Hailing from Belarus, I spent most of my UN career working in Africa, or on issues related to the continent. From 1992-1994, for instance, I was part of the United Nations Observer Mission in South Africa (UNOMSA) that helped facilitate both a democratic dispensation and the presidential election of Nelson Mandela. My other positions—which included [...]Continue Reading →
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.Continue Reading →
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 [...]Continue Reading →
In my presentation at the Youth, Conflict and Governance in Africa workshop at Yale University on March 1, 2014, I drew from findings and analysis in the third chapter of my forthcoming book, The Outcast Majority: War, Development and Africa’s Youth (University of Georgia Press, 2015). I spoke about urbanization, employment and livelihoods with [...]Continue Reading →
From “A Farewell to Madiba”, a praise poem by Thabo Mbeki, delivered by him to the National Assembly, Cape Town, on 26 March 1999
You have walked along the road of the heroes and the heroines.
You have borne the pain of those who have known fear and learnt to conquer it.
You have marched [...]Continue Reading →
Remarks at the Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, 20 April 2013.
The first step in mastering a problem is to understand it, and to analyze the interests and logics of those who have ready responses on offer. If Africans do not first define the question of what sort of [...]Continue Reading →
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