The Conversation Africa

Ideology matters in unravelling Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

In explaining the war on Ukraine, ideology matters as much as interests. This means that we need to factor ideology into our analysis if we want to gain a deeper understanding of interstate violent conflict. If we focus purely on the material interests of an aggressive state we land up with a lopsided picture of war. We view it simply as a continuation of politics – diplomacy has failed therefore the use of force is the only option.
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Museveni’s first son Muhoozi: clear signals about a succession plan

On 8 March 2022, Ugandan politics was sent into a spin by 49 words tweeted by President Yoweri Museveni’s only son, Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba. The tweet announced Muhoozi’s retirement from the Ugandan People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), which he had formally served in since 1999. Since his most recent promotion in June 2021, he has served as the commander of the land forces. The position made him the third-highest ranking officer in the defence forces.

Angola’s ruling party faces united opposition in upcoming poll. But it’s pushing back

The election of Angolan President João Lourenço in 2017 raised hopes of a shift from the authoritarian and corrupt era of his predecessor. This was thanks to the new, more open and approachable style of governance he instituted in his first months in office. This included opening up the public media as well as symbolic gestures such as ending the practice of blocking off road traffic for the president’s motorcade to pass.

Togo looks like West Africa’s new frontier of violent extremism

The threat of violent extremism across West Africa has been on the rise in recent times. Boko Haram and the Islamic State in West Africa Province have been active in the Lake Chad Basin region. Jama’a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin, the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara and Ansarul Islam in the Sahel. The implications for the peace and security of the sub-region have never been more pronounced.

Restrictive abortion laws put Nigerian women in danger

The word “abortion” is used to describe two types of pregnancies that end before 20 weeks, which is now regarded as the age of viability of a pregnancy. Spontaneous abortion occurs without an intention by the woman to stop the pregnancy, it is pregnancy loss before 20 weeks of gestational age. Induced abortion is the deliberate termination of a pregnancy because it is unwanted.

Herbicides threaten edible weeds in Zambia – that may be bad news for local food security

The use of herbicides – substances that control unwanted plants – is on the rise across Africa. This trend has been referred to by some researchers as the “herbicide revolution”. This trend is driven by cheap herbicides flooding into the continent from Asia and global agrochemical companies discovering Africa’s emerging markets. Also, rural wages have risen due to rural-urban migration and structural transformation.

The rights of refugees in Africa are under threat: what can be done

In April 2022, 70 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) were reportedly detained and then deported by the Zimbabwe government. Once back in the DRC, their government rejected 15 of them, who were sent back to detention facilities in Harare. The incident raises legal questions around human rights and the obligations of states that are signatories to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol. Zimbabwe hosts 22,400 refugees and asylum seekers. Parvati Nair, a professor of migration studies, answers questions about the rights of refugees and the obligations of states.

#JusticeForSheila highlights the precarious lives of queer people in Kenya

Kenya is one of 32 countries in Africa that criminalise homosexuality. People who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) are frequently stigmatised, shamed and assaulted. The hashtags calling for action against the murder of queer people – like the most recent #JusticeForSheila – continue to trend on social media. We asked gender studies professor Awino Okech to tell us about the state of homophobic violence against queer Kenyans – and what needs to be done about it.

Rwanda: LGBT rights are protected on paper, but discrimination and homophobia persist

“From today, I no longer want to be called your mother, if you don’t want to change you can leave my house and come back when you are a transformed person, when you are a man.” Chris (not his real name) a queer transgender person from Rwanda recalls the words of their angry mother. That was the last time Chris interacted with their mother. She chased Chris away and, from then on, they had to fend for themself.