Burundi held a referendum on Thursday amid growing violence, and intimidation as the government tried to silence voices opposed to its plan to alter the constitution.
The changes, if passed could reset the clock on term limits for President Pierre Nkurunziza — potentially giving him an additional 14 years in power — and paving the way for the dismantling of ethnic balances embedded in the 2000 Arusha Agreement, which brought an end to Burundi’s protracted civil war.
According to the new Constitution, clauses guaranteeing the minority Tutsi community a 40 or 50 per cent share of posts in some state institutions will be reviewed over the next five years.… Seguir leyendo »
In an interview with Tagesschau’s Alexander Göbel, Crisis Group’s Central Africa Project Director Richard Moncrieff discusses DR Congo’s many crises and how the international community can deal with the country’s ongoing political blockage.
Richard, what is the current situation in the Democratic Republic of DRC?
It’s not good. There is a complete political blockage. The best way to describe it is to go back to the beginning of the year to what is called the Saint Sylvester agreement, where opposition parties and pro-government parties (known as the Majority) agreed that they would hold elections in the course of 2017 and that the constitution wouldn’t be changed in light of these elections.… Seguir leyendo »
On Nov. 15, the United Nations Security Council will meet to decide on the fate of the U.N. mission in Central African Republic, known by its acronym MINUSCA. In stark contrast to the debate over the U.N. mission in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, which the U.S. pushed to reduce last April after citing its ineffectiveness and cost, few in New York expect cuts to the Central African Republic (CAR) mission. To the contrary, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres visited CAR at the end of October and called for increasing the mission’s authorized troop ceiling, currently just over 12,000, by an additional 900 troops.… Seguir leyendo »
On 22 September, massive protests across Cameroon’s Anglophone regions brought an estimated 30-80,000 people onto the streets. These were far larger than those which sparked the crisis at the end of 2016. In clashes with security forces, three to six protesters reportedly died – the first deaths in the crisis since January.
The demonstration came in the context of an already-deteriorating situation marked by the use of homemade bombs by militants, the failure to open schools for a second year due to ongoing strikes, and mounting incidents of arson.
The violence followed incidents in Western capitals throughout the previous month. On 1 August, a meeting in Washington between a senior delegation from the Cameroonian government and the US-based diaspora descended into farce, interrupted by angry exchanges.… Seguir leyendo »
The crisis that has engulfed Burundi since April 2015 is the result of infighting among a small number of insiders belonging to the ruling party, the CNDD-FDD. Having all fought in the bush together, some of them felt that the president, Pierre Nkurunziza, should make way for others to have a turn at the top job, and refused to accept his plan to rule for life.
Most senior members of the regime were and remain officers, having joined the new army at senior ranks after the civil war. The government presents a civilian veneer to the outside world, but it has always been military at heart.… Seguir leyendo »
L’ex-province du Katanga, en République démocratique du Congo (RDC), découpée en quatre nouvelles provinces en 2015 (Haut-Katanga, Tanganyika, Haut-Lomami et Lualaba), est depuis cette même année en proie à des querelles entre le camp du président Joseph Kabila et celui de ses adversaires, presque tous ses anciens alliés. Figures centrales de cette opposition récente : Moïse Katumbi, homme d’affaires et ancien gouverneur du Katanga (aujourd’hui en exil), et Gabriel Kyungu wa Kumwanza, président de l’Union nationale des fédéralistes du Congo (Unafec). Depuis la dernière publication de Crisis Group sur la région du Katanga en 2016, cette guerre d’influence s’est encore envenimée.… Seguir leyendo »
The death of prominent opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi has deprived the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) of a unique political figure who was at the forefront of the fight for democracy for over three decades.
His loss is a major blow to the main opposition coalition, the Rassemblement, which he led alongside the relative newcomer, ex-Katanga Governor Moïse Katumbi. It also undermines the DRC’s faltering transition and may play into the hands of the ruling majority that has consistently sought to delay elections.
Coming just a month after the signing of a political agreement, which would have put him at the head of an important follow-up committee, his departure robs the opposition of a leader able to combine genuine street-level popularity with an ability to squeeze out political deals.… Seguir leyendo »
Burundi will soon mark two years since it was propelled into a political crisis by President Pierre Nkurunziza’s determination to be elected to a third term in power. As it stands, more than 327,000 of Burundi’s 11 million people have now sought refuge outside the country according to UN figures from early 2017 – nearly all fleeing since the crisis erupted.
This calamity reverses a decade of refugee returns after the 1993-2005 civil war, and a new surge of people fleeing in late-2016 risks overwhelming the woefully underfunded humanitarian response.
Most live in camps in neighbouring Tanzania, which has hosted Burundian refugees since the 1970s.… Seguir leyendo »
Worldwide indignation has been spurred on by the actions of Boko Haram in Nigeria — from the 2011 bombings of the United Nations headquarters in the capital Abuja to the kidnapping of the 276 Chibok schoolgirls in northeast Nigeria in April 2014.
But, as a report by the International Crisis Group published this month details, not nearly enough attention has been paid to the damage inflicted by the jihadist group in neighbouring countries, particularly Cameroon’s far North.
The report shows that Boko Haram’s presence dates back to at least 2009, when the jihadi group crossed Cameroon’s border after the Maiduguri crackdown and started settling sleeping cells, caches of weapons and using the Far North region as a refuge for its logisticians.… Seguir leyendo »
African leaders meeting in Luanda this week got part of the way to solving the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) political crisis, endorsing a proposed sixteen-month delay for the DRC’s presidential election. But to ensure the frustration of the DRC opposition and popular anger does not spill over into more violence, they must do much more to make sure the elections actually happen this time.
The DRC Constitution stipulates that the election should take place by 19 December, but the lack of preparation means this now cannot happen. This has sparked a political crisis over the future of President Joseph Kabila, who appears determined to defy the constitution’s ban on him standing for another term and staying in power beyond that date.… Seguir leyendo »
The actions of President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) make clear his intention to stay in power beyond his second term. But with the people set against it, and a strong and unambiguous two-term limit in the constitution, his ambitions are leading his country to a dangerous impasse.
Since 2010, Kabila has deployed various tactics to delay the elections, hoping that this will allow him to stay on in a transitional arrangement. He has already achieved one of his goals: the timetable for presidential elections this year is no longer feasible.
This is a hazardous strategy. … Seguir leyendo »