This week's editor

Jeremy Noble, editor

This week Jeremy Noble and the oDR team edit the front page.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

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

After Garissa, Kenya needs to break the cycle

The massacre at a university in Kenya should lead the government to a recognition that repressive and discriminatory reactions, however tempting, have only fuelled such horrific violence.

Sudan: nodding through a dictator’s re-election

Next week sees elections in Sudan. But there’s one thing wrong—we already know the outcome.

Buhari wins—but new president of Nigeria faces enormous challenge

After the Nigerian presidential election, the new government must address the social and economic policy vacuum Boko Haram has filled if the threat from the Islamists is to be tackled.

Andargachew Tsige: Ethiopian brutality, British apathy

A UK citizen who was a refugee from the one-party state that is Ethiopia has been spirited back into its clutches. Why is the Foreign and Commonwealth Office doing so little?

Libya: the pressing need for dialogue

The western intervention in Libya in 2011 failed to recognise the complex warp and weft of its pre-democratic tribal fabric. Only a regionally facilitated dialogue can repair the shattered state left behind.

Waiting for emancipation: the prospects for liberal revolution in Africa

Clearly, trade and finance are not organized, in Africa or the world at large, with a view to liberating a popular movement.

Tunisia's security nightmare long predates the Arab Spring

The Tunisian massacre did not come out of a clear blue sky. A dictatorship not as secular as presented and its naïve 'moderate' Islamist successor allowed Salafism to emerge.

A perfect storm: Boko Haram, IS and the Nigerian election

Boko Haram’s alignment with Islamic State adds to mounting insecurity in Nigeria. A fortnight ahead of the already-deferred election, what does this mean for its democratic prospects?

To address the global food crisis, we have to address the power of big agribusiness

There is plenty of evidence that the livelihoods of farmers and communities can be improved, and that agroecology can deliver a huge range of other benefits.

“Frankly, I don’t think we know who we killed”

A drone strike in Somalia highlights how the US is increasingly pursuing a strategy of remote-control warfare.

Fear, rumours and violence: Boko Haram’s asymmetrical warfare

While the global media were transfixed by the Islamist killings in Paris, Boko Haram was engaging in further massacres in north-east Nigeria and even over the border in Cameroon. How has its campaign escalated?

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.

Western Sahara: Africa’s last colony

As 2015 opens, the Sahrawi people of Western Sahara have been waiting for a self-determination referendum for four decades. They will wait longer due to the passivity of the international community. 

South Africa’s parliament and the politicisation of the police

The police were a symbol of the old, apartheid South Africa. Unfortunately they are becoming a symbol of the ‘new South Africa’ too.

Ebola and global health politics: an open letter

The human toll from the Ebola outbreak is all too evident. A more proactive global health policy is needed to avoid its repetition.

After the Kenyatta case, how is the ICC to help victims?

The states party to the founding statute of the International Criminal Court must ensure victims of war crimes can receive redressin The Hague or at home.

The Sahel-Sahara between 'Arab spring' and 'black spring'

The international media spotlight follows the US politico-military agenda to the Middle East but potentially transformative developments to the west in Africa deserve much closer scrutiny.

The Nigerian state: no match for Boko Haram?

The latest Boko Haram atrocity in Nigeria will not be the last. The incapacity of the state and looming elections mean more violence can be expected.

Burkina Faso: where democracy has always run on protests and coups

The military officer who has assumed power in Burkina Faso after protests dislodged its longstanding president has said civilian rule will be restored. Expect more protests if it isn't.

"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.

The International Criminal Court must fix its anti-African image

The International Criminal Court is often presented as "racist" in Africa because of its focus on indictees from the continent. But the problem lies elsewhere.

"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.

Kenya’s outlaw police

Developments in Kenya show what happens when “counter-terrorist” police and other security forces are not subject to public accountability.

Forgotten South Sudan tangled in factionalism and failed politics

Most coverage of the conflict in South Sudan--in as far as there still is any--has presented it as a duel between rivals from the former seccessionist movement, reduced to cyphers for Dinka and Nuer ethnicities. There's more to it than that.

Famine crimes in South Sudan

The fighting factional leaders in South Sudan have not just been engaging each other’s forces: they have dragooned the civilian population into a wider campaign of devastation.

Algeria, football, and France's "black box"

The political misuse and misreading of events involving Algerians in France are an obstacle to true understanding.

“It is a joke”: ongoing conflict and the controversies of 'return' in Darfur

Though attention may have shifted away from Darfur, the conflict is far from over. The internally displaced are being pressured to 'return' when the issues from which they fled have yet to be resolved.

Burundi, une démocratisation génératrice de violence

La communauté internationale a indirectement contribué à faire du Burundi une démocratie de façade, aujourd’hui en proie à une crise politique, voire sécuritaire. English

Burundi: a democratisation from which violence may stem

The international community has indirectly contributed to making Burundi a facade democracy, now prey to a political and even a security crisis. Français

South Sudan’s civil war: towards a progressive analysis

The world's newest state exploded into violence at the end of 2013. The reasons are varied and defy the common, simplistic portrait of a "tribal war", says Gérard Prunier.

Libya: the migrant trap

The discovery by the Italian navy of 30 bodies in a fishing boat at the weekend highlights the deadly trail of migrants from north Africa—for whom a chaotic Libya represent another hazardous transit point.

Should international courts exempt African leaders and their senior officials from genocide and war crimes prosecution?

The fact that some still seem to be above the law, now appears to be used to form the argument that all should be above the law. What is on the table at the African Union this week is the legalisation of impunity.

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.

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. 

Central African Republic: the flawed international response

Last month, the United Nations agreed a resolution on the deadly crisis in the Central African Republic—but the approach is guaranteed to repeat the disasters of the past. Français

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