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Friday, May 28, 2010

Tanzania: Background and Current Conditions

Ted Dagne
Specialist in African Affairs


Tanzania, an important U.S. ally in Africa, is a stable and important regional actor. There has been a gradual increase in political pluralism, but Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM ), the ruling party, remains dominant in government and parliament. Tanzania's current president, Jakaya Kikwete, who previously served for 10 years as Tanzania's foreign minister, won 80.3% of the votes cast in the December 2005 presidential election. The next general elections are scheduled for October 2010. Tanzania continues its pattern of steady real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth and has a low and stable inflation rate. The Economist Intelligence Unit predicts real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 6.4% in 2010 and 7.1% in 2011.


Date of Report: May 18, 2010
Number of Pages: 8
Order Number: RS22781
Price: $19.95

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Rwanda: Background and Current Developments

Ted Dagne
Specialist in African Affairs

In 2003, Rwanda held its first multi-party presidential and parliamentary elections in decades. President Paul Kagame of the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) won 95% of the votes cast, while his nearest rival, Faustin Twagiramungu, received 3.6% of the votes cast. In the legislative elections, the ruling RPF won 73% in the 80-seat National Assembly, while the remaining seats went to RPF allies and former coalition partners. In September 2008, Rwanda held legislative elections, and the RPF won a majority of the seats. Rwandese women are now the majority in the National Assembly. In October 2008, the National Assembly elected Ms. Mukantabam Rose as the first female speaker of the Assembly. The next presidential elections are scheduled for August 2010. 

In Rwanda, events of a prior decade are still fresh in the minds of many survivors and perpetrators. In 1993, after several failed efforts, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) and the government of Rwanda reached an agreement in Tanzania, referred to as the Arusha Peace Accords. The RPF joined the Rwandan government as called for in the agreement. In April 1994, the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi, along with several senior government officials, were killed when their plane was shot down as it approached the capital of Rwanda, Kigali. Shortly after, the Rwandan military and a Hutu militia known as the Interhamwe began to systematically massacre Tutsis and moderate Hutu opposition members. In the first 10 weeks of the Rwandan genocide, an estimated 1 million people, mostly Tutsis, were slaughtered by government forces and the Interhamwe militia. In July 1994, the RPF took over power and later formed a coalition government. 

In late 2008, the governments of Rwanda and Congo agreed on a wide range of issues. The two governments agreed to launch a joint military offensive against the National Congress for the Defense of the Congolese People (CNDP) and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). They also agreed to restore full diplomatic relations and to activate economic cooperation. In January 2009, Rwanda and Congo launched the joint military operation in eastern Congo. In late February 2009, Rwandese troops pulled out of Congo as part of the agreement with the Kabila government. In October 2009, Ugandan authorities arrested a top genocide suspect, Idelphonse Nizeyimana. He was later transferred to Tanzania to stand trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.


Date of Report: May 20, 2010
Number of Pages: 9
Order Number: R40115
Price: $29.95

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Zimbabwe: The Transitional Government and Implications for U.S. Policy

Lauren Ploch
Analyst in African Affairs

Over a year after the establishment of a transitional government in Zimbabwe, economic and humanitarian conditions are gradually improving, but concerns about the country's political future remain. In February 2009, after almost a year of uncertainty following March 2008 elections, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was sworn as Prime Minister of a new coalition government. His swearing-in came five months after a power-sharing agreement was signed in an effort to resolve the political standoff resulting from the flawed elections. For the first time since independence, the ruling party had lost its parliamentary majority. The results of the presidential race, announced over a month late amid rising tensions, indicated that Tsvangirai had received more votes than the incumbent, President Robert Mugabe, but had failed to gain the 50% needed to avoid a runoff. Days before the runoff, in late June 2008, Tsvangirai pulled out of the race, citing widespread political violence and the absence of conditions for a free and fair election. Mugabe was declared the winner, but many observer missions suggest the poll did not reflect the will of the people. In September, after weeks of negotiations, Tsvangirai and Mugabe reached an agreement to form a unity government, with Mugabe remaining head of state, Tsvangirai becoming Prime Minister, and cabinet and gubernatorial positions divided among the parties. Disputes over key ministries delayed the agreement's implementation for months. 

