The countries involved in the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam are three of the largest in Africa and they could all benefit from coordinated action instead of belligerence and a zero-sum game.
Sudan's revolution that precipitated the overthrow of Omar el Bashir last year was led by women. Since his deposal women have been relegated from the center of power but still the struggle for a truly free Sudan continues and women remain at the forefront of the struggle against a powerful ossified deep state determined to hold on to power and supported by wealthy patrons in the Gulf. The Elephant in conversation with Reem Abbas, a freelance journalist with several years of experience in the field of communications and advocacy for Sudanese civil society groups and organizations. She is the winner of the 2011 Blogher award for her work on human rights and current affairs in Sudan.
In 2019 Sudan's long-serving dictator Omar el Bashir was overthrown in a coup driven in part by widespread unrest with his autocratic rule, corruption, economic crisis and social dysfunction. Aly Verjee a political analyst and researcher with expertise in governance, election/political transition processes and who lived in Khartoum for seven years until 2011 analyses the Sudanese transition. Aly is also a visiting expert at the U.S Institute of Peace and a fellow of the Rift Valley Institute.
The Horn is at strategic crossroads. There is immense hope but also great fear. How Ethiopia and Sudan manage their fraught transitions and the prospects for success and reversal remain unknown. What is not in doubt is that a botched transition in both nations will crush the dreams of millions and their quest for liberty and a better quality of life. It will also embolden autocratic regimes and vindicate their ideology of stability.
The political protests in the Sudan, which began last December in the working class city of Atbara, and the perennial power struggle that triggered political instability in South Sudan, speak to the failure of the Sudanese political elite to manage the post-independence socio-economic and political engineering of the state.
Facing the biggest threat to his 30-year old monopoly on power, Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir finds his regime entangled in a crisis entirely of its own making: the economic meltdown triggered by Western sanctions for the Darfur atrocities, and the loss of South Sudan, itself the result of the Islamisation of the state. The bigger question for the continent is: why do small states fare better than big ones? Here’s a clue: centralising power, especially in politically fractious Africa, is always a bad idea. By DAVID NDII.