Posts by: Alex DeWaal

The single most important reason for the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed was his initiative last year to make peace with Eritrea. This is an occasion to reflect on the question, does Africa need more inter-state peacemaking? The answer is, yes it should. The Nobel award should alert policymakers to […]

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It’s rare in political science to be able to say, authoritatively, that an extensive sub-field of study has been operating under a false assumption, and that there’s an adjacent sub-field that has been almost entirely neglected. But this is the case with civil war and transnational/inter-state war in Africa. A Google Scholar search for the […]

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Starvation isn’t at the core of these malign political developments. But it’s clear that xenophobia, corruption and dishonesty are the enemies of humanitarian action and advocacy in the short term, and in the longer term they will impede sustained action to mitigate climate crisis and its traumas. The people who are deprived of what is indispensable for sustaining life, whether in Yemen or South Sudan, in refugee camps in Bangladesh or in detention facilities on the U.S.-Mexico border, are not only the victims of starvation crimes in need of our aid and advocacy, but are the wind chimes that warn of approaching storms.

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Mass starvation is a white-collar war crime. When there’s a man-made famine (the gendered language is deliberate–we have yet to witness a women-made one), there can be no excuse that the deprivation was perpetrated in the heat of the moment, or by rogue elements acting beyond orders. This is the case in Yemen today: four […]

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Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, leader of the House of Commons, was pictured languidly taking a nap in the middle of the most momentous debate in the British Parliament for many decades. Rees-Mogg had earlier dismissed the motion for Parliament to take control of its agenda, to stop a no-deal Brexit, as “constitutionally irregular.” His idiosyncratic concept of parliamentarians’ role—in the current context—is to serve as the emissaries of the people who voted for Brexit.

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The Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) have hammered out a deal with the generals who took power after the fall of long-serving ruler Omar al-Bashir. They have agreed to a 39-month transitional period. During this time, Sudan’s ultimate authority will be a Sovereign Council of five civilians and five generals, with an eleventh member to chair it – initially a soldier, later a civilian. A technocratic government is being set up and an interim national assembly appointed. Negotiating the power-sharing formula was hard enough – solving Sudan’s deep-seated political and economic problems is going to be harder still. Newly-appointed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok is under no illusions about the challenge he faces. He is not a politician. He is an economist, a technocrat who has spent the last decades in the African Development Bank and the UN Economic Commission for Africa.

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