This week's guest editors

Debates and articles from across the openDemocracy website that discuss or are relevant to Africa

Boko Haram: time for an alternative approach

Military responses to Boko Haram have proved ineffective, as the latest atrocity in Nigeria highlights. An alternative focused on good governance, policing and socio-economic development, supported by the international community, would be much more likely to succeed.

Libya, Syria and the “responsibility to protect”: a moment of inflection?

Since the Rwandan genocide and the wars in former Yugoslavia, the idea of a “responsibility to protect” vulnerable populations has acquired currency. The Libyan and Syrian crises have, however, seen the value of that currency recalibrated.

Genocide and justice: where now?

Two decades after the Rwanda genocide, the promised hopes of international accountability for such crimes is in trouble. Andrew Wallis examines the ingredients of a crisis that is both legal and political.

Reconfiguring the state in eastern DRC: fixing the unfixable?

Two decades on from the Rwanda bloodletting, conflicts still simmer in neighbouring DRC. While their success remains mixed, two decades of external intervention and state-building heavily impinge on everyday life.

Oscar Pistorius: Shooting to kill

Can a white man be morally absolved if it is decided that he meant to shoot an ‘imaginary black intruder’ rather than his girlfriend? Ché Ramsden explores the dark depths of colonial and apartheid consciousness and its intersection with patriarchy in the Pistorius trial. 

Egypt under Sisi

The street in Cairo has become an insecure and volatile place. VICE News has been following avid supporters of General Sisi, revolutionaries who feel their aspirations are far from realisation and members of the Muslim Brotherhood outlawed by the military government.

France and Rwanda's genocide: a long wait

The belated trial of a suspected genocidaire in Paris highlights the complex political relationship between Rwanda and France. It also reflects problems in the hard road to international justice, says Andrew Wallis.

Taking the mask off: Asylum seekers in Israel

‘In this land, rights are determined by being part of an ethnic tribe, not the human tribe’. In interview with Zina Smith, activist David Sheen argues that recent protests by African asylum seekers hold a mirror up to Israel.

Françafrique and Africa’s security

Crises in Francophone Africa, as in Mali and the Central African Republic, cannot be solved by military action by the former colonial power. Root causes must be tackled, engaging civil-society actors, with the African Union playing a leading role in partnership with the European Union.

UK: life in limbo for Sudanese democracy activists

Britain remains blind to the reasons why threatened minorities and activists are forced to flee hostile regimes, treating those who seek asylum with hostility and disdain. We must recognise the bravery of those who want for their country the freedoms we take for granted.

Central African Republic: history of a collapse foretold?

Political instability and administrative weakness have been permanent features of the Central African Republic since independence. What has happened in recent weeks is tragic but is neither genocide nor a full-blown sectarian conflict. This can still be avoided if the international forces behave impartially towards the two main religious communities.

Deported from Japan: until death do us part

February will see the final judgment in the case of Abubakar Awudu Suraj, a Ghanian national who died whilst being deported from Japan. An interview with his widow highlights States’ powers to regulate migrants' intimate relationships with their citizens.

South Sudan: explaining the violence

The spiral of violence in South Sudan is not simply an ethnic conflict of Dinka on Nuer. Politics, as well as oil, is at issue and a political settlement is required.

Nelson Mandela: Who tells the story?

I don’t believe that the story of forgiveness and reconciliation in our collective transition to democracy in the 'new South Africa' is untrue. The problem is that it has become the only story we are allowed to tell, says Chantelle de Nobrega

Mandela: explaining the magnetism

While the world stops for Nelson Mandela’s departure from it, his iconic status is unquestioned. Yet there is a more complicated underlying narrative to tell.

Mandela: towards a non-sexist South Africa

Part of the blessing of Mandela’s longevity is that he modeled reflexive behaviour which changed over time. To realise his vision of a non-sexist South Africa, we might re-evaluate the patriarchal values which pervade our own lives, recognising our own ability to change.

Al-Qaida, Nigeria, and a long war

The strategy of the United States and its allies in face of the "al-Qaida idea" will prolong not settle the global war.

US interventions in East Africa: from the Cold War to the 'war on terror'

During the Cold War years, while British colonialists were being driven out of East Africa, the first US intervention in the region occurred in Zanzibar. It proved to be a model - many aspects of which are being repeated in the 'War on Terror'.

She Left Me the Gun: on story-telling and re-telling

Emma Brockes’ exploration of her mother’s life in South Africa, and what made her leave, is also a study in writing the complexity of women’s lives, and the powerful and elusive nature of story-telling.

Fleeing FGM: Bodies on the frontline

The UK’s commitment to protecting the rights of women and girls cannot be limited to international aid; it must recognise gender-based persecution and not expel any woman to a country where she risks her life, rights or freedom, says Lorna Gledhill. 

Eritrea, a generation in flight

Many of the hundreds of Africans drowned off the Italian coast came from Eritrea. Why are they so desperate to leave their country, asks Selam Kidane.

Lampedusa: Never again

The terrible migrant deaths off the Italian island have evoked horror across the continent. In a small camp in France, Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi talks to their fellow countrymen and women who have survived: their hopes, dreams, and learning to feel unwelcome in Europe.

Whose “Mission”? Celebrities, voice and refugees

A new Italian reality TV show is sending celebrities to refugee camps, but for refugees to be able to speak for themselves and convey the message they want to convey, the cameras must be given to refugees themselves, says Nath Gbikpi.

State of denial

Migration is a conveniently ignored reality in Southern Africa. The lack of regional governance is a critical challenge.

State-building vs intervention, or how not to help

Together, distorted understanding and flawed policy have compounded the problems of weak states in the global south. A different approach to state-building is needed, says Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou

Syndicate content