Current History: A Journal of Contemporary World Affairs
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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."

May 2001
Madagascar: Legitimizing Autocracy
by Richard R. Marcus
"President Ratsiraka is trying to reverse the gains that have been made during Madagascar's democratization process. Campaigning on the slogan of freedom with development, he has successfully moved the country back toward the autocracy of the Second Republic. If the highest leadership is not seeking democracy, then who is?"

May 2001
The Survival of Malawi's Enfeebled Democracy
by Peter VonDoepp
"[T]he image of sure-footed democratic progress must be placed against the picture that emerges from other dimensions of Malawi politics, a picture that presents a more disturbing view and that suggests the prospects for democratic stability and longevity are in question."

May 2000
Pipeline Politics in Chad
by Peter Rosenblum
"Chad has come to the center of international attention as the World Bank, international oil companies, and NGOs struggle over the development of the country's oil reserves. . . . The results will affect not only Chad's future but also the future of other countries dealing with issues of accountability and development in the face of multinational corporations and world financial institutions."

May 2000
America and Africa: Beyond the Double Standard
by William Minter
"In the post?cold war world the stated general goals of United States foreign policy-development, democracy, and security-are congruent with those of African peoples. When deciding how best to achieve these widely endorsed goals, however, a chasm emerges between perspectives crafted purely in the American foreign policy arena and those rooted in African realities."

May 2000
Nigeria: The Politics of Marginalization
by Minabere Ibelema
"Jostling for power by Nigeria's myriad ethnic groups has, for better and for worse, driven the country's political development since before independence from Britain in 1960. What is new is a rhetoric of the impossible: the marginalization of everyone."

May 2000
Making the Connection: Africa and the Internet
by Mike Jensen
"The development of the Internet is at a critical point in Africa. Web-based services could help accelerate the continent's economic growth and aid poverty alleviation, but these tools place large demands on an underlying infrastructure that is currently incapable of servicing them."

May 2000
Reporting Africa
by Stephen Ellis
"How-and by whom-is certain information identified as news, especially with regard to Africa? And what role does the African press play indetermining what foreign journalists regard as news-and in providing information for the African public?"

May 2000
Lingering Legacy: Apartheid and the South African Press
by Lyn Graybill
"All the [South African] media-with the exception of the alternative press-violated the public's basic right to information on what had been done on their behalf in the name of apartheid. . . . By keeping the public in the dark, they contributed to a climate in which human rights abuses against blacks could and did prevail."

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