President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of Argentina recently led a trade mission to Angola to push for a food-for-oil deal with the oil-rich southern African country. In an email interview, Vasco Martins, an affiliated researcher at the Portuguese Institute of International Relations and Security, discussed Angola’s external relations. WPR: What are the main domestic and international factors driving Angola’s external relations? Vasco Martins: Angola’s domestic interests seem to reside above all in assuring continuing funding for its national reconstruction program in order to enhance the provision of services in several areas and to extend state administration throughout its territory, especially […]

RUBAVU COUNTY, Rwanda — Like most of those seeking refuge at the Nkamira Transit Center, Queen Maombi has a harrowing tale of escape from her native Democratic Republic of Congo. Maombi, 34, is one of nearly 9,000 Congolese that have overwhelmed this temporary camp since April, when a fresh wave of violence hit eastern Congo’s long restive North Kivu province. Like Maombi, nearly all of the new arrivals are Congolese by birth but ethnically Rwandan — a distinction that effectively branded them enemies of the state following a mutiny against the Congolese army by soldiers loyal to Gen. Bosco Ntaganda, […]

EU naval forces operating off the coast of Somali conducted their first raid on the Somali mainland earlier this month. In an email interview, Hans-Georg Ehrhart, the head of the Center for European Peace and Security Studies of the Institute for Peace Research and Security Studies at the University of Hamburg, discussed the EU’s anti-piracy operation. WPR: What is the makeup of the European Union’s Operation Atalanta, in terms of force commitments and contributing countries, and how has it evolved over time? Hans-Georg Ehrhart: Operation Atalanta was launched in 2008 and has seen its mandate extended several times, now running […]

Ten years ago in Durban, South Africa, the African Union (AU) was formed to spearhead security, stability and prosperity in Africa. The AU built on the foundations of its predecessor, the Organization of African Unity (OAU), which had provided the framework for African cooperation since the early 1960s. Equally significant, the AU has co-existed with multiple subregional organizations, called Regional Economic Communities (RECs), such as the East African Community (EAC), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the […]

A series of recent crises in West Africa have put the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in the spotlight, demonstrating the organization’s potential to shape West African politics, but also the limitations on its ability to do so. In Mali, one domino after another has fallen since a Tuareg-led rebellion began in the north of the country on Jan. 17. Junior military officers seized power in the capital, Bamako, on March 22. Tuareg rebels seized control of three major cities in northern Mali and declared independence for the territory they call the “Azawad” on April 6. In nearby […]

The United States is training a growing force of African troops as part of a wider strategy to fight al-Qaida-affiliated militants in Somalia. Boot camps where contractors hired by the U.S. State Department provide training to Ugandan soldiers made headlines earlier this week. According to recent reports, U.S. contractors will train three quarters of the 18,000 African Union troops deployed to Somalia, and the U.S. government has spent $550 million over the past several years on training and equipment. Politics is what leads to the use of private contractors instead of the military in many African conflicts and crises, such […]

At the beginning of April, after a loose coalition of Tuareg rebel groups forced the Malian army to abandon Timbuktu, one of the armed factions involved in the fighting didn’t lose much time in announcing its ultimate objective: “We, the people of Azawad declare irrevocably the independence of the state of Azawad,” read the communiqué issued by the National Liberation Movement of Azawad — known by its French acronym, MNLA — five days after the ancient city fell. The bold declaration is of course mostly wishful thinking. No state or international organization has recognized the independence of Azawad, as the […]

article card

Mauritanian President Anerood Jugnauth recently resigned in order to rejoin party politics. In an email interview, Deborah Brautigam, a professor at American University, discussed the current state of governance and politics in Mauritius. WPR: What is Mauritius’ political culture like? Deborah Brautigam: Domestic politics in Mauritius is partly driven by the recognition that the island country is politically, geographically and economically vulnerable. Recognizing that vulnerability, different coalitions of political leaders have been able to strike a delicate balance, combining astute policies that strive to position Mauritius strategically to catch the waves of globalization with social policies that keep the population […]

New developments in a wide range of fields and regions have reshaped the global energy landscape. Whether due to newfound techniques or newfound reserves, regional politics or national policy, global energy seems to have entered an era in which limitless opportunities coexist with long-standing problems. This World Politics Review special report examines the emerging global energy picture. Below are links to each article in this special report, which subscribers can read in full. Not a subscriber? Purchase this document for Kindle or as a PDF from Scribd. Or, learn more about how you can try our subscription service free for […]