East Africa

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Snapshot,
Paul Hidalgo

Last week’s deadly U.S. strike on Ahmed Abdi Godane, the leader of the Somalia-based Islamist militant group al Shabab, could be the group’s undoing. Even so, the region is not out of the woods.

Letter From,
David P. Sandgren

Kenya’s first postcolonial middle class is now in its mid-60s, retiring and settling into comfortable grandparenthood. Few would have predicted this outcome, especially for the Gikuyu, Kenya’s largest ethnic group, since this generation’s early years were filled with poverty and violence.

Snapshot,
Paul Hidalgo

The political upheaval and conflict in Kenya could not be better for the Islamist militant group al Shabaab. Its continued attacks have successfully pitted the country’s two top politicians against each other in a game of political brinkmanship that could plunge Kenya into a toxic ethnic conflict -- exactly the kind of environment in which a group like al Shabaab can thrive.

Letter From,
Jérôme Tubiana

In April 2012, a small team of wandering miners discovered gold in the Jebel Amir hills of North Darfur, Sudan. One of the mines was so rich -- it reportedly brought millions of dollars to its owners -- that it was nicknamed “Switzerland.” Diggers rushed in from all over Sudan, bringing with them guns, gangs, and prostitutes.

Snapshot,
Ricardo Soares De Oliveira

The countries of East Africa are in the early throes of an oil boom, with an unprecedented opportunity for economic development. Unless they avoid the mistakes of those before them, though, the region's governments could easily squander it.

Snapshot,
Brahma Chellaney

East Africa is one of the world’s most water-stressed regions. Overexploitation of water resources there has been compounded by declining snowpacks on Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya. In this light, the discovery of two significant aquifers in mostly arid Kenya has been hailed as a potential game changer.

Letter From,
Alexander Wooley

The Tanzanian government hopes to turn the inefficient port of Dar es Salaam into a major regional trade hub, catapulting Tanzania into the global ranks of middle-income countries. But traveling the traffic-clogged roads that take the port's imports to the rest of the country, it is clear that the government has a lot of work to do.

Snapshot,
Peter Eichstaedt

Joseph Kony is many things -- a megalomaniac, a self-proclaimed prophet, a witch doctor, a ruthless and paranoid commander. But above all, he is a survivor.

Snapshot,
Alex de Waal and Abdul Mohammed

The ongoing turmoil in South Sudan could give the country's leaders a much-needed opportunity to reset the national agenda. They cannot afford to squander this moment, and their first task is a sober appraisal of what has gone so disastrously wrong.

Snapshot,
William McCants

A civil war has broken out within al Qaeda, largely because its leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has tried to expand the movement too broadly. As al Qaeda affiliates open new fronts in the global jihad, they often disagree about who should call the shots.

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