The African Union (AU) norm relating to unconstitutional changes of government (UCG) distinguishes the African peace and security order from other regional and global peace and security orders. This norm assigns the regional organization an intrusive role unparalleled by other international organizations as far as the constitutional and democratic order of member states is concerned. The norm bans UCG and also provides for enforcement measures that received regional constitutional status in the founding treaty establishing the AU. Despite its emergence accompanying the democratization process that countries on the continent ventured into in the 1990s, seen in the light of Africa’s unhappy experience with illegal change or seizure of government, this norm cannot be dissociated from the continent’s concern about peace and security.Continue Reading →
The current crisis in The Gambia has a simple story. On 1 December 2016 presidential elections were held in the country with the incumbent Yahya Jammeh and the opposition leader Mr Adama Barrow as frontrunners. The following day, the Independent Electoral Commission of the Gambia announced a surprising result, Jammeh lost the election by 39.6 […]Continue Reading →
Below are excerpts from Alex de Waal’s “Garrison America and the Threat of Global War,” published by The Boston Review on December 5, 2016. The text version is available on their website.
Donald Trump was elected as the mouthpiece for a populist insurgency that humbled the biggest political machine in the United States. But […]Continue Reading →
This week, I interviewed Fred Bauma and Sylvain Saluseke, democracy activists from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Both were arrested by Congolese security forces on March 18, 2015. Sylvain was held over a month and Fred remained in prison until August 2016 (more on this here, here, here, here and here). In this interview, […]Continue Reading →
Five years ago, the center of Khartoum was dominated by campaign posters showing President Omar al Bashir—and advertisements showing a handsome young man drinking a non-alcoholic beer called Champion. Some Sudanese joked that the election was a two-horse race between Bashir and Champion.
The National Congress Party won that election chiefly by mobilizing its 5.4 […]Continue Reading →
Since the end of the Cold War, elections have become a standard component of peace agreements ending civil wars. The main reason is that Western governments and international organizations now place greater emphasis on democratic principles and are more involved in brokering peace agreements. Multiparty elections have become the only internationally acceptable way to legitimize […]Continue Reading →
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