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Togo’s tension: democracy vs. stability

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Maybe it was too early in the morning. Or perhaps their hearts just weren’t in it.

Whatever the case, a rally called by Togo ‘s opposition leaders for early Tuesday — meant to voice full-throated outrage over the March 4 election they say was rigged to favour the incumbent — was a near no-show.

Not even the opposition leaders turned up.


“It was a thousand or so youths, they burned a couple of tires and the police dispersed them,” said a Reuters witness. “The opposition leaders did not even come.”

Unclear if this was a good thing.

Togo’s March 4 election was seen as a test for democracy in Africa, a continent notorious for coups and flawed polls that have undermined efforts toward civilian rule. International observers have said the poll appeared fair.

The dangers of witchcraft

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carEvery year, hundreds of people in the Central African Republic are convicted of witchcraft. One man, who received a 4-year sentence, says his case highlights some of the failures of the country’s judicial system.

Ange Mberkoulat was convicted of witchcraft after his village chief accused him of trying to kill a relative. He is officially a convict but is serving his sentence outside jail because of lack of resources in prisons

Bringing aid and being a target

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Posted by George Fominyen, AlertNet‘s humanitarian affairs correspondent for West and Central Africa, based in Dakar. He is also West Africa coordinator for Thomson Reuters Foundation’s Emergency Information Service.

The abduction of two Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) workers in Chad this month after a robbery at their compound near Sudan’s Darfur region has again brought to the fore the question of attacks on aid workers.

Is the International Criminal Court unfair to Africa?

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African countries often complain about getting a bad press. They say there’s much more to the continent than war and poverty and starvation. Then there’s the huge coverage given to the International Criminal Court and the fact that all four cases the body is now considering come from Africa.

But what’s strange about the complaints is that the world’s poorest continent is the most heavily represented in the ICC, with 30 member countries. In the March 2009 elections for ICC judges, 12 out of the 19 candidates were Africans nominated by African governments. And Fatou Bensouda, the court’s Deputy Prosecutor, is from Gambia.

from Global News Journal:

More power-sharing in Africa?

Kenya's power-sharing government was only born after weeks of election violence that killed 1,300 people. Zimbabwe's power sharing agreement is yet to bear fruit as southern Africa's former breadbasket crumbles into economic ruin.

So will power sharing in Central African Republic, where one of Africa's most forgotten conflicts has been simmering for more than half a decade, fare any better?

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