- Hits: 223
November 20, 2017
by Nompilo Ndlovu
Republished from The Global Observatory
The events in Zimbabwe over the past few days have returned to the conversation an often disregarded stakeholder: the country’s citizens. On November 18, Zimbabweans—both within the country and in the diaspora—took to the streets en masse, with a palpable excitement and of their own accord, to take a public stance. They wanted to communicate to the international community, the African Union (AU), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) that as a people they can no longer be compelled to accept the ruinous leadership of President Robert Mugabe.
Despite the clear position of the public, the political dimension of this story has a complicated and lengthy backstory. Recent developments intensified long-standing factionalism within the governing Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) party in an uncontainable and public manner. What was originally an in-house political fight between the Generation40 and Team Lacoste factions—led by First Lady Grace Mugabe and former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa respectively—transformed into a national issue.
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August 30, 2017
by Akinola Ejodame Olojo
Republished from African Security Review
Islamic clerics and scholars constitute one of the community actors affected by the Boko Haram crisis in northern Nigeria. This group is also one that is most familiar with the essential doctrinal elements required to deconstruct the narrative pushed by Boko Haram in a crisis where ideology represents a vital aspect. While not undermining the bearing which socio-economic and political issues have on the crisis, this paper frames the focus to emphasise the long-term battle where Islamic clerics are involved in winning hearts and minds. Drawing upon fieldwork conducted in Sokoto State and Borno State, this paper highlights the influential role of clerics in communal mobilisation and resistance against Boko Haram. It is suggested that a deeper integration of this community actor into the broader counter-insurgency struggle in northern Nigeria would be beneficial.
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August 23, 2017
by Abimbola Opanike
Republished from Kujenga Amani
A new episode of what is commonly known as the “Anglophone problem”1 in Cameroon has been spurred by the demonstration of English-speaking lawyers, teachers, and students against the systematic marginalization of Anglophones in the legal and educational sectors in a supposed bilingual and bi-cultural country. The government’s response was initially characterized by Gestapo-style harassment and detention of leaders of Anglophone civil society groups, shutdown of the internet, and continued denial of any real “Anglophone problem.”2 It should be noted that other responses included a National Commission on the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism created by Presidential Decree in January 2017. Also, following some negotiations, the shutdown of the internet has been lifted, alongside reforms in the judiciary and educational sector aimed at increased inclusion of Anglophone Cameroonians in those institutions.
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July 31, 2017
Article by Zekarias Beshah Abebe, African Leadership Center Peace and Security Fellow (2016–17).
Republished from Edinburgh University Press.
One of the issues that the current proliferation of international courts and jurisdictions raised in the international legal order is overlapping jurisdiction. On 27 June 2014, the Assembly of the African Union adopted a protocol on the Amendments to the Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights which extends the jurisdiction of the court to cover international crimes. The decision of the AU to clothe the African court with a criminal jurisdiction has brought, once again, the issue of overlapping jurisdiction to the surface. This article is an attempt to answer the questions: to what extent does the criminal jurisdiction of the African court overlap with the jurisdiction of the ICC, and is the issue of overlapping jurisdiction a common occurrence or an imminent concern? Taking the crimes under the jurisdiction of the courts and the fact that large numbers of African states are state parties to the ICC into consideration, many tend to argue that overlapping jurisdiction is inevitable and is likely to cause friction for the primacy of jurisdiction. However, this article argues that a close scrutiny of the substantive and territorial jurisdiction of the ICC and the African Court suggests that the issue of overlapping jurisdiction is both rare and of remote concern.
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By Nokukhanya Nox Ntuli
July 10, 2017
Republished from Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA)
Many congratulations to ALC Alumni Nox Ntuli, who has had a recent publication article "The Impact of Regional and Sub-regional Norms and Standards on Democratic Governance in Promoting Constitutionalism in Africa", published in the EISA publication Checks and Balances: African constitutions and democracy in the 21st century.
The effectiveness of regional and sub-regional organisations in promoting constitutionalism in Africa is oftn called into question. Yet, when the history of the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and its evolution into the African Union is explained the significant role played by these organisations becomes clear. Although there have been challenges, normative and institutional frameworks have been implemented to address the deficiencies in constitutionalism, including serious human rights violations. Thus, Africa in 2016 was far more conscious of, and complaint with, the principles of constitutionalism than it was in the 1960s after independence. There is no doublt that democratic governance has improved over the years and regional and sub-regional organisations have contributed to these improvements. Nonetheless, there is still considerable work to be done if the continent is, as Agenda 2063 states, to 'create the Africa we want'. The fact that the destination has not yet been reached does not mean that the journey has been a failure.
Nokukhanya Nox Ntuli is an alumna of the Africa Leadership Centre and currently works at the World Bank Group, International Finance Corporation based in Washington DC.