The Incomplete Legacy of South Africa's Founding Father
December 5, 2013
Nelson Mandela lived one of the great lives of the twentieth century: he was an international icon who brought democratic rule and human rights to South Africa. But to thrive in the twenty-first century, the country needs not hope and activism but technocrats and engineers who can develop workable solutions to the messy realities of urban blight and rural poverty.
Nelson Mandela lived one of the great lives of the twentieth century. He was a political prisoner who became a free man, a freedom fighter who achieved reconciliation, and a president who fought for equality and development. "Mandela showed us that one man's courage can move the world," U.S. President Barack Obama said on his recent trip to South Africa. For many, Mandela’s life is an enduring reminder that hope and activism can change history for the better.
Mandela’s genius stemmed from the way in which he talked about South Africa.
A civil war has broken out within al Qaeda, largely because its leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has tried to expand the movement too broadly. As al Qaeda affiliates open new fronts in the global jihad, they often disagree about who should call the shots.
Like any sprawling organization, al Qaeda has seen its fair share of bureaucratic infighting. But the squabbling has reached fever pitch since Ayman al-Zawahiri began his tenure as head of the organization two years ago. Two of al Qaeda’s four main affiliates, al Shabaab and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), are bitterly, and sometimes violently, feuding for supremacy in North and West Africa. Another affiliate, al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), has openly defied Zawahiri’s will in Syria.
Zawahiri’s poor management is not necessarily a boon to the United States and its allies.
A Break in Rwandan Meddling and the Defeat of the M23 Rebels
November 11, 2013
At the end of October, the Congolese government finally defeated a serious armed rebellion. Congo owes its victory to its more capable army — and Rwanda's decision to end its involvement.
In the last week of October, the Democratic Republic of the Congo became a world turned on its head. The Congolese army, better known for its human rights abuses than for its battlefield efficiency, finally steamrolled through the positions of the so-called March 23 Movement, or the M23, breaking the deadlock with the rebels they had been fighting since April 2012. The UN peacekeeping mission there, long criticized for inaction, put attack helicopters up in the air and ordered its soldiers to use deadly force to back the Congolese army’s offensive.
For the first time since 1997, the Congolese government has been able to defeat a serious armed rebellion.
The biggest reason for the sudden turn in events is that Rwanda pulled the plug on the M23 rebels.
Council on Foreign Relations
Thursday, 12-05-13How Mandela Changed South AfricaThe country Nelson Mandela leaves behind remains racially divided with deep economic problems. But South Africa has also emerged as a robust democracy, writes CFR's John Campbell.
Monday, 11-11-13Teaching Module: Nigeria: Dancing on the BrinkThis module, with Teaching Notes by author and CFR Senior Fellow John Campbell, feature discussion questions, essay questions, activities, and additional materials for educators to supplement the use of the CFR book Nigeria: Dancing on the Brink (updated edition) in the classroom. In this book, Ambassador Campbell examines the country's postcolonial past and offers policy options for the United States to help promote political, social, and economic development in Nigeria.
Wednesday, 11-06-13Project Syndicate: South Africa Breaks Out"International investment agreements are once again in the news. The United States is trying to impose a strong investment pact within the two big so-called "partnership" agreements, one bridging the Atlantic, the other the Pacific, that are now being negotiated. But there is growing opposition to such moves."
Wednesday, 11-06-13Irish Times: Somalia Starts to Pick Up the Pieces"For the first time in a very long time, people here have hope," says Liban Mahdi, one of scores of diaspora Somalis who have returned to Mogadishu since al-Shabaab were routed from the city by African Union and Somali forces in August 2011. Parts of the battle-scarred capital are experiencing a construction boom, with hospitals, homes, schools, shops and hotels rising from once rubbled neighbourhoods. Streets hum with cars and hawkers. "We have traffic jams in Mogadishu now," says Ismail, who works in construction. "I never imagined I would see that here."
Friday, 10-18-13National Geographic: The War for Nigeria"In the national collective consciousness, Boko Haram has become something more than a terrorist group, more even than a movement. Its name has taken on an incantatory power. Fearing they will be heard and then killed by Boko Haram, Nigerians refuse to say the group's name aloud, referring instead to 'the crisis' or 'the insecurity.'"
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