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  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Les élections générales au Burundi viennent de conduire à une transformation totale du paysage politique. La victoire remarquable de l ' ancienne rébellion du CNDD-FDD à tous les différents scrutins et l ' élection de son candidat à la présidentielle, Pierre Nkurunziza, le 19 août lui permettent dorénavant de contrôler les principales institutions du pouvoir. En outre ce changement politique important s ' inscrit dans un contexte où les corps de défense et de sécurité sont en profonde mutation et les anciens combattants du CNDD-FDD sont totalement intégrés dans ces nouvelles forces au sein desquelles ils occupent 40 pour cent des effectifs. Cela constitue une garantie substantielle contre d ' éventuelles tentatives de coup de force pour interrompre la poursuite de ce processus et donc la mise en oeuvre des réformes prévues par l ' accord d ' Arusha pour la paix et la réconciliation. Néanmoins les élections ne représentent qu ' un pas, certes important, vers une paix durable.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, Burundi
  • Author: Alemayehu Geda, Abebe Shimeles
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In 1991 the Ethiopian Revolution Democratic Front (EPRDF) toppled the old 'socialist' regime that had ruled the country for seventeen years. In contrast to the previous policy regime of hard control, EPRDF initiated a wide range of reforms that covered not only the tax system but also the exchange rate, interest rates, trade, domestic production and distribution. This pa per attempts to explore the contribution of the tax reform, the change s in its structure and institutional reform in order to understand its role in raising revenue.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Keith Henderson
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: The main objective of this paper is to encourage open debate and reform action in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region on the need to create the legal and political enabling environment necessary to promote good governance, the Rule of Law and citizen participation. The paper notes that many of the defamation laws in the region still contain criminal penalties, including high fines and imprisonment, and that the threat and enforcement of these laws and policies leads to government censorship, self-censorship and sometimes imprisonment. These practices are now well understood as counter to international obligations and best practices as well as to the guarantees of a free media and free speech enshrined in most MENA Constitutions. The net result of these practices is a culture of secrecy that presents high barriers to sustainable economic and political reform. Collectively, this secrecy effectively muzzles open discussion and critical reform debate and makes the promotion of basic human rights and a good governance reform agenda virtually impossible.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Terrence Lyons
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: May 15, 2005 elections presented the Ethiopian people a remarkable opportunity to express their political views by participating in a poll that offered them a meaningful choice. In contrast to earlier elections in 1995 and 2000, opposition parties did not boycott but rather competed vigorously across the country. Opposition party mistrust of the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), reports of intimidation and violence, and highly polarizing rhetoric raised concerns during the pre-election period but did not deter opposition parties from campaigning in nearly every constituency. Live, televised debates on matters of public policy, opposition party access to state-owned media, and huge, peaceful rallies in the final week of campaigning made it clear that these elections would represent a critical moment in Ethiopia's political development. The Ethiopian people recognized this opportunity and turned out in overwhelming numbers to vote, forcing some polling stations in Addis Ababa to stay open 24 hours to accommodate those in line.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Jesse Ribot
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Abstract: Ribot is a senior associate at the World Resources Institute (WRI) in Washington and currently a Wilson Center fellow working on a new book on rural democracy in Africa. Several years ago, he was writing a history of forestry in French West Africa, a story of a supposed deforestation crisis from 1880-1920. The colonial government had devised odd policies to fix this nonexistent problem—policies that would not have fixed it had there been a crisis. Furthermore, the policies concentrated access to lucrative resources in the hands of a few elites. "The discourse of 'deforestation crisis' was being used to expropriate the people's resources," Ribot said. "That was the real story."
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Third World
  • Political Geography: Africa, Washington
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Important changes in the outlook of Egyptian Islamic activism in recent years have opened up possibilities for progressive political development, but these have gone unexploited because of the conservatism of the Egyptian government's policies. The absence of serious violence since late 1997 strongly suggests that the strategy of armed struggle (jihad) against the state has not only failed but has effectively been abandoned. At the same time, the ideology of non-violent Islamic activism has evolved and now emphatically embraces democratic principles and elements of a modernist outlook. However, unless the Egyptian government changes its approach, opens up the political field and undertakes serious political reform, the frustration which many Egyptians feel could lead to a recrudescence of violent activism at some stage. The government risks realising too late that it has squandered a vital opportunity and wasted the fruits of its own earlier successes on the security front.
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Africa, North Africa, Egypt
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Islamism, terrorism, reform: the triangle formed by these three concepts and the complex and changeable realities to which they refer is at the centre of political debate in and about North Africa today. The role of Egyptian elements in the leadership of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda organisation is well-known, if not necessarily well understood. The involvement of Maghrebis in terrorist networks in Europe -- whether linked to al-Qaeda or not -- has recently been underlined by the suspected involvement of Moroccans in the 11 March 2004 attack in Madrid. Egypt itself has endured years of terrorist violence; few if any countries have suffered as much from terrorism as Algeria has over the last twelve years; and the bombings in Casablanca on 16 May 2003 suggest that Morocco is not immune.
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Algeria, North Africa, Egypt, Morocco
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: For all the sound and fury of international condemnation and domestic opposition, octogenarian President Robert Mugabe maintains the upper hand in Zimbabwe. He has bludgeoned opposition parties and neutralised mass action strategies, minimised African criticism, maintained South Africa's friendship, and withstood sporadic pressure from the wider international community. It has been a masterful performance. It is also one that has done massive damage to Zimbabwe's economy, which is shrinking at world record speed. It is time to acknowledge the collective failure to date, re- evaluate strategies for resolving the crisis, and concentrate on the opportunity presented by the March 2005 parliamentary elections.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, Zimbabwe
  • Author: Emmanuel Kasimbazi
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This study uses Income Tax and Graduated Personal Tax to illustrate how taxpayers' rights and obligations are enforced. Existing literature on tax reform points to the fact that consideration of the rights and obligations of the taxpayers is central to the overall tax reform strategy. In fact, reform processes that do not effectively consider the rights of taxpayers will alienate and create discontent among the citizens. In the last few years, Uganda has taken keen steps to effectively reform its tax legal regime.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Jeffrey Isima
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Facilitation Network for Security Sector Reform
  • Abstract: Located within one of the most volatile, conflict-ridden, drought-prone and poorest regions of Africa –– the Horn of Africa –– the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is currently faced with a daunting challenge of transforming its political and economic systems for sustainable development.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Development
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia