Current History: A Journal of Contemporary World Affairs
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May 2004
Killing For Christ? The Lord's Resistance Army of Uganda
by Kevin C. Dunn
"The LRA's war in Uganda, like many conflicts in Africa, may appear illogical to the outsider (and especially to the Western media), but it contains an internal logic that makes it rational to the participants."

May 2004
Africa's Young Guerrillas: Rebels with a Cause?
by Morten Boas
"A shared experience of brutalization, abuse, and marginalization informs the worldview of these movements. Each has emerged, too, within the context of a deeply dysfunctional state."

May 2004
Nigeria's Democratic Generals
by Robert B. Lloyd
"If democracy firmly establishes itself in this African giant and economic reform leads to increasing wealth and stability, Nigeria could serve as a beacon of inspiration for a continent many view as hopeless."

May 2004
Libya: Who Blinked, and Why
by George Joffe
"There was plenty of self-satisfied official comment about the efficacy of strong-minded policy in the Middle East, particularly the war in Iraq, in concentrating Colonel Qaddafi's mind on essential reform. But it was nothing of the kind that led to the breakthrough."

May 2004
“Compassionate Conservatism” Comes to Africa
by Salih Booker and Ann-Louise Colgan
"While the HIV/AIDS crisis is the most urgent threat facing Africa and the world, the Bush administration\'s current orientation is to delay action. In contrast, Washington\'s interest in African oil and the specter of terrorist cells quietly shapes the immediate course of us Africa policy."

May 2003
America and Africa
by Salih Booker, William Minter and Anne-Louise Colgan
"Africa's issues are global issues-HIV/AIDS, human development, new models for economic growth, peace, and democracy. Worldwide consciousness of the HIV/AIDS pandemic has even forced its way into the pages of a United States president's State of the Union address. In practice, however, priorities are being set by another agenda, a war agenda."

May 2003
Kenya's Postelection Euphoria—and Reality
by Frank Holmquist
Kenya has successfully run the gauntlet of political transition. But the road ahead is daunting and hazardous. . . . Yet Kenya has major assets-a vital civil society that may be the key to a successful constitutional reform process over the next few months, . . . and a population that is optimistic about the future."

May 2003
Exorcising Savimbi's Ghost
by International Crisis Group
The Angolan government has won the civil war that tore apart the country for nearly 30 years, "but it now must decide whether to commit the resources and political will necessary to win the peace. Festering security and humanitarian issues, if left unaddressed, will lay the foundation for future instability and warlordism in an already devastated country."

May 2003
Madagascar: A New Democracy?
by Richard R. Marcus and Paul Razafindrakoto
"Despite the volatile politics of 2002 . . . Madagascar did not undergo a radical change of government. At no point was an attempt made to fundamentally change the nature of the system or to uproot the ancien rÈgime. Only a courageous individual could break with this long history and turn power over to democratic institutions. Whether Madagascar's new president has this will remains a question."

May 2003
Anticipatory Self-Defense: The Terrorism Exception
by Mikael F. Nabati
"The traditional interpretation of the right of self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter, by prohibiting preemptive actions, gives terrorists and states sponsoring terrorist activities de facto immunity from justice and legality. Contemporary terrorist threats make the permissibility of anticipatory self-defense not only necessary, but reasonable, fair, and just. . . . Preemptive strikes should not be the 'rule,' but they may be legitimate as an exception to the charter's prohibition against the use of force."

May 2002
Irrational Exuberance: The Clinton Administration in Africa
by Peter Rosenblum
"The [Clinton administration's] new African leaders policy was intended to be the story of peacemaking, partnership, and economic development. Instead, it became a subplot in a story of war, casualties, and the remaking of old African leaders."

May 2002
Osama bin Laden's
by Ann M. Lesch
"What was the importance of the Sudanese sojourn for Osama bin Laden? One can argue that, without the sanctuary in Sudan, the Arabs who had fought in Afghanistan would have dispersed. Some would have gone home; others would have scattered in exile. Over time, their strength would have waned and they would have had difficulty communicating and coordinating their efforts. . . . Without Sudan, bin Laden could not have incubated the networks that have caused such devastation in subsequent years."

May 2002
Somalia: In the Crosshairs of the War on Terrorism
by Ken Menkhaus
"One lesson learned since September 11 is that the expanded war on terrorism has created a lens that tends to distort our vision of the complex political dynamics of countries like Somalia. Local political realities are not always assessed in their own right, but instead are interpreted through, and reduced to, the logic of the war on terrorism."

May 2002
Zimbabwe: The Making of an Autocratic
by Robert B. Lloyd
"Two decades after independence, the fruits of President Robert Mugabe's rule are a rapidly declining economy, the systematic dismantling of constitutional government, growing political violence, a costly war in Congo, and international condemnation."

May 2002
Africa's Other Story
by Ebere Onwudiwe
"Africa's well-known developmental political problems remain. . . . But these problems also exist in political communities in every other part of the world. More important, they do not exhaust the story of politics in Africa. For every horrific political story in Africa, there is another story of courageous and creative political enterprise accomplished under circumstances that those who live and vote in developed democracies could not even begin to imagine."

May 2001
Bush's Global Agenda: Bad News for Africa
by Salih Booker
"Today's 'global' issues, from hiv/aids to global warming, and from trade policies to the failure of international peacekeeping, have their most immediate and devastating consequences in Africa. . . . These vital challenges must be addressed in Africa, in solidarity with Africans, if they are not to overwhelm the world."

May 2001
Kenya: Democracy, Decline, and Despair
by Frank Holmquist and Ayuka Oendo
"The 1990s saw a great deal of positive political change in Kenya-most notably, relative freedom of speech and organization, [and] regular multiparty elections. . . . But almost counterintuitively, the regime has shrunk into something of a corrupt and hollow shell. . . . As the 2002 election begins to loom, echoes of the repression of the one-party era have begun to be felt."

May 2001
Can Nigeria's New Democracy Survive?
by Rotimi T. Suberu
"The fragility of Nigeria's new democracy is rooted in the onerous burden of the preceding era of military misrule and the shallow nature of the May 1999 transition from autocracy to democracy."

May 2001
The Kabilas' Congo
by Thomas Turner
"[I]s the optimism that followed the installment of Joseph Kabila misplaced? Even if most of the participants in Congo's multisided war appear to want out, can a formula be found by which they can disengage? And if the war ends, is there any way to restore an effective Congolese state and economy?"

May 2001
The Failure of Peacekeeping in Sierra Leone
by William Reno
"RUF commanders have fought the government with guns bought with diamonds, brought from Liberia, or captured from their enemies. They do not have to rely on the goodwill of local inhabitants. . . . The RUF bases its political power on control over diamonds."

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