Essays | December 9, 2014

Citizens’ Revolt in Burkina Faso

By Ernest Harsch

Even the long months of demonstrations and strikes that came before did not fully prepare the people of Burkina Faso for what they would accomplish during the last week of October 2014. In Ouagadougou, the capital, hundreds of thousands—organizers claimed a million—packed the central square on Tuesday, 28 October, to protest President Blaise Compaoré’s “constitutional coup,” as they called his plan to force through an amendment enabling him to run for reelection yet again, after more than a quarter century in power. Read more…

Essays | July 1, 2014

Protests and the Construction of National Security Threats in South Africa

By Jane Duncan

The revelations by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden – that the United States (US) has developed surveillance capacities that make it possible for intelligence agents to surveil all Americans and many non-Americans – have provoked outrage and debate over the extent of their anti-terror policies far beyond their border. This massive overreach has even crept into the monitoring of popular mobilization. Read more…

Digests | May 30, 2014

El-Sisi’s Election in Egypt: an Overwhelming Victory or an Electoral Farce?

By Aaron Pangburn and Karim Kamel

On 29 May 2014, hours after the conclusion of an additional third day of voting, an expected outcome was confirmed. Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, Field Marshal and Ex-Military Chief, will be the next president of the Arab Republic of Egypt. Although official results expect to be announced in the coming days by the legally mandated Presidential Elections Commission (PEC), unofficial results reported by the judges supervising the polls, revealed an overwhelming victory for El-Sisi with 93% percent of the votes cast. Read more…

Digests | April 28, 2014

Rwanda’s Twenty-Year Transformation

By Hilary Matfess

This April marks twenty years since the horrifying 1994 Rwandan Genocide, though government coordinated commemoration ceremonies, dubbed Kwibuka 20, have been underway since January 2014. Amidst the remembrances, official and private, theatrical and sincere, Rwandans and international observers will be forced to consider the extent to which the situation in Rwanda has changed in the past two decades. Read more…

Essays | March 21, 2014

Part II: Anxieties of West African Democracy: Six Presidential Elections in 2014-2015

By Gilles Olakounlé Yabi

In the first part of this article, the author describes the political context surrounding the high-risk presidential elections that will take place in six countries in West Africa in 2014-2015. It considered in particular, the anticipated intensity of electoral competition in each country, one of the three elements of risk he’ll use, to assess the likelihood of violence. In this second part, he examines the current security context of the different countries and the institutional environments that will oversee the electoral process. This essay was originally written in French and translated by African Futures. All issues of misinterpretation or mistranslation are therefore solely the editors’ responsibility. To ensure the author’s original nuance, please read the French version.

Essays | March 21, 2014

Partie II: La Démocratie de l’Angoisse: l’Afrique de l’Ouest et ses Six Élections Présidentielles de 2014-2015

By Gilles Olakounlé Yabi

Dans la première partie de cet article, l’auteur a décrit le contexte politique dans lequel se dérouleront les élections présidentielles dans les six pays d’Afrique de l’Ouest concernés par ces scrutins souvent à haut risque cette année et en 2015. Il a examiné en particulier l’intensité anticipée de la compétition électorale dans chacun des pays, un des trois éléments d’appréciation des risques de violence. Dans cette deuxième partie, il s’interroge sur le contexte sécuritaire actuel des différents pays et sur l’environnement institutionnel qui devra encadrer les processus électoraux. Anglais…