Global Insider: Specter of Genocide Still Hangs Over France-Rwanda Relations

By The Editors

The 30th anniversary of Rwanda’s 1994 genocide this month was marked by the re-emergence of tensions between France and Rwanda, after Rwandan President Paul Kagame claimed that France bore some responsibility for the genocide. In an email interview, Bruno Charbonneau, associate professor of political science at Laurentian University and the director of the Center for Peace and Humanitarian Missions Studies at Universite du Quebec a Montreal, Canada, explained the continuing tensions in France-Rwanda ties.

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Sterile Politics Leaves Algeria’s Problems Unaddressed

Returning the ailing Abdelaziz Bouteflika to the presidency for a fourth term, Algeria’s April 17 elections delivered few surprises. Meanwhile, Algerians questioned the legitimacy of the electoral process by staying home in large numbers. Algeria’s competing political platforms—stability versus institutional reform—had surprisingly little to say to most Algerians about the concrete challenges facing the country.

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To Reign or Rule: Morocco’s Halting Road to Liberalization

By George Joffé
, on , Feature

On July 23, 1999, Morocco’s ruler, King Hassan II, died and was succeeded by his eldest son, Mohammed VI. Many Moroccans hoped that the succession would also entail a transition from a system of autocratic rule to a liberal democracy, and the new king’s early initiatives seemed likely to give substance to these hopes. Now, 15 years later, it is possible to see to what extent those hopes have been fulfilled and, if they have not, to determine why and to what degree they have been disappointed. more

Pressure Mounts as Deadline for EU-Africa Trade Talks Looms

By Stephen R. Hurt
, on , Briefing

The first EU-Africa summit since 2010 was held in Brussels this month. Much of the media focus leading up to the summit was on Robert Mugabe’s failed bid to instigate a boycott of the meeting by African leaders. Beyond these headlines, however, trade relations between the two parties continue to be one of pressing importance, with negotiations for Economic Partnership Agreements one of the most divisive issues. more

U.S. Struggles to Build Coherent Response to Ugandan Anti-Gay Law

By Matt Peterson
, on , Trend Lines

A panel discussion on Thursday organized by the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at the NYU School of Law discussed options for U.S. policy toward Uganda, after relations were ruffled by a new Ugandan law signed in February that imposes harsh legal penalties, including life sentences, for homosexual acts. The question is whether the Obama administration can produce an effective response to the new law. more

Attacks on Rwanda’s Exiles Reveal Deeper Troubles for Kagame

By Jon Rosen
, on , 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

Central African Republic a Crisis Too Far for Chad’s Regional Security Ambitions

By Celeste Hicks
, on , Briefing

With Chad’s April 3 announcement that it would pull its peacekeepers out of the CAR, the country finally seemed to be bending to widespread criticism of the actions of its soldiers. Things had deteriorated for Chad’s armed forces since last year, when their role in support of France’s Operation Serval in Mali was widely praised. The CAR may have forced Chad to recognize the limits of its regional ambitions. more

Aid Under Fire: Health Care and the Costs of Conflict

By Hannah Vaughan-Lee
, on , Feature

In recent years, the security threats facing humanitarian aid workers have been the subject of headlines and debates. The humanitarian advocacy community has also been filled with discussions of a perceived increase in the politicization of humanitarian aid. But the debate over violence and politicization in turn raises another important and complex question that requires greater attention: Are the costs of conflict now greater for affected populations, particularly when it comes to health? more

Kagame’s Rwanda Presents South Africa With Delicate Balancing Act

By James Hamill
, on , Briefing

Relations between South Africa and Rwanda have suffered a sharp downturn with the murder and attempted murder in South Africa of two former high-level Rwandan security officers who had fled Rwanda for South Africa. While the Rwandan regime formally denied responsibility, the attacks have poisoned bilateral relations, which had been close until South Africa began providing safe haven for Rwandan exiles. more

In Sidelining Rival, Uganda’s Museveni Might Drive Internal Challenges Underground

By Gaaki Kigambo
, on , Briefing

A recent move by Uganda’s ruling NRM party all but secured yet another opening for longtime President Yoweri Museveni to represent the party without any internal challenge in the next elections in 2016. However, instead of securing party unity and cohesion, as is hoped, the efforts to undercut a rival have the potential to drive internal dissent further underground, where it might hurt Museveni and the NRM more. more

Toxic Mix of Oil and Politics Threatens Libya’s Cohesion

By Thijs Van de Graaf
, on , Briefing

Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan was removed Tuesday after failing to stop a tanker from sailing away with an illicit shipment of Libyan oil. The event underscores the crucial role of the oil industry in the country’s current political instability. Libya is now on the brink of collapse, following a pattern in which the presence of oil in ethnically divided societies spurs secessionist conflicts and civil wars. more