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En Afrique de l'Ouest, les révisions constitutionnelles ont-elles contribué à la consolidation de la paix et de la démocratie ou l'inverse?

Africa Research Institue
October 18, 2018

In West Africa, it seems that the time for coups is over and that cherub-like constitutional revisions are in fashion. The heads of state have learned their lesson: they no longer seek to cling to power but to “modernize” it. In Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Mali, constitutional revisions propose to contribute to lasting peace and to consolidate democracy. Still modernization, brought by this inflation of new Constitutions, should not be rejected by a restive political-social context.


« La France doit rompre avec la rhétorique martiale qui prévaut au Sahel »

Le Monde Afrique
21 février 2018

Tribune. « Nous avons gagné cette guerre », déclarait en septembre 2013 à Bamako un François Hollande triomphant au terme d’une intervention militaire française menée au pas de course pour déloger les mouvements djihadistes au Mali. Quatre ans plus tard, dans une région sahélienne à la dérive, les mots de l’ancien président de la République résonnent de façon tragique. Le Mali a sombré dans un état de délitement inquiétant. Au nord, les groupes politico-militaires se disputent toujours le contrôle des territoires et des trafics. Au centre, l’Etat a reculé dans les zones rurales où prospèrent milices communautaires, bandes criminelles et insurgés se revendiquant du djihad.

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Mali : « Sortir de la caricature et faire un constat lucide »

Le Point Afrique
1er février 2018

TRIBUNE. Les crises sécuritaire et politique que traverse le Mali depuis 2011 sont à leur paroxysme. En dépit du rôle joué par la France dans la résolution de la crise, l'avenir politique du pays reste entre les mains des Maliens. 
Au Mali, l'état de la gouvernance, qu'elle soit politique ou économique, reste à parfaire. Des analystes, experts et politologues maliens, tout comme moi, ont très souvent pris d'assaut les journaux, les télés et les radios maliennes, françaises et internationales pour exprimer leurs inquiétudes et lister tous les maux du pays au grand public.

Expert Briefing on Mali's 2018 Presidential Elections

Africa Research Institue
January 2018

Mali gained independence from France in 1960. Eight years later, a bloodless coup led by General Moussa Traoré succeeded in setting up a 14-member Military Committee for National Liberation (CMLN). Traoré banned all political activity and remained in charge of the country until he was deposed in a 1991 coup. In 1974, the government introduced a new constitution and organised single-party presidential elections five years later which automatically granted Traoré a six-year term as president. He was re-elected in 1985, standing as the sole candidate. Following a series of violent popular protests in 1991, Traoré was removed from power by a bloodless coup and was succeeded by a transitional government led by Lt. Col. Amadou Toumani Touré (ATT).

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The G5 Sahel: A Homegrown Response to Terrorism in the Sahara

The Wilson Center

Africa Year in Review 2017​

[...] Why should the Sahel and its G5 matter to the United States? What seemed to have been of remote importance to the U.S. 10 years ago now presents major threats to its interests in Africa and beyond. Terrorist groups affiliated with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and the Islamic State have demonstrated, through highly sophisticated methods, how African and international interests as well as officials and citizens—including those from the U.S.—can become easy targets in the region. For example, the 2015-2016 terrorist attacks in the capital cities of Mali and Burkina Faso resulted in the death of two American citizens, including one USAID worker. In addition, the morphing of State Department designated terrorist organizations such as ISIS,...


Zimbabwe: A Quick Primer

FPI (Foreign Policy Interrupted) Interview
November 17, 2017

FPI: What is happening in Zimbabwe? 


Kamissa Camara: On Wednesday, senior officials of the Zimbabwean army took control of the state broadcaster ZBC as well as the Harare International airport. The military also blocked access to government offices in what looks like a successful military coup.

At the heart of the matter: Mugabe’s life presidency aspirations. He’s been in charge for 37-years and is the oldest African president. He wanted to extend his hold over Zimbabwe through his wife, Grace Mugabe. Mrs. Mugabe is widely unpopular in the country – citizens spurning her arrogance and lavish lifestyle. Zimbabwe’s vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, emerged as a possible candidate to thwart Mrs. Mugabe’s ascendancy. He was sacked on November 6, following a rally in which Mrs. Mugabe was booed. Mnangawa’s relationships within the military have been strong and the military takeover is clearly a direct consequence of this month’s events.


