tag: political protest


December 9, 2014

Citizens’ Revolt in Burkina Faso

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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…

July 1, 2014

Protests and the Construction of National Security Threats in South Africa

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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…

October 11, 2013

Making Sense of the Protests in Khartoum

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In the ten days following September 23, Sudanese cities witnessed the largest anti-government protests in many years. Many of the protesters aimed to bring down the government; others sought a reversal of its recent decision to reduce fuel subsidies. The police and security services responded with lethal force, and according to Amnesty International, killed more than 200 protesters. The ruling party played on the fear that, if the protesters should bring down the government, they would bring down the state as well. The protests have now since subsided.
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October 7, 2013

Social Protest, an African Perennial

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Early one morning in March 2013, residents of Bujagali in eastern Uganda, upset by the deplorable state of the road through their village blocked it with logs and large stones. The protesters expressed anger that President Yoweri Museveni had not kept a promise to pave the road, which becomes virtually impassable during heavy rains and throws up dust clouds in dry weather. Although the residents seemed determined to keep the road closed—some youths jokingly planted banana suckers and maize across it—riot police eventually came from nearby Jinja, arrested several demonstrators, and dispersed the remainder. Read More…

August 2, 2013

Popular Mobilization and the New Politics of Resource Sovereignty in Tanzania

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In 1972, a resident of Tanzania’s impoverished southeastern region of Mtwara penned an angry missive to the editor of a national newspaper. “In Tanzania, there are two groups of people,” he began. “Those in northern and central regions are the ones who enjoy the country’s fruits of independence and those in southern regions are left behind without any progress.” He cited the government’s geographically lopsided investment in infrastructure and industry as evidence of this inequality, and concluded by posing a poignant question that cut to the heart of the young East African country’s aspirations of national unity: “Why are the southern people ignored?”
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May 29, 2013

Museveni and the Monitor: Succession Politics in Print

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On March 28, 2013, the ninth day since the headquarters of the Daily Monitor have been closed, the standoff was escalated as journalists were tear-gassed and struck by batons by Ugandan police outside the vacant office. Members from the Uganda’s Human Rights Network for Journalists organized a peaceful sit-in, but the guarding officers, after some provocation soon intervened, rapidly dispersing the hundred or so journalists, and arrested two for questioning.
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February 21, 2013

New Media in Africa and the Global Public Sphere

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In analyzing the relationship between a “global public sphere” and social media on the African continent, the generalizations hide a far more interesting set of observations. Debates and discussions about what passes for a global public sphere often overlook and obscure dynamics of power or take themselves too seriously.
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February 4, 2013

Urban Protests and Rural Violence in Africa: A Call for an Integrated Approach

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African countries appear to be in the midst of an epic shift in the nature of their political struggles. The continent continues its long-term decline in violent conflicts with the total number this year falling to half of their post-cold war peak. How do we make sense of this decline?
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December 19, 2012

The Language of the Political Crowd in Tunisia

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The 17th of December 2012 marked the second anniversary since the start of the Arab Spring in Tunisia. The actions of the Tunisian people helped inspire profound transformation across North Africa and invigorated similar discussions and protest movements throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. African Futures wishes to pay tribute to this occasion with an essay by Andrea Khalil, which analyzes the power of collective mobilization and language in Tunisia’s on-going revolution. – eds.
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October 2, 2012

Puntland, Multi-Party Politics, and its Place in Somalia

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While the world was rightly fixated on the new President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s election, al-Shaabab’s attempt at his assassination, and his inauguration over the last few weeks, another electoral process began in Somalia’s semi-autonomous northern state of Puntland; and it’s not off to a good start.
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