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This week’s front page editor


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Perfidious Albion? The strange case of Karenzi Karake

The detention of Rwanda's intelligence chief in London belongs to the murky area where transnational justice meets political interest, and perhaps also sheer incompetence.

"Rwanda: The Untold Story": facts and fabrication

A BBC documentary on Rwanda produced great controversy, including in an article by Andrew Wallis. But his own critique is itself selective and inaccurate in important ways, replies one of those he criticised.

"Rwanda: The Untold Story": questions for the BBC

A deeply flawed BBC documentary on Rwanda's genocide raises serious questions over the corporation's ethics and standards.

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.

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.

Kigali 2020: the politics of silence in the city of shock

The Rwandan government have ambitious yet deeply disruptive plans to rebuild Kigali as Africa's Singapore.  Despite plans to uproot vast swathes of the city to make way for 'virtual Kigali', the response by ordinary city-dwellers has been one of striking silence. 

International courts: justice vs politics

The tribunals judging crimes in Rwanda and former Yugoslavia were intended to deliver justice for victims of genocide. But several recent cases suggest that politics may be getting in the way, says Andrew Wallis in Kigali.

Rwanda: why UNHCR is wrong about Cessation

The UN Refugee Agency must not be the facilitator of a permissive attitude towards continued corruption and the absence of democracy in Rwanda. By calling on refugees who fled before 1998 to return home to the threat of persecution it risks legitimising Kagame’s autocratic regime.

Violent power, civilian exclusion and the M23

Violence in eastern DRC is portrayed by western countries in terms of abject failure: people or events in the Congo (or Rwanda) have caused peacebuilding and development processes to fail. But the M23 is a direct result of processes that legitimate violent power. Français.

The M23 crisis and the history of violence in eastern Congo

Though triggered by a combination of recent events, the pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial history of the Kivus sets the stage on which they take shape. Understanding is not justification: beware the instrumentalisation of history by ideologues. Français.

The DR Congo: behind the headlines

The military and political tensions in the contested eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo are reinforced by diplomatic failures. A turn towards negotiation and compromise is vital if the area's long-term problems are to be addressed, says Andrew Wallis. 

République Démocratique du Congo: dépasser le cycle de la crise

L'éruption de violence dans l'est de la République Démocratique du Congo reflète l'échec des organisations nationales et internationales sur le long terme, affectant les citoyens de la région ainsi que les communautés de la diaspora européenne. Pour sortir de ce cycle, il faudra s'en prendre aux racines de la violence. Read this in English.

DR Congo: beyond the crisis-cycle

An eruption of militia-based violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo reflects a longer-term pattern of failure by national and international agencies. The effects are now being felt among diaspora communities in Europe as well as citizens in the region. The roots of violence must be addressed if the cycle is to be ended, says Andrew Wallis. Français.

On ne peut pas ignorer le lien entre le Rwanda et les rebelles du M23

Beaucoup des facteurs de conflit dans l'est de la République Démocratique du Congo se trouvent à l'intérieur de ses frontières mais une analyse qui ignorerait le rôle du Rwanda ces dernières années ne permettrait pas de démonter le mécanisme des cycles d'insurrection violente. Read this in English.

Rwanda's connection to the M23 rebels must not be ignored

Many of the drivers of conflict in eastern DR Congo lie within its borders, but an analysis that ignores the role of Rwanda in recent years is inadequate to the task of disassembling the cycles of violent insurrection. Français.

DR Congo: the politics of suffering

A rise in violent tension in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, across the border from Rwanda, is the latest phase of a conflict unresolved since the Rwandan genocide of 1994. The wider story it tells is one of state failure in the DRC, says Andrew Wallis.

M23 in the Kivus: regional war and then a repeat of the 2009 accord?

M23's military campaign in North Kivu has profound consequences for Kinshasa and regionally. A regional military force to end the rebellion is hotly disputed: Rwanda and Uganda have interests in the instability, while placing any more foreign troops into this volatile region holds great uncertainty.

Arab Spring south of the Sahara?

Why has the Arab Spring so far failed to spread south of the Sahara – and should some African leaders be looking over their shoulders?

Who is the enemy Other?

In ganging up on housing estates, in racist attacks or inter-state brinkmanship, how does the enemy become the Other? This peculiar purification process requires a narrative and a chance to 'perform a boundary'. For local and national communities, leaders and politicians alike, it is one way to reinforce our own sense of group identity. Is there another way of feeling secure?

The Holocaust and genocide: loose talk, bad action

The dangers of genocide denial are widely recognised. But the politics of "genocide mobilisation" - and the legal and discursive infringements that often follow - can also be a barrier to historical understanding and justice, says Martin Shaw.

Rwanda: a step towards truth

A new French report into the incident that sparked Rwanda's genocide is of vital importance on three grounds: discrediting false accounts, establishing facts, and raising further questions. But it leaves critical questions unanswered, including over the role of a key French mercenary, says Andrew Wallis

UK's cosy relationship with Rwanda: rose-tinted glasses?