After helping solve Gambia's political crisis, Senegal needs an exit strategy

World Politics Review

April 2017 

[...] Under Jammeh’s regime, both Gambia and Senegal experienced decades of strained relations that made it impossible to find common ground. Now that their ties are restored with Barrow in power, thanks to Senegal’s support, the Senegalese government should continue to back Gambia’s new authorities in this fragile transition period—by leaving. For the new Gambian leaders to fully take charge of their country’s security and political developments, Senegal needs an exit strategy out of Gambia. [...]


The Gambia's Shaky Democratic Transition

Woodrow Wilson Center

Africa Year in Review 2016

January 2017 

[...] As world leaders were commending the Gambia’s election and President Jammeh for leading the way for stability and prosperity in his country, the Gambia’s outgoing president went on national television yet again to reverse the election results because of alleged fraud with the IEC’s vote tabulation. “Too good to be true” some said about Jammeh’s initial acceptance of election results. Too good or not, it looks like Jammeh will not get away with it this time. [...]


Côte d'Ivoire Expert Briefing - 2016 Legislative Elections


November, 2016

Although the 2011 legislative elections were peaceful, participation was exceptionally low at 35% of registered voters. This was in stark contrast with the 81.12% voter turnout in the presidential election held less than a year earlier. According to the president of the electoral commission, Youssouf Bakayoko, legislative elections decoupled from presidential elections fail to generate significant enthusiasm in Côte d’Ivoire (and elsewhere). Only 31.5% of the electorate participated in the previous parliamentary vote on 10 December 2000. The low turnout in 2011 can be attributed to multiple factors. [...]

'Til Death do us Part On Gabon's Bongo Dynasty

Africa is a Country 

September 2016

[...] Ali Bongo’s path to power was smoothed by a constitutional amendment in 1997 by Omar Bongo that removed the country’s run-off system, replacing it with a single round of voting in presidential, legislative and senatorial elections. Omar Bongo won that 1998 election before he was elected in 2005 to a sixth term. All these elections were marred by irregularities and violence, which allowed Omar Bongo to stay in office even while he was losing ground to the opposition.. [...]

A Year After Algiers Accords, Flexibility is Key to Durable Peace in Mali


June 06, 2016

[...] The three terrorist attacks that have hit Bamako, Mali’s capital city, since the signing of the agreement dramatically illustrated how the security landscape on which the Algiers Accords were based have changed. The attacks were claimed by groups affiliated with AQIM, planned from afar and carried out by non-Malians. The Algiers agreement, however, focused exclusively on internal threats, overlooking the external risks that could cause a derailment of the peace process. In addition, the attacks demonstrated that the security crisis is no longer exclusively confined to the north of the country, but has become an existential threat to Mali and also to its neighbors in the Sahel. [...]

Gabon Expert Briefing - 2016 Presidential Elections

​Africa Research Institute

January, 2016


Incumbent President Ali Bongo Ondimba was elected in 2009, just four months after the death of his father, Omar Bongo Ondimba, who served as president for almost 42 years. At the time of his death, Omar Bongo was the longest-serving ruler in the world, royalty aside.


After one term in office, President Ali Bongo seems intent on preserving family rule and remaining in power beyond 2016. The Bongo family has ruled Gabon for 49 years to date.

Term-Limit Tensions Raise Stakes for Togo's Presidential Ballot


March 23, 2015


On April 15, exactly 18 days before the end of President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe’s second term in office, Togo will go to the polls to elect its next head of state. In power since the death of his father, Gen. Eyadema Gnassingbe, in 2005, Gnassingbe will be running for a third term as president. 

Election Fallout Underscores Guinea’s Fragile Transition to Election Fallout Underscores Guinea’s Fragile Transition to Democracy


October 4, 2013


Guineans at home and abroad finally went to the polls on Sept. 28 to elect 114 members of parliament. Despite multiple delays and a series of demands from the opposition for fair political competition, preliminiary results suggest that President Alpha Conde’s ruling Rally of the Guinean People (RPG) party won a relative majority, thus solidifying the gains made during Conde’s first three years in power and further intensifying the rivalry between the country’s different political factions. 

Guinea: Ethnicity, Democracy and Opposition


October 23, 2012


On October 2, close to two years after the election of Alpha Condé as the first democratically-elected president of Guinea, the so-called 'water castle' of Africa celebrated its 55th anniversary of independence from the French.