Posts From James Trigg

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Africa Politics Under The Radar

Uganda Seeking Inroads to Compete for Regional Influence

The continued closure of key border crossings between Rwanda and Uganda has prompted both nations to seek alternative trade prospects and influence amongst their neighbours. For Uganda, recent efforts have centred on Burundi and the DRC, with infrastructure agreements and plans for military cooperation directed at offsetting Rwanda’s recent diplomatic gains with their eastern neighbour. 

Africa Politics

Kenya: Camp Closures Weaponised as Relations with Somalia Sour

The maritime dispute between Kenya and Somalia has dragged diplomatic relations between the two neighbours to a new low, with the most likely outcome favouring Somalia. In threatening to close Dadaab and Kakuma, Kenya may be seeking a new source of pressure to apply to Mogadishu through deploying the prospect of thousands of returnees as leverage. 

Africa Politics

Côte d’Ivoire – Do new EU laws promise sweet success or a bitter aftertaste?

Impending EU legislation seeks to reduce the Côte d’Ivoire cocoa industry’s reliance on minimum wages, child labour, and environmental degradation. Yet these efforts may be hindered by the coronavirus pandemic, and cynical buyers seeking alternative sources. The EU’s efforts also come as the industry in Côte d’Ivoire sits in the midst of several complex political and legal storms.

Africa Under The Radar

Hybrid War Crimes Court Promises Justice But Political Rivalry May Impede Pursuit

The African Union’s call for a court in South Sudan to prosecute and punish individuals responsible for war crimes is a significant overture by the continental organisation. Trials in the aftermath of genocide in Rwanda and the International Criminal Court’s recent efforts demonstrate the benefits of such convictions, but the particular circumstances in South Sudan means prosecutors must remain cogniscent of the precarious political situation.

Africa Politics Security

The Political Economy of Sudanese Reform

Since the overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir, the civilian Council of Ministers headed by Abdullah Hamdok has been tasked with realising the aspirations of the Sudanese people who took to the streets to protest for a better future. All the while, they are hindered economically by the legacy of Sudan’s affiliation with transnational terrorism. Meanwhile, the presence and influence of Sudan’s military officers remains significant, especially in the face of myriad security concerns, whose political ambitions are undimmed.

Africa Politics

Democratic Republic Of The Congo: Seeking Support In The Shadow Of Kabila

The collapse of the coalition between President Tshisekedi and Joseph Kabila threatens to create a void in DRC politics. Whilst international actors have been swift to commend Tshisekedi, his own political fortunes now rely on finding allies amongst the very opposition who question his victory in 2018, all the while fending off Kabila’s still-potent influence. 

Africa Security

Russia and Sudan – New Naval Base Agreement a Sea Change for the Region

Sudan and Russia have announced an agreement that will see Russia gain access to a naval base at Port Sudan. The posting of Russian troops and warships will shift the balance of power in the region, whether by permitting Russian vessels to operate in the area for far longer than before, or by requiring adaptations in procedure and behaviour by other forces.

Middle East/North Africa Politics

Morocco and Western Sahara – Military Posturing and Diplomatic Offensives

Whilst there has been no direct military confrontation between the Polisario Front and Morocco regarding the future of Western Sahara for a number of years, both Morocco and their opponent, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) have been deploying diplomatic overtures to sway opinion in their favour across the African continent and beyond.