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This week's editor

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Horn of Africa: there are no quick fixes in ‘countering violent extremism’

An effective response to violence and harmful ideologies is important. But projects are failing to adequately engage with root causes.

Internally displaced women: social rupture and political voice

Displacement is social as well as geographical. Women’s welfare and survival depends significantly on their social relationships; displacement destroys this resource.

Uganda’s unsung heroes of refugee protection

As responses to refugees and asylum-seekers become a multi-million dollar endeavour globally, everyday acts of kindness continue to keep refugees alive and maintain their dignity, even in the face of death.

Parliaments and the defence of democracy

National legislatures too frequently pass legislation limiting freedom and democracy. To change this requires not just training, but also an appeal to the personal incentives of individual MPs.

AIDS targets: the fear factor

HIV is not just a health issue but a multi-sectoral issue that requires many different players. Is the UNAIDS HIV '90-90-90' fast-track initiative in Uganda achievable?

Doing gender justice in northern Uganda

The efforts of NGOs and international organisations to gradually nudge post-war northern Uganda towards a ‘gender just society’ ignore the fact that gender equality also has real enemies.

For children born of war, what future?

Sexual violence in conflict has attracted increasing attention, but with the majority of responses focused on short-term needs, children born through war remain largely ignored. 

A tribute to Joan Kagezi: the murder of a human rights defender

Joan Kagezi was a lead prosecutor in high profile cases in Uganda, including against a former LRA commander and those accused of terrorism. She was shot dead in front of her children last month.

Dominic Ongwen and the slow-grinding wheels of the International Criminal Court

He may not be a household name but his eventual trial at the ICC may highlight the long-forgotten victims of the conflict in Uganda and beyond involving the Lord’s Resistance Army.

Avoidable injustices: the way to prevent violence against women

We want to end violence against women, but is it really preventable? New research from Uganda adds scientific muscle to the political argument that we can, if we transform the gender power relations that sustain it.

Popular action against corruption

Some of the biggest corrupt operations are run by governments themselves, and watchdog bodies often lack sufficient power to challenge entrenched problems. There’s another powerful approach: popular action, as documented in Shaazka Beyerle’s new book Curtailing Corruption. Review.

Uganda: the social impact of HIV criminal law

Criminalisation of HIV is unjust, unwise, undermines existing government efforts and is especially damaging to women’s rights, argues Hajjarah Nagadya

Toying with the law? Reckless manipulation of the legislature in Museveni’s Uganda

Particularly since 2006, when a multiparty system was introduced in Uganda, laws have been drafted with the primary purpose of stigmatizing particular opposition groups.

Uganda's 'Kill the Gays' bill: Pastor Martin Ssempa and the anti-gay lobby

You can now be imprisoned for life under Uganda's anti-homosexual law. It was pushed through by religious pastors, whose moralising arm-twisting has silenced moderate voices. If you disagree with them, you may face blackmail.

Repression in Uganda: Commonwealth of Nations, take note

A disturbing pattern of suppression of democratic freedoms is emerging in Uganda.  

The case for city status in post-war Gulu

In northern Uganda, local leaders are pushing for Gulu to receive city status. But does the municipality have what it takes to qualify?

Death penalty dropped, but Uganda anti-gay bill may be passed within days

The death penalty has been dropped from a highly controversial bill which seeks to strengthen Uganda’s already stringent anti-homosexuality laws.

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.

Orientalism and the modernisation of sexuality

In the last two decades gendered and sexual ‘others’ have been ‘included’ in citizenship, as new sexual rights–bearing subjects. To what extent is this a Euro-American configuration within political liberalism? How do colonial and orientalist ideas about democracy follow from this restricted notion of the sexual citizen? 

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.

Who’s heard of the ‘African Spring’?

If the under or mis-reported uprisings, protests, revolts and changes of regime in many parts of Africa over the past few years have told us anything, it is that politics on the continent does not always, or mostly, take place at the point of a gun.

Uganda's tribal districts are a ticking time bomb

A riot in Uganda's Rwenzururu kindom left a mother and child dead, pointing to a divisive trend in Ugandan politics which runs against the cosmopolitan experience of many young Ugandans.

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?

Uganda traditional justice mechanisms must triumph over western interventionism

We should not deny Ugandans the chance to bring a man who has committed horrific crimes to justice. However we must be careful that our moral greed does not inadvertently force Ugandan reconciliation backwards.

The LRA: what's to be done?

Supporters of the Kony 2012 campaign have posed two questions to critics: 'what would you do?', and 'what's the problem with getting the issue more attention?'. But African and international efforts have already solved most of the problems associated with the LRA, let's keep up those efforts.

After the storm, we need to keep talking about Kony

In the backlash against Kony 2012 a real discussion of what the international community can and should do has been lost. Despite the bias against intervention there is still a responsibility to protect.

Don't elevate Kony

What is Kony2012? The apologists for Invisible Children call it “raising awareness.” Alex de Waal calls it peddling dangerous and patronizing falsehoods.

What will it take to end the conflict with the LRA?

Ending the violence and insecurity perpetrated by the Lord's Resistance Army is more about empowering civil society and developing local solutions across many countries than about keeping US military advisers in Northern Uganda. The youthful, Western attention brought to the issue by Invisible Children and #Kony2012 is not in itself a solution

2011, trepidation and hope

A topsy-turvy year full of dramatic reversals left sub-Saharan Africa still in search of of the balance that would harness good governance to economic progress, says Chukwu-Emeka Chikezie.

Vietnam, Myanmar foster ties with India, illustrating the art of balancing relations with great powers

The presidents of Vietnam and Myanmar visit New Delhi to strengthen cooperation with India. Kenya launches military operations against al-Shabab in Somalia following the kidnapping of aid workers. The US sends advisors to help fight the Lord's Resistance Army, and a recent poll reveals the Afghan population's perception of the situation in its country. All this in today's security briefing.

Regional military force established to crack down on Lord’s Resistance Army

Military campaign against central African rebel group intensifies. Yemen goes on the offensive against al-Qaeda. New report claims the global hostage-taking industry surges. All this and more in today’s security briefing.

Pakistan condemns US drone use in north-west

Pakistan condemns US drone use in north-west as Pak-US relations hit new low. Attack on British Embassy in Yemen highlights declining security situation there. Ugandan president offers to send 20,000 troops to bolster UN peacekeepers in Somalia. Guinean officials agree to run-off presidential vote date after weeks of delay. All this and more in today's security 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...

Bomb attack in Uganda kills 64 people

Somalian insurgents suspected of bombing Ugandan capital. Israel prepares for further attempts to break the Gaza blockade as Eiland report is released. North Korea maintains innocence as it meets with UN. US and Serbia join in calls for justice over Srebrenica massacre. Russia expresses concern over Iranian nuclear potential. All this and more in today's security briefing.

UN launches inquiry as Israel intercepts second peace flotilla

UN launches inquiry as Israel intercepts second peace flotilla. US identified as world’s greatest user of targeted killings. Philippine rebels interested in renewed talks. Sudanese president barred from African Union conference. US missiles used in Yemen raids. All this and more, in today’s security update.
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