Political Unrest
Associated Press/Photo by Justin Lynch

Japanese troops take use-of-force mandate to South Sudan

Africa | The mission marks Japan’s first external deployment with expanded powers in nearly 70 years
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 11/22/16, 08:56 am

Japan has deployed a new contingent of peacekeepers to the warring South Sudan with a mandate to use force—the first of its kind in nearly seven decades.

The deployment follows July fighting in the country, during which many peacekeepers failed to respond to attacks on civilians.

The 350 Self-Defense Forces, who arrived in South Sudan on Monday, will replace a previous contingent that did not have the power to use force. The new troops will work primarily on the reconstruction of the capital, Juba.

Read more

Creative Commons/jbdodane

Gambia denies EU request to observe elections

Africa | Rights groups say violent crackdown on opposition has marred election process
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 11/21/16, 09:05 am

Gambia has denied the European Union access to evaluate its electoral process, a few weeks before the Dec. 1 presidential elections. The refusal follows months-long reports of government forces violently stifling opposition.

Attila Lajos, EU ambassador to Gambia, said the proposed mission aimed to observe and make recommendations on how the country can improve its electoral framework on the basis of both international and national laws.

Read more

Associated Press/Photo by Gildas Ngingo, File

Crisis in Burundi could escalate to genocide

Africa | Human rights groups fear consequences of ethnic repression, dangerous rhetoric, and isolation from the international community
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 11/16/16, 10:31 am

Burundi’s violent repression of opposition could spiral into genocide, two human rights groups warned Tuesday. The International Federation for Human Rights and the Burundi-based human rights group ITEKA called on the international community to intervene before the conflict escalates.

Read more