Comfort Ero

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Dear friends of Crisis Group,

On 8 August 2017, Kenyans will vote in eagerly anticipated local and presidential elections. The country’s strategic role as East Africa’s transport and commercial hub, the fact that it is one of the continent’s major democracies, and a history of election-related violence explain why these polls are so important and why they will be closely watched. As in past electoral cycles, the 2017 election is hard to call, the campaign has been vigorously fought and there is concern that voting could be marred by violence.

Since the start of the year, Crisis Group has been following the political campaigns and monitoring preparations for next Tuesday’s poll.…  Seguir leyendo »

Addressing his first African Union (AU) summit as Chairperson of its secretariat, Moussa Faki Mahamat spoke some home truths about the state of the continent. After five months in office, he said he had arrived at five important conclusions:

  • Africa needs a new approach to peacekeeping based on dialogue, reconciliation and consensus rather than the use of force;
  • The AU “must act now” to address root causes of migration – poverty, exclusion, marginalisation and war – that lead to the “simply intolerable” numbers of African migrants dying in the Mediterranean;
  • The AU member states must be willing to implement adopted decisions as the organisation “cannot remain in its current form”;
  • The 55 member states need to speak with one voice.
…  Seguir leyendo »

The kidnapping nearly a month ago of more than 200 schoolgirls in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno state is not only a tragedy in itself but also a timely reminder of a growing threat.

Boko Haram, which has claimed responsibility for the abductions, is in the fifth year of an insurgency that has cost at least 4,000 lives and displaced half a million people. About 1,500 have been killed this year alone; the group has also started popping up in neighbouring countries.

In the early days Boko Haram eschewed violence, and aimed to create a strict Islamic state in the north. After years of increasing hostility towards the government, the sect launched an armed insurgency in 2009.…  Seguir leyendo »