Posts by: Alex DeWaal

Fifteen years ago, when African leaders set up their own peace and security system within what later became the African Union, they tried to balance diplomacy and armed enforcement. In case of a conflict, they would hold negotiations with all parties; sending in peacekeeping troops would only be a fallback option. But Western countries like the United States and France have tended to favor military approaches instead. During the civil war in Libya in 2011, a panel of five African presidents, established by the African Union and chaired by Jacob Zuma of South Africa, proposed letting Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi go into exile in an African country and then setting up an interim government. But the plan was spurned by NATO, which preferred regime change by way of foreign intervention.

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Alex de Waal has published a newly released article in African Affairs, “When kleptocracy becomes insolvent: Brute causes of the civil war in South Sudan.” Below is the abstract, full text available through the journal:

South Sudan obtained independence in July 2011 as a kleptocracy – a militarized, corrupt neo-patrimonial system of governance. By the [...]

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The Carnegie Working Group on Corruption and Security last month published a paper, Corruption: The Unrecognized Threat to International Security.

It’s an important paper: it points to the striking fact that corruption is closely associated with state fragility, and that militant insurgencies are closely associated with opposition to kleptocratic regimes.

It’s also work in [...]

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As the Second World War drew to a close, Winston Churchill remarked, “History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.” Even though historians read Churchill’s magnum opus on the war with a highly critical eye, observing his selectiveness and slant, his narrative of the decade from 1935-45 still dominates the popular [...]

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Two significant events occurred in Sudan in the last week. Neither gained much publicity.

On June 30, Sudan marked 25 years of the National Salvation Revolution—the military coup instigated by the Muslim Brothers to forestall the peace agreement, due to be signed between Prime Minister Sadiq al Mahdi and SPLA Commander-in-Chief John Garang, on July [...]

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South Sudan ranked lowest on the Foreign Policy/Fund for Peace 2014 Failed States Index, pushing Somalia off that uncoveted spot for the first time. The Deputy Speaker of South Sudan’s parliament, Mark Nyipuoc, protested, complaining, “Sometimes our people begin to wonder and question the credibility and the impartiality of these ranking institutions. [We] [...]

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