Displaced people watch a helicopter carrying U.N. Undersecretary-General for Peace Operations Jean Pierre Lacroix land in Bunia, eastern Congo, Feb. 22, 2022 (AP photo by Moses Sawasawa).

The seven member states of the East African Community have agreed to create a regional military force to be deployed to eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The bloc’s leaders announced the decision at a special meeting on Congo held last week in Nairobi at the request of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who currently serves at the EAC’s rotating chairperson. The bloc also appealed to the African Union and the United Nations for support for the initiative, which is designed to end decades of bloodshed caused by militant activity and bring peace and stability to eastern Congo, a call the two bodies appear to […]

A woman holds up a banner during a protest against Tunisian President Kais Saied, in Tunis, Tunisia, April 10, 2022 (AP photo by Hassene Dridi).

In the fall of 2012, as Syria plunged into civil war and the Eurozone crisis generated panic across global markets, a parliamentary election in Ukraine signaled trouble ahead to those who were paying attention. The results that trickled out on Oct. 28, 2012, indicated that then-President Viktor Yanukovych’s Party of Regions had secured a strong position through dubious constitutional maneuvers and ballot manipulation. In the aftermath of the elections, Yanukovych’s corrupt and Russia-friendly clique tried to bend Ukraine to their whims. The simmering discontent among large parts of the population over Yanukovych’s power grab was the first escalation in political […]

Rwandan President Paul Kagame speaks in Nairobi, Kenya, Feb. 11, 2020 (AP photo by John Muchucha).

The government of Rwanda announced earlier this month what it described as a “migration and economic development partnership” with the United Kingdom, in which the U.K. claims it would send migrants who had reached British territory to Rwanda for processing of their asylum claims for possible settlement in the U.K. But in practical terms, the asylum seekers will be transported to Rwanda permanently. Almost immediately after the agreement was announced, it came under fire, with critics calling London’s role in it a legally dubious violation of international humanitarian norms that treats human beings like commodities, all to help the U.K. “outsource its refugee problems.” But […]

People walk across a makeshift bridge over a river, after a bridge was swept away in Ntuzuma, outside Durban, South Africa, April 12, 2022. (AP photo).

South Africa is grappling with one of the most devastating floods in the country’s history. Several days of heavy rainfall in the coastal city of Durban and its surrounding KwaZulu-Natal province have left more than 400 people dead, 4,000 homes destroyed and 40,000 people displaced, according to local officials. Many locals have gone missing, while the damage to property and infrastructure continues to run into the billions. President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a national state of disaster and deployed troops to help rebuild collapsed roads and bridges and to manage search and rescue efforts, including the delivery of food, water and clothing […]

Supporters of Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa, attend a rally in Harare, Feb. 20, 2022 (AP photo by Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi).

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa—In late January, at the Bronte Hotel—a favorite haunt of foreign correspondents in Harare—a brand-new Zimbabwean opposition party was officially launched. Just three months later, that party, known as the Citizens Coalition for Change or CCC, was celebrating what looked to be a triumphant start. In a round of by-elections late last month, its candidates won 19 of the 28 parliamentary races and 61 percent of the local council seats that were up for grabs. This was proof, insisted party leader Nelson Chamisa in a press conference shortly after the results were announced, that the newcomers, who were hard to miss […]

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE prime minister and ruler of Dubai, attends World Government Summit at the Dubai Expo 2020, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, March 29, 2022 (AP photo by Ebrahim Noroozi).

Dubai’s Expo 2020, the international fair hosted in the United Arab Emirates, closed last month to rave reviews. The mega event, which was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic but retained its official name for marketing and branding purposes, ran from October 2021 to March 2022. In that time, it recorded more than 24 million visitors from more than 190 countries, according to the fair’s official website, with hundreds of millions more visiting virtually. That traffic reflects Dubai’s status as an emerging global hub between the Middle East and Europe on one hand, and Asia—particularly South Asia, from where more than a third […]

Spent bullet casings lie scattered on the ground in a hut near the village of Chenna Teklehaymanot, in the Amhara region of northern Ethiopia, Sept. 9, 2021 (AP file photo).