The parties to the agreement face significant challenges in working together to promote political reconciliation and to address serious economic and humanitarian needs. Politically motivated violence and repression followed the 2008 elections, which were held amidst a deepening economic crisis. Zimbabwe's gross domestic product (GDP) had decreased over 50% in the last decade, and the inflation rate rose to over 200 million percent in 2008. Following the establishment of the transitional government, the economy has begun a slow recovery and inflation has subsided, but the official unemployment rate remains over 90%. The adult HIV prevalence rate of 15% has contributed to a sharp drop in life expectancy, and, although humanitarian conditions have begun to improve, approximately three million required food aid in early 2010. Over 4,300 died between August 2008 and July 2009 from a widespread cholera outbreak that infected almost 100,000 and was attributed to poor water and sanitation conditions. Deteriorating conditions in the country led many Zimbabweans to immigrate to neighboring countries in recent years, creating a substantial burden on the region. International donors welcomed the power sharing agreement and have begun to reengage with the Zimbabwean government, but a resumption of significant assistance is expected to be predicated on more substantial political reforms. Many remain skeptical that true power sharing exists within the coalition government. Several officials from the previous administration, which had a poor human rights record and was seen as autocratic and repressive by its critics, remain in the new government. Reports of harassment of opposition and civil society activists continue, and many question the ruling party's commitment to reform. Foreign investors also remain wary. 

The U.S. government has been critical of Mugabe and members of his former regime for their lack of respect for human rights and the rule of law, and has enforced targeted sanctions against top government officials and associates since 2002. Congress articulated its opposition to the Mugabe government's undemocratic policies in the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 (ZDERA; P.L. 107-99) and subsequent legislation. The Obama Administration has expressed cautious support for the transitional government, but debate continues within the government on how to proceed, and recent legislation, S. 3297, has proposed policy changes. Some suggest that U.S. sanctions be modified to reflect Zimbabwe's new political construct, while others remain unconvinced that sufficient democratic reforms have occurred.


Date of Report: May 10, 2010
Number of Pages: 41
Order Number: RL34509
Price: $29.95

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sudan: The Crisis in Darfur and Status of the North-South Peace Agreement

Ted Dagne
Specialist in African Affairs


Sudan, geographically the largest country in Africa, has been ravaged by civil war intermittently for four decades. More than 2 million people have died in Southern Sudan over the past two decades due to war-related causes and famine, and millions have been displaced from their homes. There were many failed attempts to end the civil war in Southern Sudan. In July 2002, the Sudan government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) signed a peace framework agreement in Kenya. On May 26, 2004, the government of Sudan and the SPLM signed three protocols on Power Sharing, on the Nuba Mountains and Southern Blue Nile, and on the long disputed Abyei area. The signing of these protocols resolved all outstanding issues between the parties. On June 5, 2004, the parties signed "the Nairobi Declaration on the Final Phase of Peace in the Sudan." On January 9, 2005, the government of Sudan and the SPLM signed the final peace agreement at a ceremony held in Nairobi, Kenya. 

In October 2007, the government of Southern Sudan suspended the participation of its ministers, state ministers, and presidential advisors from the Government of National Unity to protest measures taken by the National Congress Party and to demand full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). In response to these demands and unexpected developments, President Bashir reportedly accepted a number of the government of South Sudan (GoSS) demands in late October, except those related to the Abyei issue. In late December 2007, the new ministers were sworn in office. In May 2008, Government forces burned Abyei town and displaced more than 60,000 people. An agreement reached in June 2008 between the Government of South Sudan (GoSS) and the National Congress Party (NCP) on Abyei largely ended the tense situation between the two sides. 

The crisis in Darfur began in February 2003, when two rebel groups emerged to challenge the National Congress Party (NCP) government in Darfur. The crisis in Darfur in western Sudan has led to a major humanitarian disaster, with an estimated 2.45 million people displaced, more than 240,000 people forced into neighboring Chad, and an estimated 450,000 people killed. In July 2004, the House and Senate declared the atrocities in Darfur genocide, and the Bush Administration reached the same conclusion in September 2004. On May 4, 2006, the Government of National Unity and the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) signed the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) after almost two years of negotiations. 

