Jon Rosen

Jon Rosen is a freelance journalist specializing in East Africa and Africa’s Great Lakes region. He has also worked as an independent analyst for Eurasia Group, the political risk research and consulting firm, and is a two-time finalist, and one time-winner, at the Diageo Africa Business Reporting Awards in London. A native of Amherst, MA, he has a B.A. from Tufts University and an M.A. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Follow him on Twitter @jw_rosen

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Articles written by Jon Rosen

Attacks on Rwanda’s Exiles Reveal Deeper Troubles for Kagame

By Jon Rosen
, , Briefing

Twenty years after Rwanda’s genocide, the killing in South Africa of one opponent of President Paul Kagame and a break-in at the South Africa residence of another fit a pattern of attacks against Rwandan exiles and have exposed a sense of unease within Kagame’s government. It’s possible that cracks in his inner circle could foment more broad-based opposition and threaten the country’s post-genocide rebirth. more

Strategic Posture Review: Kenya

By Jon Rosen
, , Report

After winning Kenya’s March 2013 presidential election, President Uhuru Kenyatta inherited the difficult task of leading East Africa’s most significant diplomatic and economic actor while simultaneously awaiting trial at the International Criminal Court. Meanwhile, his coalition government assumed oversight of Kenya’s growing role in the maintenance of regional security. Though tensions with Kenya's traditional partners in the West over the ICC trial now seem to be easing, Kenya’s numerous security threats, compounded by deep ethno-political divisions, will pose obstacles to its economic ambitions and efforts to play a stronger role in regional leadership. more

Rwanda’s Kagame Sees Influence in the DRC Take a Hit

By Jon Rosen
, , Briefing

Rwanda’s backing for the M23 militia’s rebellion last year in eastern DRC, and the resulting international condemnation of Rwandan President Paul Kagame, continues to have critical implications. With donors looking closely over his shoulder, his rebel ally weakened, and the arrival of a new robust U.N. intervention force in eastern DRC, Kagame’s ability to influence events in the region has taken a major hit. more

In Eastern DRC, Kabila's Weakness Fuels M23, Rwanda Crisis

By Jon Rosen
, , Briefing

While the strength of the M23 rebellion in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is largely due to its foreign backers, blaming Rwanda for the conflict ignores another key factor in the crisis: the gaping leadership void in Kinshasa. Congolese President Joseph Kabila is weak and vulnerable, unable to control a corrupt army and under fire from both allies and opponents for his loosening grip on the country. more

Ntaganda Mutiny Shatters Tenuous Peace in Eastern Congo

By Jon Rosen
, , Briefing

A 2009 agreement that patched up relations between Congolese President Joseph Kabila and Rwandan President Paul Kagame brought a degree of normalcy to the Democratic Republic of Congo's North Kivu province. Since March, however, a mutiny by soldiers loyal to Gen. Bosco Ntaganda has led to fierce battles between the rebels and the Congolese army and resulted in the displacement of tens of thousands of civilians. more

Rising from the Ashes: Rwanda's Bold Vision for Development

By Jon Rosen
, , Feature

Seventeen years after the genocide, Rwanda is widely considered one of the world's great development successes. But there may be no head of state more simultaneously adored and reviled than its president, Paul Kagame, a man acclaimed as a liberator and visionary by some and scorned as a war criminal and enemy of human rights by others. more

Facing Unrest, Uganda's Museveni Remains Defiant

By Jon Rosen
, , Briefing

Just weeks ago, the current state of unrest in Uganda seemed impossible. Yet a potent mix of economic forces and government miscalculations has since changed Uganda's political landscape. Now, the brutality with which President Yoweri Museveni has responded to the peaceful protests has brought comparisons to Idi Amin and created the first serious challenge to his once-unbreakable hold on the country. more

U.S. Law Has Congo's Workers Under Threat

By Jon Rosen
, , Briefing

While various armed groups generate millions of dollars per year from illegal stakes in mining, the region's natural riches are also a lifeline for tens of thousands of workers and their families. The rocks beneath the rolling hills of North and South Kivu provinces form the backbone of the region's economy.  Now, as a result of global efforts to rid Congo's mining of its criminal elements, the entire industry is under threat. more

Uganda's Museveni: 25 Years and Counting

By Jon Rosen
, , Briefing

When Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni seized power 25 years ago, he brought order to a nation that was reeling from two decades of crisis. After the terror-filled reigns of Idi Amin and Milton Obote, Museveni ushered in an era of relative prosperity. But in advance of Uganda's Feb. 18 election, the 66-year-old president is increasingly seen as a leader who has overstayed his welcome. more

The ICC in Kenya: Tackling Impunity or Sowing Ethnic Polarization?

By Jon Rosen
, , Briefing

BOMET COUNTY, Kenya -- Last month, when the chief prosecutor for the ICC requested summonses for six individuals on charges related to Kenya's 2007-2008 post-election violence, a majority of Kenyans applauded. In a country with a culture of impunity, many had given up on domestic justice to deal with those responsible for the violence. Yet here in Kenya's Rift Valley province, public opinion is decidedly more sour. more

Burundi Elections: Country on Edge

By Jon Rosen
, , World Politics Review

BUJUMBURA, Burundi -- For the capital of a country just years removed civil war, this lakeside city is cosmopolitan. But while the atmosphere may not show it, this city is on edge. Burundians will go to the polls for the country's first direct presidential election since its decade-long ethnic conflict ended in 2003. Monday's vote had been touted as a symbol of Burundi's hard-earned peace, but recent violence has tempered such rhetoric.
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Rwanda: The Two Faces of Paul Kagame

By Jon Rosen
, , World Politics Review

KIGALI, Rwanda -- In an ethnically divided nation where genocide survivors often live next door to their families' killers, Rwanda has avoided the return of systematic violence.  As the architect of his nation's rebirth, Rwandan President Paul Kagame has long attracted an international following. But the run-up to Rwanda's August election has exposed a radically different Kagame narrative. more

With U.N. Congo Mission at a Crossroads, No Let-Up in Violence

By Jon Rosen
, , World Politics Review

GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo -- The stability of this provincial capital in eastern Congo belies the estimated 1,300 people that continue to die each day as a consequence of war in the Congo. But as bad as the situation is outside of Goma's urban refuge, analysts fear it may soon be worse: President Joseph Kabila has called for a withdrawal of Congo's 20,000 U.N. peacekeepers, a withdrawal experts consider premature. more

Italy Turns up the Heat on Immigration

By Jon Rosen
, , World Politics Review

PALERMO, Italy -- In recent years, thanks to geography as well as a strong record of granting amnesty, Italy has become a top destination for international emigrants. But that might soon change due to a series of measures by the government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to turn up the heat on illegal immigration. The tough stance reflects a national zeitgeist that is increasingly wary of foreigners. more

As Kenya Rebuilds, Thousands are Left in the Shadows

ELDORET, Kenya -- In recent months, this country of 35 million has made great strides in moving on from the violence that killed 1,500 and uprooted as many as half a million. Once bitter rivals, Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga have become partners in a new government of national unity that has so far fared better than expected. Beneath the surface, however, the picture is not so rosy. Though thousands of displaced persons have centralized camps, many have returned to what the United Nations terms "transit camps." more