In recent years, the security threats facing humanitarian aid workers have been the subject of headlines and debates. The humanitarian advocacy community has been filled with discussions of a perceived increase in the politicization of humanitarian aid—attributed in part to declining respect for the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence—and growing difficulties ensuring operations can be conducted in accordance with those principles. These discussions frequently highlight attacks on relief personnel and assets to show that humanitarian workers are under attack. In the past year, the focus has narrowed to a particular area of humanitarian operations: medical and health […]

Relations between South Africa and Rwanda have suffered a sharp downturn in the first three months of 2014 with the murder in South Africa on New Year’s Eve of Patrick Karegeya, the former head of Rwandan external intelligence, and the attempted murder in Johannesburg in early March of the former head of the Rwandan army, Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa. Both men were once close confidants of Rwandan President Paul Kagame, but since fleeing Rwanda for South Africa, in 2007 and 2010 respectively, both have been viewed by Kigali as traitors, terrorists and legitimate targets for elimination. Indeed this was the third […]

This month, Saadi Gadhafi, the son of former Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, was extradited from Niger to Libya to face trial. In an email interview, Hanan Salah, a Libya researcher at Human Rights Watch, explained the progress and failures to date of Libya’s post-Gadhafi judiciary. WPR: What have been the areas of greatest progress and failure in the process of rebuilding Libya’s post-Gadhafi judiciary? Hanan Salah: More than two years after the end of the uprising, Libya’s justice system is facing numerous challenges, and the authorities are unable to impose law and order. Amid rampant violence mainly by unaccountable militias, […]

A recent internal party resolution by legislators from Uganda’s ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) 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. By then Museveni will have ruled the East African country for 30 years, the longest stretch by any leader in the region dating back to independence half a century ago. A similar move in 2010 was challenged successfully in the courts, on the grounds that the party’s constitution does not provide for reserving any particular leadership position for any given person. […]

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, while further eroding initially optimistic expectations about Libya’s transition and the return to health of its oil industry. Not so long ago, the political and economic prospects for Libya looked brighter. The toppling of the Gadhafi regime in 2011 set the country on the path of a democratic transition. The oil sector, which is the backbone of the Libyan economy, […]

Authorities in Burundi are seeking the arrest of an opposition leader after clashes between opposition party members and police, deepening a political crisis sparked by proposed constitutional changes that would allow the president to run for a third term. In an email interview, Stef Vandeginste, a lecturer in governance, development and conflict at the University of Antwerp whose research focuses on Burundi, explained the factors behind the country’s worst political crisis since its 12-year civil war ended nearly a decade ago. WPR: What was the genesis of Burundi’s current political crisis? Stef Vandeginste: The current crisis has two main causes, […]

Late last month, Nigerian central bank governor Lamido Sanusi was suspended from office after alleging that $20 billion had disappeared from the state oil company. In an email interview, Wale Adebanwi, associate professor of African American and African studies at University of California, Davis and author of the 2012 book “Authority Stealing: Anti-Corruption War and Democratic Politics in Post-Military Nigeria,” explained the state of anti-corruption efforts in Nigeria. WPR: What is the state of Nigeria’s anti-corruption efforts under President Goodluck Jonathan? Wale Adebanwi: It is appalling. And this is not surprising because, even before Jonathan became president, he served as […]