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Voters standing up for term limits in Africa

The public demonstrations in Burundi by citizens opposed to President Pierre Nkurunziza running for a third presidential term, are just part of a broader wave of uprisings across Africa where an increasingly politically aware public — thought to be too poor or too ethnically minded to engage in protest politics that leads to social transformation — is using uprisings, protests and revolts as its political currency.

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Chaos Grows in Burundi as President Defies Advice to Step Down

New York – Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza, overriding objections to an ill-advised third term, now faces a growing popular movement to oust him after his term ends this coming June. On Sunday, thousands of angry Burundians filled the streets in the capital, Bujumbura, to protest a manouevre by the ruling party to put Nkurunziza back in office for one more term of five years. The constitution allows just two terms, back to back.

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Nigeria 2015: Jonathan’s defeat the result of a perfect political storm

The victory of Muhammadu Buhari in Nigeria’s Presidential elections, announced yesterday, signals an outstanding reversal for a man who had come up short 3 times previously. African democracies, in general, are yet to perfect the art of regularly changing presidents. In Nigeria, before yesterday, no incumbent had ever failed to gain re-election, and given the patronage made possible through the structure of the Nigerian petro-state, and 16 years of dominance at all political levels, unseating the PDP was always going to be a huge task.

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Nigeria decides: So far, so good

Nigerians have voted in what commentators are describing as Africa’s most important election. There have been problems – even President Goodluck Jonathan failed to vote on his first attempt – but this shouldn’t take away from what has been an impressive process so far. There are grounds for cautious optimism, although the real test comes later, when the results are announced. By Simon Allison. continue reading »

What are you scared of Joseph Kabila? Senegalese, Burkinabe, and Congolese Activists Arrested in DRC

Being a pro-democracy, nonviolent youth activist is a dangerous thing in some countries. On Sunday afternoon activists from Senegal’s Y’en a Marre (We’re Fed Up) movement and Burkina Faso’s Le Balai Citoyen (Citizen’s Broom) along with several journalists and Congolese activists were detained after a press conference just outside of Kinshasa. The local NGO Filimbi invited the activists to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for a series of workshops and events. The exact charges or reason for the arrests are unclear.

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The future of Françafrique

“The face of the threat has changed,” a French military officer tells Jeune Afrique. “Our preoccupation is no longer to support the regimes.” The comment isn’t followed by a winking emoticon but Jeune Afrique did draw a map (link) of the French army presence in Africa today.*

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