By J Nastranis | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis
NEW YORK (IDN) - A new report released after the adoption of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is quite upbeat about Africa’s development prospects, but expresses serious reservations on several counts. “Having made encouraging progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), African countries have the opportunity” to use the SDGs “to tackle remaining challenges and achieve a development breakthrough,” says the report.
By Robert Johnson | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis
BRUSSELS (IDN) - The 28-nation European Union (EU) has decided to strengthen relations through “high level dialogues” with the world’s fourth largest uranium producer Niger during the EU foreign and security affairs chief Federica Mogherini’s first visit to Sub-Saharan Africa. Uranium is of critical importance for both civilian and military purposes.
By Jutta Wolf | IDN-InDepthNews Report
BERLIN (IDN) – Amnesty International has appealed to the international community to increase its support to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity in Libya.
By Mirjam van Reisen* | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis
BRUSSELS (IDN) - At the height of the Ebola-crisis, scenarios predicted the deaths of around 1.4 million people, or around 20.000 deaths a month. Now the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Ebola-free. This means that no new cases have been diagnosed in the last 42 days. The total number of lives claimed by the disease in Liberia is 10,722 deaths. What lessons can be drawn from this and what should be done now?
News of a first Ebola patient in Liberia was spread in March 2014. A doctor at a large public hospital in Monrovia had attended a meeting at the University and left that same night to sound the alarm. The danger was immediately recognised by the leaders of the healthcare system in Liberia. Nonetheless, a large number of doctors and healthcare workers died in the first period, because the knowledge and means to properly face and control the disease were lacking.
By Misha Boutilier* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
TORONTO (IDN) - The Central African Republic (CAR) is in the throes of an extreme political crisis that exploded in early December 2013 with mass killing in the streets of the capital Bangui. Despite a French military intervention under UN auspices, an increase in aid funding for the CAR, and the accession of a new president committed to national reconciliation, the situation is still dire.
UN officials warn that there is a “high risk of crimes against humanity and genocide,” and the French Ambassador to the UN Gerard Araud has emphasized that the 6,000 peacekeepers currently deployed are insufficient to quell violence between Muslim Seleka fighters and Christian anti-balaka militias.
By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
ROME (IDN) - More partnerships and investments are needed to support the pan-African Great Green Wall Initiative, which has become Africa's flagship enterprise in tackling the detrimental social, economic and environmental impacts of land degradation, desertification, drought and climate change, experts say.
The initiative brings together more than 20 African countries across North Africa, the Sahel and the Horn, international organizations, research institutes, civil society and grassroots organizations, supporting local communities in the sustainable management and use of forests, rangelands and other natural resources in dryland areas. It also seeks to contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well improve the food security and community livelihoods in the Sahel and the Sahara.
By Isabelle Ramdoo and San Bilal* | IDN-InDepth NewsEssay
MAASTRICHT (IDN) - The sustained commodity boom of the last decade provided a new impetus to a number of African countries, after decades of economic turmoil. High growth rates, recorded in recent years, uncovered new opportunities to finally address long-standing socio-economic challenges that had hindered the continent’s economic performance for decades. From an economic perspective, to be truly transformative, these opportunities will have to be translated into employment creation, improved productivity and industrialisation, and governments will increasingly be put under pressure to deliver on concrete results.
By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
STOCKHOLM (IDN) - African countries, which are party to the 1996 African Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty of Pelindaba and already contribute a signiﬁcant share of the uranium used in the peaceful nuclear industry worldwide, have been asked to develop “a full understanding of their extractive industries, to avoid the risk that uranium will be supplied from unconventional sources – for example, as a by-product of other mining activities”.
By Thibaud Lesueur* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
NAIROBI (IDN | Crisis Group Blogs) - “With two hundred men, we could get rid of most of the LRA in DRC,” a foreign security official told me in August when I was touring the Uele district, in the far north east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Lord’s Resistance Army has been abusing the population there since at least 2008. But in contrast to the foreign official’s confidence, the striking fact was that the fight against what remains of the LRA is at a standstill. It needs fresh impetus, because the LRA has demonstrated repeatedly its capacity to go underground then surge again more violent than before.
By Alemayehu G. Mariam* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
Zimbabwe had its presidential elections on August 3. The Zimbabwe Election Support Network said these were “seriously compromised”. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai described the polls “a huge farce” and a “sham that does not reflect the will of the people.” Among African Union observers, only Botswana called for an investigation. Professor Alemayehu G. Mariam asks whether elections in Africa are a colossal exercise in futility, but is convinced that change in inevitable – perhaps through the expression of the ‘tornadic’ wrath of the people as seen in the ‘Arab Spring’.
By Jerome Mwanda | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
DAKAR (IDN) - Burkina Faso, a landlocked country of the SaheI, has since 1987 been ruled by President Blaise Compaoré, who established a semi-authoritarian regime, moving from a repressive military rule to a formal multiparty democratic system, but one fully controlled by the president. This enabled him to stabilise a country marked by five coups between 1960 and 1987.
With less than three years left for presidential elections due in 2015, a new report is asking President Compaoré to facilitate a smooth transition and at the same time calling upon international partners, in particular Western allies, to focus no longer exclusively on mediation role in Mali and the monitoring of security risks in West Africa.