Constructing a Security Architecture in East Africa

A meeting of EAC leaders in 2009.

The chaos in South Sudan after an alleged coup attempt on 14 December 2013 led to a diplomatic as well as military intervention by its neighbors. It was Uganda that went ahead and openly backed up South Sudanese president Salva Kiir a week later in his struggle to regain control in the youngest country in the world. A few days later, Uganda’s forces were included in an Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) mission that was set up. This raises the larger questions of how the East African security architecture looks like and where it is heading to in a fragile region as the famous commentator Charles Onyango-Obbo has done in the The East African Times. While a regional security architecture has been started to be in place since the 1990s, the region’s security institutions are still guided by the national self-interest of its members and not for the good of the broader region. Continue reading “Constructing a Security Architecture in East Africa”

What is wrong with the UK?

The European Court of Human Rights defends human rights. And yet, the UK threatens to pull out (c) Flickr / Marcella Bona

Bashing Europe is popular these days in the UK. While many Europeans are used to hear constant attacks against Brussels and the EU from the British Government, usually one is not so much aware that there exists another European enemy: the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) which is situated in Strasbourg under the auspices of the Council of Europe. The consequence of the ECHR’s work according to the Daily Mail: “We are all doomed.” Just another time… Continue reading “What is wrong with the UK?”

The Negotiations are On: Serbia into the EU until 2020

The negotiations for EU membership might take years, but the process in itself is important for Serbia (c) commons.wikimedia.org
The negotiations for EU membership might take years, but the process in itself is important for Serbia (c) commons.wikimedia.org

I still very much remember the words of a high level nationalist politician from the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS), a national conservative party, when I got a tour in the Serbian parliament in Belgrade back in spring 2007. I asked him when Serbia would join the EU. He just laughed and responded that this will not be necessary because the EU will fall apart soon anyways. Well, although the crisis was afterwards hitting the EU hard, the union certainly did not fall; on the opposite, it even strengthened. On Tuesday, the 21 January 2014 the first conference for accession negotiations with the EU means that Belgrade is at the start of a historic path towards European integration. Or, as a Serbian journalist put it, “the bad guy is knocking on the door.” Continue reading “The Negotiations are On: Serbia into the EU until 2020”

“Give us a TV Debate”

european debateAn important demand has been started on Facebook for EU citizens just this Monday. It calls for “TV debates on major European channels between the candidates for president of the European Commission.” Through that, it rightfully demands that EU citizens can make a more informed choice when they go to the ballot box for the European Parliament elections in May 2014. At the time of writing, this Facebook page has already some 655 “likes” on Facebook, but I am sure it can and will grow in much higher numbers. It is a demand from EU citizens to know what the possible future EU Commission President nominated by one of the different political groups is going to implement and what she or he is standing for. Continue reading ““Give us a TV Debate””

A phantom state in chaos cries for stability

The crisis in the CAR makes clear: education instead of fighting is the way forward. (c) DFID
The crisis in the CAR makes clear: education instead of fighting is the way forward. (c) DFID

The Central African Republic (CAR) is, finally, in the center of attention – although for the wrong reasons. “The forgotten country” is in upheaval, many go as far to speak about “genocide” and a “Rwandan-like” situation. France, the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU) dispatched some 4,000 troops to CAR in early December 2013. As François Bozizé, the country’s president and cruel military leader for ten years was ousted in March 2013, after his sponsors in Chad and Sudan left him alone. One month after the arrival of the troops more than 1,000 people have been killed and The New York Times reports that almost one million are displaced up from 400,000 in the beginning of December. The humanitarian situation is disastrous and it is hard for humanitarians to deliver aid in this “phantom state.” Continue reading “A phantom state in chaos cries for stability”