Despite some tentative overtures towards peace, the Anglophone insurgency in Northwest and Southwest regions is unlikely to be resolved in the short term, while the risk of kidnapping and broader commercial disruption will become more prominent.
If Congo’s election results are confirmed, the risk of post-election violence is significantly mitigated, while incoming president Tshisekedi may be more open to amend controversial policies in the mining sector. However, a suspected power-sharing pact indicates that the political status quo will at least initially remain unaltered.
A failed military coup is indicative of broad socio-economic and political frustration with Gabon’s leadership, which has been weakened by the suspected incapacitation of its strongman president. While the prospect of civil and military unrest remains likely, any further coup attempts are unlikely to succeed.
Despite widespread intimidation and electoral manipulation, the ruling coalition may not have sufficiently rigged the presidential ballot in its favour and is now deploying fresh delaying tactics to prepare its security response and to appease international partners.
An Islamist militant plot to attack targets in Bamako, Ouagadougou, and Abidjan on New Year’s Eve has been thwarted, yet the development indicates the growing threat of terrorism in Cote d’Ivoire and the evolving dynamics of jihadism in West Africa.
The short postponement of the Congolese elections on apparently valid reasons does not significantly raise the risk of instability and violence, although any further delays to the polls could catalyse significant and pervasive unrest, particularly in Kinshasa.
The ruling coalition feels sufficiently emboldened to proceed with presidential elections despite outbreaks of political violence and sabotage of election assets. A victory for the ruling coalition candidate Emmanuel Shadary now seems near inevitable, as the opposition remains fractured.
The governing party still holds a few tricks to counter the opposition’s rising momentum ahead of elections in May. Yet whoever wins the vote, any new government will remain beholden to the IMF and donors to ensure political and economic stability in the longer term.
Almost ten years after a fateful coup d’état that triggered a generation of political instability and economic decline for Madagascar, longstanding political rivals Andry Rajoelina and Marc Ravalomanana again face each other at the polls.
The government is seeking to distance itself from former warlord allies in a bid to build legitimacy among the international community; however, criminality and armed conflict will continue to hinder stability, humanitarian efforts, and the country’s economic trajectory in 2019.
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