Women walk beneath an election banner for the ruling Frelimo party in Maputo, Mozambique, Oct. 11, 2019 (AP photo by Ferhat Momade).

The stakes were high when Mozambique voted in general elections on Oct. 15, its sixth poll since 1994, when the country’s first multiparty elections began what has been a shaky transition from 16 years of civil war. But rather than ease tensions, this month’s vote has inflamed new ones amid charges of voter fraud and electoral violence. When fighting between the government and Renamo, the former rebel group and now main opposition party, flared up in 2013, there were fears of a slide back into open warfare. Although a cease-fire allowed general elections to go forward in 2014, this month’s […]

Russian President Vladimir Putin and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi, Oct. 24, 2019 (pool photo by Gavriil Grigorov of TASS News Agency via AP Images).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, Andrew Green curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. Russian President Vladimir Putin had a message for African leaders this week: Moscow is ready to make some deals. Putin’s government brought 43 African heads of state or government to the Black Sea resort town of Sochi for the first-ever Russia-Africa Summit. The Russians simultaneously sent a pair of nuclear-capable bombers to South Africa, apparently the first time the Soviet-era aircraft had ever landed on the continent, reinforcing both Russia’s strategic capabilities and what it might be able to offer African governments. […]

Mozambican President Felipe Nyusi, bottom left, casts his vote in the country’s presidential election, in Maputo, Mozambique (AP photo by Ferhat Momade).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, Andrew Green curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. Key presidential elections on either end of the continent this week delivered markedly different results. While a vote in Mozambique appears to have secured a victory for the longtime ruling party, elections in Tunisia may have introduced a new political era. Tunisia’s presidential campaign, which outsider Kais Saied won in a landslide, had been full of surprises from the beginning. The vote was moved up a few months after the country’s first democratically elected president, Beji Caid Essebsi, died in office. An […]

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, left, stands with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa at a welcoming ceremony in Pretoria, South Africa, Oct. 3, 2019 (AP photo by Themba Hadebe).

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari traveled to Pretoria in early October to meet his South African counterpart, Cyril Ramaphosa, just weeks after the latest outbreak of attacks against foreigners—including Nigerians—in South Africa in September. The visit was intended to smooth over bilateral relations between Africa’s two largest economies, which have been bumpy in recent years, in part because of periodic episodes of xenophobic violence in South Africa. Xenophobic violence has been a problem in South Africa for years, with recent peaks in 2008 and 2015 prior to the most recent attacks in September. Analysts have pointed to numerous causes, notably a […]

Opposition leader Riek Machar, left, greets South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, in Juba, South Sudan, Sept. 9, 2019 (AP photo by Sam Mednick).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, Andrew Green curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. South Sudan’s peace deal showed signs of faltering this week ahead of a November implementation deadline. With key provisions unmet, including an agreement on the boundaries of the country’s states, opposition leader Riek Machar is now threatening to boycott the unity government that is the centerpiece of the deal. Rights groups are also faulting the signatories for failing to set up a tribunal to consider wartime atrocities. The agreement, signed in September 2018, lays out a set of requirements, including the formation […]

Zambian President Edgar Lungu at the Southern African Development Community’s leaders’ conference in Pretoria, South Africa, Aug. 19, 2017 (AP photo by Themba Hadebe).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, Andrew Green curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. With Zambia’s National Assembly set to debate changes to the country’s constitution, President Edgar Lungu appears to be consolidating his party’s power ahead of his 2021 reelection campaign. The proposed changes would give the president unprecedented authority to remove members of the judiciary, eliminate restrictions on his ability to appoint ministers and strip the National Assembly of many of its oversight responsibilities, including fiscal controls. The amendments would also grant the parliamentary body new control over its size, which may give Lungu’s […]