In July 2007, the U.N. Security Council passed Resolution 1769, authorizing the deployment of a robust peacekeeping force to Darfur. The resolution calls for the deployment of 26,000 peacekeeping troops to Darfur. The resolution authorized the United Nations African Union force in Darfur (UNAMID) to take all necessary measures to protect its personnel and humanitarian workers. As of November 2009, UNAMID deployed a total of 19,588 peacekeeping personnel. In July 2008, International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo accused President Omar Bashir of Sudan of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes and asked ICC judges to issue an arrest warrant for President Bashir. On March 4, 2009, the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber issued a warrant of arrest for President Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity. 

In late October 2009, the Obama Administration announced a new Sudan policy. The new Sudan policy focuses on three policy priorities: the crisis in Darfur, the implementation of the North- South peace agreement, and counter-terrorism. The new policy links the lifting of sanctions and incentives to verifiable progress on the ground.



Date of Report: April 19, 2010
Number of Pages: 36
Order Number: RL33574
Price: $29.95

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Piracy off the Horn of Africa

Lauren Ploch
Analyst in African Affairs

Christopher M. Blanchard
Analyst in Middle Eastern Affairs

Ronald O'Rourke
Specialist in Naval Affairs

R. Chuck Mason
Legislative Attorney

Rawle O. King
Analyst in Financial Economics and Risk Assessment

Pirate attacks in the waters off the Horn of Africa, including those on U.S.-flagged vessels, have brought new U.S. and international attention to the long-standing problem of piracy in the region. According to the International Chamber of Commerce International Maritime Bureau (IMB) Piracy Reporting Center 217 attacks occurred in the waters off the Horn of Africa during 2009, with 47 successful hijackings. The IMB recorded 111 attacks in those waters in 2008, almost double the number in 2007. Attacks have been concentrated in the Gulf of Aden between Yemen and the northern coast of Somalia and along Somalia's eastern coastline. However, in July 2009, the United Nations Secretary General warned that "as a result of the military presence in the region, pirates have employed more daring operational tactics, operating further seawards, towards the Seychelles, and using more sophisticated weaponry." The U.S. government also reports that the number of vessels fired upon in 2009 (127) was triple the number fired upon in 2008 (42). Attacks continue to threaten commercial shipping and relief shipments bound for East Africa and the Horn, amid a regional humanitarian crisis that experts are calling the worst since 1984. 

The increase in pirate attacks off the Horn of Africa is directly linked to continuing insecurity and the absence of the rule of law in war-torn Somalia. The absence of a functioning government in Somalia remains the single greatest challenge to regional security and provides freedom of action for those engaged in piracy along the Somali coast. Some observers also have alleged that the absence of coastal security authorities in Somalia has allowed illegal international fishing and maritime dumping to occur in Somali waters, which in turn has undermined the economic prospects of Somalis and may be providing economic or political motivation to some pirate groups. The apparent motive of many active pirate groups is profit, and piracy has proven to be a lucrative activity for many. Ransoms paid to pirates and their supporters, some of which now are worth millions of dollars, may exacerbate ongoing fighting and undermine regional security. 

In 2008, the U.N. Security Council issued four resolutions (1816, 1838, 1846, and 1851) to facilitate an international response to piracy off the Horn of Africa. Resolution 1851 authorizes international naval forces to carry out anti-piracy operations in Somali territorial waters and ashore, with the consent of Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG). Resolution 1872, adopted May 26, 2009, authorizes member states to participate in the training and equipping of the TFG security forces in accordance with Resolution 1772 (2007). Resolution 1897, adopted December 2, 2009, extends these mandates for twelve months. In January 2009, a multilateral Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) was established to coordinate antipiracy efforts. U.S., NATO, European Union, regional, and other naval forces are currently patrolling near Somalia in coordination with a U.S.-led Task Force. 

The Obama Administration has outlined its policy response and pledged to continue working through interagency and multilateral coordination and enforcement mechanisms established during the Bush Administration. Most experts believe that the reestablishment of government authority in Somalia is the only guarantee that piracy will not continue as a threat. The 111th Congress has explored a range of options to address both the threat posed by piracy as well as its underlying causes, and has sought to influence U.S. policy through oversight of U.S. military operations and diplomatic efforts and through defense and foreign assistance appropriations and authorizations. See CRS Report RL33911, Somalia: Current Conditions and Prospects for a Lasting Peace, by Ted Dagne and CRS Report R40081, Ocean Piracy and Its Impact on Insurance, by Rawle O. King.


Date of Report: April 19, 2010
Number of Pages: 43
Order Number: R40528
Price: $29.95

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