A controversial referendum in Central African Republic could allow President Faustin-Archange Touadera to run for a third term. International media has focused on the role Russia, Rwanda and CAR’s other international partners play in the political standoff. But ultimately local actors will determine if Touadera succeeds or fails.
Christian nationalism is not a new phenomenon, but in recent years it has led to the consolidation of power by politically conservative, illiberal and authoritarian political leaders and parties across the globe. The storming of Brazil’s seat of government, in part driven by this ideology, is the latest evidence of this trend.
Latin America should be watching the current protests in Peru and Venezuela nervously. The two crises have long and deep roots in local dynamics, but the anger seen in both countries over the past month is a reaction to causal factors that aren’t exclusive to them. Protesters are angry at political systems that are failing them.
New Delhi’s latest effort to establish “peace and normalcy” in the Jammu and Kashmir region has muzzled even the most vocal of Kashmiris. So if silence is the goal of the campaign, it has worked. Yet the false sense of peace created by improvements in the economy and security landscape belies the stark reality on the ground.
In recent years, formerly colonized countries have been advancing a confident and militant movement for reparatory justice, and it has seen results. But the breakthroughs made have been met with a stubborn resistance by the countries responsible for colonization and slavery to avoid framing the issue as reparations.
In early January, the United Arab Emirates’ foreign minister met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus. And a once unthinkable meeting between Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Assad is now also in the works. Clearly, 2023 has begun with the momentum for normalizing ties with the Assad regime growing.
The arrest of Luis Camacho, a prominent opposition leader, for his role in the alleged coup following Bolivia’s contested 2019 presidential election has aggravated political polarization. Government supporters view it as belated justice, while the opposition says it is a sign of the country’s slide toward authoritarianism.
Despite denials of a clampdown on press freedoms from the Hindu nationalist government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a growing number of journalists face harassment and threats of violence. Nowhere is this more evident than among the reporters who cover religion and communal violence, which is on the rise in India today.
Last September, the hacktivist group Guacamaya launched its largest cyberattack yet, targeting Mexico’s Secretariat of National Defense, as well as government agencies in El Salvador, Colombia, Peru and Chile. But while the group seeks accountability, they’ve also brought to light massive vulnerabilities in state institutions.
Articles about enforced disappearances fill the pages of Ugandan newspapers these days, with many of the victims opposition supporters. Though few doubt that Ugandan security forces are behind the abductions, uncertainty about what is driving them abounds. As a result, a sense of fear hangs over the streets of the capital.
The beginning of a new year always provides an opportunity to reflect on the events of the previous year. While 2022 doesn’t have a flagship event that resonates quite like some years in the recent past, it nonetheless featured or foreshadowed a number of trends and developments that will likely have an impact in 2023 and beyond.