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In Africa, U.S. Should Focus More on Democracy, Less on China

In Africa, U.S. Should Focus More on Democracy, Less on China

Thursday, October 14, 2021

By: Gustavo de Carvalho;  Paul Nantulya;  Thomas P. Sheehy

Even as the United States draws lessons from its unsuccessful, 20-year effort to build a sustainable peace in Afghanistan, it is shaping policies to engage the political and economic rise of Africa. Both the shortcomings in Afghanistan and the opportunities of Africa underscore the imperative of building policy on a full appreciation of local conditions. Yet on Africa, China’s growing presence has seized Americans’ political attention, and scholars of African politics say this risks distracting near-term U.S. policymaking. A requisite for U.S. success in Africa will be to focus on Africans’ desires—which include an ambition to build their futures by democratic means.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global PolicyDemocracy & Governance

Beyond Fake News: the Central African Republic’s Hate Speech Problem

Beyond Fake News: the Central African Republic’s Hate Speech Problem

Monday, August 16, 2021

By: Brianna Ferebee;  Rachel Sullivan

After a recent contested election, the Central African Republic finds itself in a precarious situation. Violence around the election combined with the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 and destructive flooding have caused the humanitarian emergency to reach its worst state in five years. Meanwhile, the CAR government has been accused of engaging in Russian-backed disinformation campaigns targeting domestic civil society, French diplomats and the United Nations peacekeeping mission (MINUSCA), threatening key relationships. Even as the long-simmering issue of hate speech continues to draw fault lines through the country, efforts to combat these campaigns have focused primarily on challenging fake news rather than addressing the underlying fear and prejudice that spoilers use to stoke conflict. 

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

Chad: President Déby’s Death Leaves Vacuum in Volatile Region

Chad: President Déby’s Death Leaves Vacuum in Volatile Region

Thursday, April 22, 2021

By: Kamissa Camara;  Jérôme Tubiana

The sudden violent death of Idriss Déby, the leader of Chad since 1990, throws the central African country into uncertainty. During a visit to the military frontline, Déby was allegedly killed in fighting in the country’s Lake Chad region, just days after the uncompetitive April 11 presidential elections in which he was re-elected for a sixth term. As USIP’s Kamissa Camara and researcher Jérôme Tubiana explain, Déby’s death does not change the structural deficiencies of the Chadian state. At the same time, Déby’s death leaves the West without a long-time ally in counterterrorism in the greater Sahel and Lake Chad Basin, and how the transition is managed has implications for the wider region, too.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & GovernanceViolent Extremism

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