Touré's outser was a long time coming. The country's flailing economy -- hurt even more in recent months by a loss of tourism revenue after several Islamist attacks -- and the decades-long Tuareg insurgency in the North set the stage for his fall. The interim president must now start addressing average Malians' economic woes and quelling the insurgency, or else risk intervention from abroad.
Is Intervention Against Qaddafi’s Regime Legal and Legitimate?
March 20, 2011
Michael W. Doyle
The UN authorization of a no-fly zone in Libya gives teeth to the much-heralded “responsibility to protect." But the intervention poses legal and ethical dilemmas that will plague policymakers in the weeks and months ahead.
In classic United Nations Security Council language, Resolution 1973, passed on March 17, 2011, authorized UN member states to “take all necessary measures . . . to protect civilians and civilian populated areas” in Libya by establishing a no-fly zone and enforcing an arms embargo against Colonel Muammar al-Qaddafi’s regime.
Success with regard to the Libyan intervention has yet to be defined.
For years, Pentagon officials took comfort in the relative stability of Bahrain, which serves as a major base for the U.S. military. But the protests in the country have raised concerns that it will evict U.S. forces -- part of a broader pattern that is jeopardizing U.S. basing agreements around the world.
U.S. policymakers have long struggled to reconcile their support for friendly authoritarian regimes with their preference for political liberalization abroad. The ongoing upheavals in the Middle East, like so many developments before them, shine a bright light on this inconsistency.
The use of force and foreign troops against peaceful demonstrators in a country with a major U.S. military presence necessarily implicates Washington.
The History of Rebel Governance, From the U.S. Civil War to Libya
April 13, 2011
The Libyan opposition based in Benghazi is just the latest in a long history of rebel governments, from the U.S. Confederacy to the recently victorious opposition in Ivory Coast. Is it time for the international community to rethink the process of recognizing such de facto states?
In late February, rebel leaders in the Libyan opposition formed the Transitional National Council, a quasi-government based in the rebel-controlled town of Benghazi. From there, the council attempts to manage daily affairs for nearly a million local residents. A variety of civilian committees struggle to ensure that the health system can deal with those injured in the violence, and that the courts and police continue to provide a semblance of order -- not to mention dealing with other basic issues of governance to keep the area from descending into chaos.
Once rebel armies gain control of a territory, they must figure out how to get the civilian population to identify with the rebel cause.
The fall of Laurent Gbagbo was the result of a civil war many years in the making. Now, as Côte d'Ivoire eyes its political future, it is up to the international community to make sure that it helps more than it hurts.
On Monday, soldiers loyal to Alassane Ouattara dragged Laurent Gbagbo from Côte d'Ivoire's presidential palace, which by then had been bombed into ruins by French and UN attack helicopters. Last November, Ouattara was elected president of Côte d'Ivoire, but he had been confined to an Abidjan hotel by the country's army, which until recently remained loyal to Gbagbo.
If Ouattara is to have any chance of ruling all of Côte d'Ivoire peaceably in the coming months and years, international actors will have to be far more thoughtful and careful than they have been in the past month.
Can the New Government in Abuja Overcome Nigeria's Many Challenges?
April 15, 2011
John Campbell and Asch Harwood
Nigeria's elections this month are the most unpredictable since the restoration of civilian government in 1999. Will a fair and free ballot restore legitimacy to the embattled government, or will a fraudulent vote push the country further toward chaos?
Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo says that he fears for his country. He should. Political, ethnic, and religious violence have been on the upswing. The end of a long-standing, informal presidential power-sharing arrangement between the north and south within the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) -- known as "zoning" -- encourages appeals to ethnicity and religion in places as diverse as Yorubaland and the country's so-called middle belt.
Nigerians believe that free, fair, and credible elections could reverse the downward spiral of governance that has led their country to stagnation at home and the brink of irrelevance abroad.
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