March 11, 2016

by Habibu Yaya Bappah

Republished from Taylor & Francis Online

This article attempts to explain the apparent failure of Nigeria's military action against the Boko Haram (roughly translated as ‘Western education is prohibited’) insurgency in the north-east of the country. Until the involvement of troops from Chad and Niger in January 2015, the Boko Haram insurgents were succeeding in their effort to establish, or rather consolidate, an extreme version of the ‘Islamic state’ in parts of north-east Nigeria. For over five years, the military struggled to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Nigeria against Boko Haram, with little success. The war opened a Pandora's box, exposing a deep crisis in the military and the civilian leadership in Nigeria. The Boko Haram insurgents were able to fly the flag of their ‘state’ in the territory of Nigeria. This article argues that the failure of the military action can be attributed to three factors: the erosion of military professionalism under civilian administrations since 1999; the poor handling of the war by the top military officers; and a lack of decisiveness in the leadership of President Jonathan and the military to end the insurgency.

For more about the article visit Taylor & Francis Online


February 24, 2016

by Julius Kaka

Republished from IPI Global Observatory

Last week saw the most competitive elections in the history of Uganda. Several prominent ministers and key members of the ruling party were voted out—approximately 19 ministers lost elections, including Crispus Kiyonga, who is playing a key role in the Burundi Peace process.

The Electoral Commission declared incumbent Yoweri Museveni as the winner of the presidential election, with 60.7% (5,617,593 votes). Kizza Besigye came second with 35.37% (3,270,290 votes) and Amama Mbabazi third with 1.43% (132,573 votes) in a race that had eight candidates. President Museveni, who assumed office in 1986, is now one of Africa’s longest serving presidents, along with Angola’s Jose Eduardo Dos Santos (since 1979), Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang (since 1979), Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe (since 1980) and Cameroon’s Paul Biya (since 1982). The 71-year-old has run the country for the last thirty years.

Bringing Gender Dimensions Back from Obscurity

Governance, Peace and Security in Africa

AWDF Policy Working Paper

By Prof. ’Funmi Olonisakin


Efforts to address the gender dimensions of governance, peace and security in Africa have registered some success. At the same time, fundamental challenges remain. These challenges continue to relegate gender issues to the periphery of peace and security. Among other things; this policy paper discusses the disconnect between policy, scholarship and activism; and the reality on the ground. It argues, among other things, that there is not yet a narrative that moves Africa towards transformation in gender relations in peace and security processes in Africa. The paper makes a set of observations which, in part, explain the absence of a qualitative shift toward gender equality in these fields. It offers some proposals for relocating gender considerations in mainstream governance, peace and security discourse and practice.

Download the AWDF Policy Working Paper Here

January 26, 2016

By Bwesigye bwa Mwesigire

Republished from ThisisAfrica

Ugandans go to the polls on February 18, 2016 to decide who will lead the country for the next five years. TIA contributor, Bwesigye Bwa Mwesigire, asks whether this year’s poll is any different from previous elections.


Since the National Resistance Army (NRA) led by Yoweri Kaguta took over power in 1986, Uganda has held four elections (1996, 2001, 2006 and 2011) and Museveni has emerged as the victor during each of those elections. Even before the new constitution was ushered in 1995, a year before the first election, Museveni had been running the country for close to a decade. It’s now been 30 years and in all that time Ugandans have had one man in the presidential seat.

The 1996 election was held under the individual merit Movement system (which later was described as a one-party state system by another name by the courts), but the results of that election were never challenged. In 2001, Kizza Besigye, hitherto a cadre of the Museveni-dominated Movement system contested for the top seat. He later challenged the results and the Supreme Court agreed that there were irregularities in the electoral process but could not annul the election.

January 5, 2016

By Bwesigye bwa Mwesigire

Republished from ThisisAfrica


As the new year begins, TIA’s contributor Bwesigye Bwa Mwesigire takes us through a list of the most outstanding books released in 2015.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Photo: av-magazine

2015 has been another good year for African literature as a number of outstanding books hit the shelves this year. The year has not, however, seen a large number of highly anticipated books in the way the year 2013 did – NoViolet Bulawayo’s debut novel, We Need New Names (May 2013); Taiye Selasi’s debut Ghana Must Go (March 2013); and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah (May 2013) all came out that year.

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