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How change happened in Ethiopia

A review of how Abiy rose to power Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s rise to power was not without challenges. Shutterstock/Alexandros Michailidis Yohannes Gedamu, Georgia Gwinnett College Last year was an historical one for Ethiopian politics. Most Ethiopians now feel hopeful about the prospect of peace and democratic progress. This is despite the fact that […]

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Zimbabwe’s fuel riots: why austerity economics and repression won’t solve the problem

A day after the president announced a 150 percent hike in fuel prices, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trades Unions and others called for a peaceful three-day shutdown. Their demands were simple: end the economic crisis and hardships, reverse the fuel price increase and pay US$ salaries. By the end of day one, there were several dead […]

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Hugh Lewin: South African journalist, author, militant and prisoner

Hugh Lewin served on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Institute for the Advancement of Journalism Franz Krüger, University of the Witwatersrand Hugh Lewin, who provided a unique voice on the South African story over many decades as militant, prisoner, journalist, author and much else, has died in Johannesburg at the age of 79. Lewin is […]

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Zimbabweans Defend Vote Legal Costs

Over the past few months we have watched Zimbabwe campaign and go to the polls in that fleeting moment of hope during which we all get to believe that another Zimbabwe is possible. Once again many of us have been disappointed not just by the “result” but by the conduct of the election and the […]

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British policy towards Zimbabwe during Matabeleland massacre: licence to kill

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s clampdown on dissent in Matabeleland claimed up to 20 000 lives. EPA/Aaron Ufumeli/ Pool Hazel Cameron, University of St Andrews In January 1983 Robert Mugabe’s government launched a massive security clampdown in Matabeleland. It was led by a North Korean-trained, almost exclusively chiShona-speaking army unit known as the Fifth Brigade. They […]

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Zimbabwe is still in trouble, but it’s under too little pressure to change

Heike I Schmidt, University of Reading Zimbabwe reached a major milestone this year, holding its first parliamentary and presidential elections since Robert Mugabe was removed from power after 37 years of continuous rule. Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party was led on the ballot by his usurper, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who promised the elections would be free and fair. […]

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Military muscle and populist promises: authoritarian populism in southern Africa

Last week I was at an amazing gathering at the ISS in The Hague, which brought together nearly 300 activists and academics to discuss the origins and implications of authoritarian populism. A short reflection on some of the themes emerging was published this weekend in openDemocracy. Whether in the form of Duterte or Trump, Maduro or Mugabe, […]

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Turks vote in historic referendum on expanding Erdogan’s power

By Tuvan Gumrukcu ANKARA (Reuters) – Turks began voting in a hotly contested referendum on Sunday that could place sweeping new powers in the hands of President Tayyip Erdogan and herald the most radical change to the country’s political system in its modern history. Opinion polls have given a narrow lead for a “Yes” vote, […]

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Colombians are fed up with corruption, and everyone seems to be under investigation

Fabio Andres Diaz, International Institute of Social Studies Civil unrest seems to be the order of the day – and the coming weeks – in Latin America. The sprawling Odebrecht bribery scandal that started in Brazil is now complicating life in many neighbouring nations. In Colombia, recent reports reveal that the Brazilian construction company has […]

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New survey data shows Zuma cost the ANC dearly in the 2016 election

David Everatt, University of the Witwatersrand President Jacob Zuma cost the ruling African National Congress millions of votes in the country’s local government elections in 2016. Core ANC voters stayed away, were repelled by the party – or simply gave up on it. This comes through clearly from private polling data gathered before, during and […]

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