Middle East and Africa

Raila Odinga takes a gamble by threatening to boycott Kenya’s election

1 month ago adcity Comments Off on Raila Odinga takes a gamble by threatening to boycott Kenya’s election
IN THE rickety wooden markets in Nairobi, where traders flog old books, second-hand clothes and kitchenware, walking away is a buyer’s last negotiating ploy. If he is lucky, he will be chased down the street and offered a better price. Raila Odinga, Kenya’s softly-spoken opposition leader, seems to be hoping a similar strategy may rescue Read More

Jalal Talabani’s mediating skills will be much missed

2 months ago adcity Comments Off on Jalal Talabani’s mediating skills will be much missed
FUNERALS can bring estranged parties together. And if anyone’s could heal the fissure between leaders in Baghdad and those in Iraq’s Kurdish enclave, that of Jalal Talabani should be the one. Mr Talabani died on October 3rd in Germany, aged 83. For 60 years “Mam”, or uncle, as Arabs and Kurds alike called him, made Read More

The Palestinians try to reconcile

2 months ago adcity Comments Off on The Palestinians try to reconcile
IT MUST have felt like déjà vu for Rami Hamdallah, the Palestinian prime minister, as he crossed the heavily-fortified border into Gaza on October 2nd. It was his first visit in two-and-a-half years. There were speeches, rallies and lofty promises to end the schism that has paralysed Palestinian politics for more than a decade. It Read More

Liberia gears up for an election

2 months ago adcity Comments Off on Liberia gears up for an election
AS LIBERIA prepares for a general election on October 10th, people are making their preferences known. Some wear T-shirts with the faces of candidates on them. Crowds of exuberant supporters block roads. The country was devastated by civil war for the best part of 14 years until 2003. But aside from a few scuffles, the Read More

The difficulty of drafting ultra-Orthodox Jews into Israel’s army

2 months ago adcity Comments Off on The difficulty of drafting ultra-Orthodox Jews into Israel’s army
DURING the violent birth of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, its first prime minister, allowed 400 ultra-Orthodox Jews (also called Haredim) to avoid compulsory military service to pursue a life of Talmudic study. He may have thought they were too few to matter, or that their endangered traditions should be nurtured after the Holocaust. Seven decades on, Read More

Egypt’s Shia come out of hiding

2 months ago adcity Comments Off on Egypt’s Shia come out of hiding
SINCE the dawn of Islam, Shias have been trying to penetrate Egypt. Ali, the Prophet Muhammad’s son-in-law and the first imam of Shia Islam, sent a loyal follower to govern the area. But no sooner had he arrived than he was captured by Sunni opponents, sewn into the belly of a donkey and burnt. Later Read More

Uganda’s 73-year-old president has a plan to rule forever

2 months ago adcity Comments Off on Uganda’s 73-year-old president has a plan to rule forever
“THIS is a generational cause,” says Bobi Wine, back in his studio after a long day in parliament. In June the singer and self-styled “Ghetto President” (real name: Robert Kyagulanyi) won a sensational victory in a parliamentary by-election. Now he is the spokesman for Uganda’s frustrated youth in a struggle to stop Yoweri Museveni, the Read More

Tax authorities are the latest tools of repression in Africa

2 months ago adcity Comments Off on Tax authorities are the latest tools of repression in Africa
DAYS after she announced her candidacy for president in May, naked photos of Diane Rwigara, a Rwandan political activist, were leaked online. Two months later she was disqualified from the election, held in August, on dubious technical grounds. But she continued to speak out against President Paul Kagame, who has been in charge of Rwanda Read More