiftly retaliated. There was also an almost immediate backlash against the nearly 500,000 Somali refugees currently in Kenya. Many Kenyans suspect the Westgate Mall attackers came from a refugee camp, and the presence of the camps has long been a source of tension for the communities around them. Kenya would be wise, however, to not disproportionately blame Somali refugees for security issues within Kenya. Read more »

Djotodia Goes But Chaos in the Central African Republic Remains

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
Anti-balaka militiamen pose for a photograph on the outskirts of the capital of the Central African Republic Bangui, January 15, 2014. (Siegfried Modola/Courtesy Reuters) Anti-balaka militiamen pose for a photograph on the outskirts of the capital of the Central African Republic Bangui, January 15, 2014. (Siegfried Modola/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Emily Mellgard, research associate for the Council on Foreign Relations Africa Studies program.

Michel Djotodia’s long held political aspirations came to an ignominious end last week when he resigned as the Central African Republic’s (CAR) chief of state and went into exile in Benin. Prime Minister Nicolas Tiengaye also stepped down. Read more »

Polio in Nigeria: Progress and Continued Obstacles

by John Campbell
Arnaud Bivilia, 12, who suffers from polio, stands at the Stand Proud compound in Kinshasa November 29, 2011. (Finbarr O'Reilly/Courtesy Reuters) Arnaud Bivilia, 12, who suffers from polio, stands at the Stand Proud compound in Kinshasa November 29, 2011. (Finbarr O'Reilly/Courtesy Reuters)

Polio numbers in Nigeria for 2013 are likely to be less than they were in 2012. Given the turmoil in northeastern Nigeria associated with the Boko Haram insurrection, this would seem to indicate real progress for the polio eradication program despite the insecurity of the region that the program operates in. However, the security situation in Nigeria, and elsewhere where polio is found, political, and religious obstacles continue to impede the eradication of the disease. Read more »

Rebels Surrender in Eastern Congo

by John Campbell
Congolese soldiers guard suspected M23 rebel fighters who surrendered in Chanzo village in the Rutshuru territory near the eastern town of Goma, November 5, 2013. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters) Congolese soldiers guard suspected M23 rebel fighters who surrendered in Chanzo village in the Rutshuru territory near the eastern town of Goma, November 5, 2013. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters)

For as long as a generation, parts of the eastern Congo have been hell on earth. The depredations of war lords, militias, and even the Congolese army itself, in a context of the breakdown of government and gangster-like intervention from abroad have made the region nearly unlivable. Eastern Congo has become notorious for the wholesale looting of its vast natural resources and the widespread use of rape for political ends. Under such circumstances, the announcement that a particularly vicious rebel group, M23, would end its rebellion and begin surrendering its weapons can only offer hope in what has long been a hopeless situation. Read more »

Adolescent Motherhood: Children Giving Birth to Children

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
A woman carrying her baby and wrapped with a shawl walks through a sandstorm in Timbuktu July 29, 2013.  (Joe Penney/Courtesy Reuters) A woman carrying her baby and wrapped with a shawl walks through a sandstorm in Timbuktu July 29, 2013. (Joe Penney/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Emily Mellgard, research associate for the Council on Foreign Relations Africa Studies program.

The UNFPA’s 2013 “State of the World Population” report, published today, focuses on “Motherhood in Childhood.” It puts a very necessary spotlight on the alarming rates of girls and young women, mostly in developing countries, who continue to give birth to children while they are still children themselves. Read more »