January-February 2015


  1. Remittances, Radicalisation and Mistrust: US-Somali Policy
  2. Kenya’s bid to regulate religious institutions
  3. How to ensure responsible oil production in Somalia
  4. The Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) still going strong at 40

Remittances, Radicalisation and Mistrust: US-Somali Policy

By Najum Mushtaq

Even though the three-day White House summit on countering violent extremism was prompted by the shocking events taking place under the “Islamic State” in Iraq and wider Middle East, Somalia stayed in the headlines. continue reading

Kenya’s bid to regulate religious institutions

By Hawa Noor M

In November 2014, a television exposé revealed how a Salvation Ministries Church pastor, Victor Kanyari, performed tricks in Nairobi to lure his followers into donating seed money to his “church”. The clip went viral, and the Kenyan government reacted by imposing an indefinite suspension of registration of new religious institutions (associations, societies, churches, mosques, temples etc) while calling for fresh registration of existing ones. Attorney General Githu Muigai then announced that a framework was in the making to review the Societies Act and establish a special unit to manage religious institutions so that they operate like trade unions and political parties. According to him, operations of religious communities, churches, mosques and temples should be transparent and accountable and operate within the guidelines of spirituality that they purport to promote. continue reading

How to ensure responsible oil production in Somalia

By Markus Virgil Hoehne

The general resource curse problem is well-known. On the one hand, oil is in high demand at a time when various former “second” or “third-world” states are about to industrialize, and industrialized countries are facing the decline of their natural resources. It promises quick wealth. On the other hand, oil, particularly in fragile or unstable settings, is likely to fuel conflict, stabilize authoritarian regimes or help to create new instabilities. What are the preconditions for responsible oil production? And what will such a production look like? continue reading

The Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) still going strong at 40

By Demessie Fantaye

The 18th of February this year marks the official anniversary of the founding of the TPLF (Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front). The TPLF has achieved important successes in its 40 years of existence. It overthrew the military junta and has overseen an impressive process of political and socio-economic changes in Ethiopia since 1991. But, as this article illustrates, the anniversary is not only important to Ethiopia but also has regional significance. continue reading


Kenya: Integrity of the electoral process

On 4 March 2013 Kenyans voted in the fifth elections since the introduction of multi-party democracy in 1992. This policy brief by the Institute of Security Studies focuses on the integrity of the 2013 electoral process. Its purpose is to make findings and provide recommendations that can assist Kenya’s electoral management body, political parties, media, civil society organisations and citizens improve integrity and public confidence in electoral processes and election outcomes.   Collette Schulz-Herzenberg is a specialist in voter behaviour and elections in sub-Saharan Africa, Peter Aling’o focuses on democracy and elections and Sebastian Gatimu is a governance and human rights researcher.  Download the report at:

Sudan and South Sudan’s Merging Conflicts

Neither the peace agreement that ended Sudan’s second civil war (1983-2005) nor South Sudan’s 2011 independence brought stability to the region. The International Crisis Group’s latest report, “Sudan and South Sudan’s Merging Conflicts”, stresses the significance of the social and historical background of the conflict. 

South Sudan’s slow liberation

Edward Thomas, the author of “South Sudan:  A Slow Liberation”, points out that the causes of the violence in South Sudan are not mainly ethnic but economic. The book describes the environment which hosts the Sudanese conflicts and it focuses on the absence of a central state able to organize its productive capacities. 

Simplifying the Arusha Intra-SPLM Reunification Agreement

South Sudan plunged into a violent confrontation in December 2013 following bitter disagreements within the top leadership of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), splintering the party into several groupings. Known as the “Agreement on Reunification of the SPLM” (commonly referenced as blueprint), the accord was signed on 21 January 2015 under the auspices of the Chama Cha Manpinduzi, Tanzania’s governing party and attempts to reunify the SPLM through a conflict resolution mechanism. This report published by the Sudd Institute explains the terms of the agreement and depicts the real effects that it should have on civil society. 

New Media and Religious Transformations in Africa

"New Media and Religious Transformations in Africa", edited by Rosalind I J Hackett and Benjamin F Soares, provides a critical look at Africa's rapidly evolving religious media scene.  Showing how media are rarely neutral vehicles of expression, this multidisciplinary volume analyzes the relationship between the new media and religion during times of rapid technological and social change in Africa.
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Horn of Africa Bulletin, Volume 26, No. 4, July-August 2014

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