Latest posts by Jane Ellis from November, 2012
Mauritania is undergoing a period of great political uncertainty due to the evacuation for medical reasons of President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz after he was shot on October 13, 2012. While Mauritania was preparing for his return, many citizens were left wondering what political role France would play in the current situation.
The army has often played a determining but ambiguous role in the African political process. Between 1950 and 2000, 53 African countries were subject to military coups leading to regime change. After a period of respite in the 1990’s, the African continent was once again the scene of many military coups in the first decade of the 21st century, with 27 attempts at takeover. Being both a factor in the consolidation and the destabilisation of regimes, the army is regarded with suspicion in most countries and does not seem to know how to adapt to changing mindsets.
Following the November 6, 2012, re-election of Barack Obama as President of the United States, Africa questions his legacy after four years in charge of an America more concerned with the economic crisis than by its international relations, especially those within the African continent. The expectations of Africans were high, however many believe that a second term for Obama will allow him greater manouevrability on African issues.
Leading Human Rights Activist and gynecologist Denis Mukwege, was attacked outside his home, and his guard killed on October 25, 2012. Doctor Mukwege has campaigned tirelessly for the wellbeing of women and girls affected by the use of mass rape as a weapon of war. He recently gave a speech to the United Nations where he spoke of his outrage and shock at the violence that females have suffered in his homeland.