Egypt’s first freely elected president, Mohammed Mursi, has pushed for the retirement of top military generals including Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, and annulled the constitutional declaration issued in June which gave the military sweeping legislative powers. Mursi also strategically appointed his cabinet in an attempt to shift the balance of power away from the military council. Egypt’s transition to democracy has been shaky since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak and in coming months the Supreme Constitutional Court could come to play a crucial role.
As the conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) continues, Think Africa Press has been assessing the broader implications of the M23 rebellion. Although some of the same actors are present as in the Second Congolese War (1998-2003) in which several regional actors became embroiled, it seems unlikely the conflict will escalate in a similar manner today. Amidst extant discontent with President Joseph Kabila in the DRC, however, the rebellion might challenge Kabila’s grip on power. In an attempt to end the conflict, Western donors have suspended some aid to Rwanda, believed to be supporting M23, but it seems the impact on government spending will be fairly modest but could speed up the privatisation of some companies in the agriculture, banking, tourism and ICT sectors.
Speculation around Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia’s health continues. Meles has not been seen in public for around two months now and, after his long rule, many are concerned about what the end of the highly influential leader could mean for the country.
Below are a few highlights from the past week:
|Conflict in the Kivus: The Start of Africa's Second World War?|
|The ANC: "An Extraordinary Past, but a Pedestrian Present"|
|The Ivory Coast's Politics of Belonging|
|Adopting from Africa, Saving the Children?|
|Timbuktu: The End of Tourism?|
All the best,
The Team at Think Africa Press