This category contains 19 posts

Slaughtering the Innocent: The Possible End of Elephants and Rhinoceroses

  Three hundred gentle rhinoceroses have been killed by poachers since the beginning of 2014 in South Africa alone.  About 15,000 unsuspecting elephants have similarly been gunned down by poachers so far this year throughout the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. Lions are dying out, too. Fabled Africa, with its profusion of big game, is now … Continue reading

Failed States: A Paradigm Revived

To label as “failed” those nation-states that no longer serve their people remains a powerful indictment. It sharpens policy considerations and singles out those countries which should be of utmost concern to world order. “Failed” also focuses attention on those nation-states that may soon fail; those are countries most in imminent need of external help. … Continue reading

Overcoming Africa’s Critical Challenges

A Wounded Leopard: Why al-Shabab Attacked Kenya

Marginalized in Somalia by Kenyan, Ethiopian and other African military forces, al-Shabab tried to show that it was still a potent instrument of terror by striking cruelly in Nairobi. Since Kenyans had helped significantly to overcome al-Shabab’s strongholds in Kismayu and Merca, in southern Somalia, al-Shabab attacked Nairobi, Kenya’s soft security underbelly, instead of attempting … Continue reading

Failed and Weak States Defined

A failed state is a country with a government that cannot or will not deliver essential political goods (public services) to its citizens. The state, usually not yet a nation-state, may hold a seat in the United Nations and function as a sovereign entity in regional and world politics, but as far as most of … Continue reading

Meles Will be Much Missed

Meles Zenawi, the late prime minister of Ethiopia, will be much missed as his ever expanding nation (now 85 million heading in thirty years to 120 million) faces a future laced with equal measures of promise and unnerving uncertainty. Meles was among the smartest of sub-Saharan Africa’s autocratic, mildly autocratic, and democratic leaders. Unlike so … Continue reading

Putting Somalia into an AU Trusteeship is the Only Option

WHEN THE heavy rains let up, Kenyan soldiers will be able to continue their advance on Kismayo, Ethiopian troops will take Baidoa, and Ugandan and Burundian peacekeepers may be able to completely clear Somalia’s capital Mogadishu of al-Shabaab militants. Al-Shabaab rebels have been in control of large swathes of southern Somalia but reports from the … Continue reading

Ousting Al-Shabaab in Somalia

JUST AS Julius Nyerere’s Tanzania intervened in 1979 in Uganda when Idi Amin sent troops across their mutual border, so 4,000 Kenyan soldiers and naval ships are intervening across its border with Somalia, pushing back and conceivably reducing the hold of al-Shabaab between Ras Kamboni – already secured – and Mogadishu. In mid-week, Kenyan troops … Continue reading

Preventing Piracy Begins on Land

THE TRAGIC deaths of four American yachters at the hands of Somali pirates should reinvigorate the world’s attempt to quench piracy off the shores of East Africa. Fortunately, tried and true methods for thwarting pirates are available, despite the vast 2.5 million-square-mile Indian Ocean basin across which the intrepid pirates act and allied naval vessels … Continue reading