Posts Tagged ‘Alex de Waal’


That’s essentially the conclusion of a long piece by Julie Flint and Alex de Waal in the most recent issue of World Affairs Journal about the first Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. They describe his controversial past in Argentina, his media-driven personality, his disastrous management of his office, how he miscalculated with his indictment of Sudanese President, Omar Al-Bashir (and fuels unhelpful perceptions of the Court in Africa), and other more controversial charges against him.



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Spin-off from the book series edited by the British Africanist scholars and activists Alex de Waal and Richard Dowden (titles like the useful Aids and Power and Darfur: A Short History of a Long War, both written by De Waal). The aim with the website is an “… Africa-wide site which provides in-depth analysis and debate of the issues and controversies that animate the continent.” Went online last week as a joint venture between the London-based Royal African Society and the SSRC in New York City. A major reason is the decline in print outlets.

Contributors are heavy hitters: Tatiana Carayannis, Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem, Stephen Ellis (former editor of Africa Confidential), among others. Wide range of the hot-button topics: Barack Obama and Africa (of course), US-Africa, China-Africa, Sudan, Uganda and the LRA, among others.

I can strongly recommend it as I like the ideas of the people associated with it.

Here’s a few kinks to still work out though: it’s early days but the design looks circa 1999. And it is all text all the time. Where’s the podcasts, the videos? The site authors may also invest in some young talent. Africa has an increasingly youthful population and we need to understand their world. And they bring the traffic. And it is still unclear what is different between this site and say something like or that of Concerned Africa Scholars (full disclosure: the latter is a project I am involved in) who claim the same mission.

Go check it out.

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Much of western media coverage of the attempted coup in Chad focus on the plight of foreign nationals fleeing the fighting between the government of Idris Deby and rebel groups.  We learn little in this coverage as to what is going on here. 

This is where the insight of the Social Science Research Council’s Alex de Waal (who maintains a blog on Sudan) comes in. In a posting on the US magazine Monthly Review’s online MRZine, De Waal provides some context and discuss what to expect next.

See here.

P.S. Of mainstream media coverage, the Christian Science Monitor (whose Africa reporting often go beyond the dead-counts, coups and venal African leaders) also does well with a piece on France’s motives (here). This is also part of the context in which to read this past Sunday’s New York Times profile of French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner (which I blogged about here).

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