Rwandan refugees in Britain live in fear of their government’s spies, whilst Britain remains Rwanda’s largest donor. Britain must avoid nurturing another African dictator.

The politics of genocide: Rwanda & DR Congo

A revisionist reading of the Rwanda genocide of 1994 endorsed by Noam Chomsky confirms the moral blindness of the denialist left, says Martin Shaw.

Kashmir rocked by intensification of violence

Kashmir rocked by intensification of violence. Israeli-Palestinian peace talks overshadowed by violence. US drone strike kills 15 in northwest Pakistan. France blocks extradition of Rwandan genocide suspect. All this and more in today’s security briefing.

Ban seeks to placate Kagame over UN report

Ban seeks to placate Kagame over UN report. China warns Japan over fishing boat incident. ‘Nigerian Taliban’ raid jail, freeing prisoners. Bombing rocks Russian market. Clinton describes Mexico drugs crime as “like an insurgency.” All this and more in today’s briefing.

Kigali grenade attack injures seven days after Kagame re-elected

Grenade attack rocks Kigali just two days after Kagame re-elected as president, while opposition groups urge international community to reject result. The Lord’s Resistance Army is violently abducting recruits in central Africa, according to a recent report from Human Rights Watch. A top Iraqi general insists Iraq not ready for troop withdrawal, but comments brushed off by US and Iraqi officials. Car bomb rocks Bogota in first security test for Santos. All this and more in today’s briefing...

Manipulating the Memory of the Rwandan Genocide

The Rwandan government has made remarkable strides in infrastructure, the economy, healthcare, and gender equity in political representation,but their continued attack on independent thought and criticism is disheartening – and dangerous. As the August presidential election looms, it is important not only to hail Rwanda’s success but also to ask hard questions about government abuse of authority

Sudan woefully unprepared for referendum

Sudan is woefully unprepared for a crucial referendum scheduled for January, according to a new report. Riots continue in Belfast as police and politicians insist on their unity. Indo-Pak talks are touted as progress but overshadowed by accusations that Pak security forces masterminded the Mumbai attacks. A Rwandan opposition politician found dead as another independent is arrested. All this and more in today’s briefing.

Egypt and Sudan tussle with Nile basin countries over water rights

Egypt and Sudan state opposition to Ugandan-Rwandan-Kenyan-Ethiopian deal on Nile waterway management. South Korea reinvokes definition of North as 'principal enemy'. Shimon Peres denies nuclear weapons deal with apartheid South Africa. Jamaica suffers violent attacks following deal to extradite suspected drugs baron. All this and more in today's briefing.

Rwandan opposition leader appears in court

Rockets intended for Israel hit Jordan. Sudan poll results delayed amid fraud allegations. Blasts shake tense Thai capital. All this and more in today's briefing.

Suicide bombers target Iraqi city ahead of polls

Suicide bombers target Iraqi city ahead of polls. Arab League backs indirect talks with Israel. Afghanistan bans coverage of Taliban attacks. Italy arrests Iran arms smugglers. Fighting kills twelve in Somalia. Agathe Habyarimana arrested for genocide. All this and more in today’s security briefing.

Fears of influx of militants prompts Kenya to tighten security on Somali border

Kenya tightens security on its north-eastern border with Somalia. Troops deployed as violence intensifies in Karachi. Clinton denies rumours of US-Iran prisoner swap. Rwandan opposition candidate attacked by mob in Kigali. Curfew declared in Srinagar, Kashmir, after days of violent protests. All this and more in today's briefing.

United Nations Security Council extends sanctions against Congo rebels

The UN Security Council renews its sanctions against rebel groups in the eastern DRC. Indian government announces plans to reduce troop levels in Kashmir. Ousted Honduran president denied chance to serve the remainder of his term in officer by a majority vote of law-makers. A provincial governor is charged in connection with the recent massacre in Mindanao, the Philippines. Deteriorating conditions in the Central African Republic cause aid agencies to withdraw to the capital. All this and more in today’s briefing.

Political crisis deepens as Pakistan faces amnesty deal turmoil

Pakistan faces amnesty deal turmoil. US security firm Blackwater is accused of running covert operations in Pakistan. A leaked UN report finds the UN-backed offensive in DR Congo is failing. The US rejects landmine ban treaty. Khmer Rouge prison chief expresses remorse. All this and much more in today’s security briefing.

Rwanda’s human rights failings exposed in Commonwealth bid

Rwanda’s Commonwealth bid meets opposition on human rights grounds. Iran’s opposition resolute in the face of government crackdown. Iraqi government bypasses electoral veto. 21 killed in violence over Philippine elections. Algerian 9/11 suspect proved innocent. All this and more in today's security update.
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