In 2019, Ethiopia’s young and dynamic prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to resolve the longstanding tensions between his country and Eritrea. His announcement of domestic political reforms were received well both abroad and at home, many Ethiopians had felt excluded by a political system seen as having been captured by the country’s Tigrayan ethnic minority. Today, none of this enthusiasm is left. In late 2020, long-running tensions between the central government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, once the dominant ethnic party in the ruling coalition, escalated into a full-blown civil war. […]

British Home Secretary Priti Patel shakes hands with Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs Vincent Biruta after signing what the two countries called an “economic development partnership” in Kigali, Rwanda, April 14, 2022 (AP Photo by Muhizi Olivier).

Rwanda has announced an agreement with the United Kingdom to take in some asylum-seekers for processing in the East African country. Having pledged to control the country’s borders during the successful “Brexit” campaign to leave the European Union, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday announced a crackdown on migrant crossings via routes across the English Channel, saying that migrants who do not meet strict asylum criteria will be flown more than 4,000 miles to Rwanda for processing and possible resettlement there. British Home Secretary Priti Patel traveled to Kigali, the capital, to sign the deal, which includes £120 million—approximately $160 million—in aid to […]

Kakwenza Rukirabashaija, who says he was tortured for weeks while in detention, appears before a court in a failed bid to have his passport returned so he could seek medical treatment abroad, Feb. 1, 2022 (AP photo by Hajarah Nalwadda).

Editor’s Note: This article contains descriptions of police abuse, abduction and torture. The soldiers arrived at the Kampala home of Kakwenza Rukirabashaija, the award-winning Ugandan novelist, on a mid-afternoon in late December. Armed with machine guns and sledgehammers, they beat him and dragged him out, shoving him into the backseat of an unmarked car. The writer, desperate, attempted to call a lawyer, but his phone was swiftly confiscated by his captors. Rukirabashaija spent the next two weeks in the bowels of a detention facility, where he was tortured daily. He emerged 26 pounds lighter and unable to walk on his own, […]

Matumelo Manosa works in a garment factory in Maseru, Lesotho, Feb. 24, 2022 (AP photo by Neo Ntsoma).

In the second quarter of 2022, economic forecasts are looking positive, and analysts are especially hopeful about new power dynamics emerging in Western economies and job markets. According to Forbes, for instance, 2022 has encouraged a “buyers market” in which “employees are demanding better work-life balance and companies are taking note.” There is much evidence to support this claim. With the ball in their court, workers are now demanding more flexible work schedules, as well as better pay and benefits, and companies seem to be responding positively. Many have extended work-from-home policies implemented at the onset of the pandemic, while a […]

Pupils attend class at Kitante Primary School on the first day of classes after a 22-month pandemic closure, Kampala, Uganda, Jan. 10, 2022 (AP photo by Hajarah Nalwadda).

In March 2020, before the first COVID-19 case was even recorded in Uganda, President Yoweri Museveni went on national television to announce a country-wide closure of schools. Calling schools the “perfect grounds for new infections,” he said he was making the “move early to avoid the stampede.” Most of the country’s classrooms would remain closed for 22 months, one of the longest COVID-related shutdowns in the world. They finally reopened in January, and educators are still assessing the fallout. First-year primary school classrooms are overflowing with three-years’ worth of pupils, while secondary school campuses have been drained of students who found jobs or got […]

Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi attends a press conference during the G-20 Compact with Africa, August 27, 2021 (DPA photo via AP Images).

At a virtual summit held Tuesday, the leaders of the East African Community’s member states approved the Democratic Republic of Congo’s admission into the bloc. Congo joins Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda as the trade bloc’s seventh member, giving a significant boost to the country’s trade and security prospects, as well as to regional and continental integration efforts. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who serves as the EAC’s rotating chairperson, described the occasion as “historic” for the bloc and the continent at large, pointing to its potential to increase trade and investment opportunities for the EAC’s citizens, while providing its […]