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  • Author: Cyril Obi
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Oil endowment has been a significant factor in Africa’s history, politics, and development. The continent was positioned strategically following the global energy transition from coal to crude oil in the latter part of the nineteenth and early part of the twentieth centuries, which shaped the history of oil in Africa.1 Today, Africa’s oil reserves serve both as a supply of oil to the global market and as a node for the continued integration of the continent’s petro-economies into a volatile global oil market. However, the fortunes of Africa’s oil-producing states depend on a commodity whose price they do not determine, and they find themselves with limited options to collectively leverage their positions on the global stage.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Oil, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: David Baluarte
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Miliyon is a stateless, failed asylum seeker residing in the United States. He initially sought refugee protection after he fled Ethiopia, where he had faced serious abuse because of his Eritrean ethnicity. Immigration authorities denied him asylum after concluding that the Ethiopian government’s deportation of his Eritrean father, the seizure of his family’s land and business, and the detention and torture of Miliyon himself constituted a property dispute not protected under U.S. refugee law. Miliyon fought this denial of protection over the next decade through various appeals processes but ultimately failed. At that point, he applied for a passport at the Ethiopian embassy in Washington, D.C. and resigned himself to return home and face whatever fate awaited him. Consular officials, however, refused to issue him a passport. Despite never having set foot in Eritrea or having any other connection to the country, Miliyon was told that he was Eritrean, not Ethiopian. He was informed that he had no right to return to Ethiopia, his country of birth and the only place he had ever lived. This led the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to declare Miliyon stateless. As a victim of discriminatory denationalization, Miliyon tried to renew his application for refugee protection. Notwithstanding the fact that Miliyon had endured this persecutory treatment, U.S. authorities once again denied his claim.
  • Topic: Refugee Issues, Immigrants, Deportation, Protected People, Stateless Population
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Ethiopia
  • Author: Amr Hamzawy
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: The current Egyptian political scene reveals an important paradox: since its ascendancy to power in 2013, the military-led authoritarian government has not faced significant challenges from civil society despite systematic hu- man rights abuses and continuous societal crises. Apart from limited protests by labor activists, student movements, and members of syndicates, Egyptians have mostly refrained from protesting, instead hoping that the government will improve their living conditions despite a rising poverty rate of 33 percent, an inflation rate between 11 and 12 percent, and unemployment at eight percent. This popular reluctance to challenge the authoritarian government has continued to shape Egypt’s reality since the collapse of the short-lived democratization process from 2011–2013.
  • Topic: Authoritarianism, Democracy, Rule of Law, Protests, Dictatorship
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, North Africa, Egypt
  • Author: David E. Kiwuwa
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: The People Power Movement (PPM) in Uganda has its roots in the growing politics of discontent in Africa and across the world. On the continent, the growth of popular movements has been evident in countries like Zimbabwe, Sudan, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Egypt, and Tunisia to mention but a few. These public protests have increased notably in number with their most significant recent manifestation being the Arab Spring. An important aspect of these pro- tests is the central role played by youth movements such as Y’en Maarre (Fed Up) in Senegal, Balai Citoyen (The Civic Broom) in Burkina Faso, and La Lucha (The Struggle) in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Over the past decade, mass uprisings in Africa have accounted for one in three of the nonviolent campaigns aiming to topple dictatorships around the world. With twenty-five new nonviolent mass movements, Africa has experienced almost twice as many as Asia, the next most active region with sixteen. What is common to all these movements is not only the active and public expression of discontent but also the existence of a long entrenched and increasingly indifferent ancien regime whose priority is political survival. In some ways, one could argue that emerging protests are largely a continuation of incomplete democratic struggles in authoritarian or semi-democratic regimes.
  • Topic: Social Movement, Democracy, Domestic politics, Protests
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Amanda F. Grzyb
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: In March 2012, the errant roots of a nearby tree broke through one of the mass graves at the top of the Bisesero memorial, a remote site in the western province where Rwandans have laid to rest approximately 50,000 victims of the 1994 genocide. With material support from district leaders, genocide survivors from the Twumba sector labored for weeks to remove approximately 10,000 bodies from the water-damaged tomb. They put the remains in large wooden coffins on the floor beneath thousands of skulls and bones stacked on the shelves of a corrugated metal shed where they had been awaiting incorporation into the unfinished memorial exhibit for more than a decade. Attempts to repair the tomb caused additional structural damage and eventually the remaining bodies also had to be removed, again by local survivors.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Ethnic Conflict, Genocide, Sectarian violence, Humanitarian Intervention, Violence
  • Political Geography: Africa, Rwanda
  • Author: Theogene Rudasingwa
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Theogene Rudasingwa is former Ambassador of Rwanda to the United States. He previously held positions of secretary-general of the ruling party, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), and chief of staff for President Paul Kagame. Dr. Rudasingwa is a graduate of Makerere University Medical School in Uganda and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in the United States.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Genocide, International Affairs, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, Rwanda