Posts From Rhys Martin

Back to homepage
Africa Politics

What does the Duclert Report Mean for French-Rwandan Relations?

Contention over the extent of France’s involvement in the Rwandan genocide (1994) has been straining relations between Paris and Kigali for over 25 years. In order to address this and attempt to regain some credibility both in Rwanda and across Africa French president Emmanuel Macron ordered an investigation to be carried out by a commission of French historians, led by Vincent Duclert (hereafter referred to as the Duclert Report), in 2019. The report concluded that France did not take an active role in carrying out the genocide, but does bear “heavy and overwhelming responsibilities” due to its “failure” of policy in supporting the Hutu-led government. The conclusions represent a step in the right direction for French-Rwandan relations, but likely do not go far enough on their own.

Security Sub-Saharan Africa

Ethiopia’s Tigray Conflict: A Humanitarian Disaster

The ongoing conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray province threatens to become the world’s worst humanitarian disaster. War crimes, sexual violence and famine are reported to be widespread, and the Ethiopian government is restricting access for humanitarian actors and human rights inspectors. The escalating severity of the situation is eerily similar to scenes from the Tigrayan famine of 1983-85, and it is likely that it may play out in a similar, devastating way.

Europe Insights

Future Trends: Far-Right Terrorism in the UK – A Major Threat?

Since the late 1990s, the threat to UK security from far-right terrorism has been considered to have been of minor concern compared to Islamist or Northern Ireland-related terror. However, within the past few years there has been a growth in concern about rising levels of far-right extremism. With the ideology spreading via the internet amongst a young audience, is it possible that far-right terrorism could become the major domestic threat to UK security?

Africa Politics

East African Federation Looks Set for Further Delay

The creation of an East African Federation (EAF) has been steadily progressing since the latest initiative began at the very end of the 20th century. The proposed ‘super-state’ has received rhetorical support from African leaders and would be an exciting development in sub-Saharan Africa. However, such progress has been repeatedly beset by setbacks and delays and looks certain to be delayed once again, with the 2023 target for confederation almost certain to be missed. Several underlying issues need to be resolved if the project is to avoid the complete collapse that befell previous attempts.

Politics Sub-Saharan Africa

The Zondo Commission: Consequences for President Ramaphosa

The Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture or the Zondo Commission, headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, has been notified about the overwhelming scale of corruption and fraud involving public bodies under the presidency of Jacob Zuma (2009-2018) in South Africa. The Commission’s findings have badly damaged the reputation of the African National Congress (ANC) and South African institutions. The revelations of this ongoing inquiry highlight a pressing issue for Cyril Ramaphosa, Zuma’s successor as president: Ramaphosa must restore confidence in South African politics in order to restore the position of both his own party and South Africa’s international standing.

Africa Politics

Are COVID-19 Measures Being Used to Stifle Democracy in Africa?

The global pandemic presents a unique challenge to democracy in sub-Saharan Africa. Aside from making it more difficult and more expensive to carry out elections, there is an emerging worry that democratic activity will be suppressed in the name of ‘stopping the spread’.