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In the wake of a complex civil war like the one that ravaged Darfur, it is easy to lose hope of a return to normalcy. But the odds of claiming a peaceful Darfur never looked promising, says our managing editor Tsedale Lemma

Ed’s note: This story was first published in  March 2012 edition of Addis Standard magazine

If the UN and the African Union Commission (AUC) were places where there is, from time to time, a race to win a prize for holding a job description that is complicated and delicate at the same time, the one person to qualify would be Nigeria’s finest international diplomat Ibrahim Gambari, the Special Representative, since 2010, for the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).

Ethiopia’s recent military strike against rebel-controlled outposts inside Eritrea sent a signal of yet another full-blown war in the making. All things can happen but that, says Tsedale Lemma

For the leaders of two countries who embraced war as their best resort to get desperately needed power there is nothing as tickly as dragging on indefinitely in a state of no peace-no war for more than a decade. And when each leader accuses the other of cunning political games to destabilize his country, slowly but surely things tend to get tough.

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia and his former brother-in-arms President Isaias Afeworki of Eritrea know this all too well. After they have successfully battled a common enemy, the two countries fell out half a dozen years later over the border town of Badme, and fought a costly war between 1998 and 2000.

A chain of constitutional breach and dishonesty are threatening a rare democracy in Africa

 Yordanos Gouhse, Accra, Ghana


In an unfortunate turn of events, the 85-year-old Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade broke his own promise, made in 2000, to leave office after the first two terms of his presidential tenure were over, which would have been this year. Now he is forced to count the costs of his decision to dishonor his own promise: a stiff opposition from thousands of Senegalese who took to the streets of the capital Dakar in the wake of the national election held on February 26th, 2012.