Opposition party Alliance for Change and Transparency (ACT) formed unity govt with ruling party on semi-autonomous Zanzibar archipelago. President Magufuli, who was re-elected in late Oct, 5 Dec unveiled cabinet consisting of 23 ministers and 23 deputy ministers. On semi-autonomous Zanzibar archipelago, ACT 6 Dec agreed to form unity govt with ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi party; Zanzibar’s President Hussein Mwinyi same day appointed ACT’s national chairman Seif Sharif Hamad as Zanzibar’s first VP; Hamad sworn in 8 Dec. ACT and other opposition party Civic United Front 20 Dec accused police of killing ACT official and wounding several other people previous day during security operation in Kibutuka village, Lindi region in south; regional police commander 21 Dec denied allegations. VP Samia Suluhu 14 Dec attended Southern Africa regional bloc SADC Defence and Security Troika in Mozambique’s capital Maputo to discuss Islamist insurgency in neighbouring country; extraordinary summit of SADC heads of state and govt scheduled for Jan (see Mozambique).
Next year’s elections in Zanzibar, the semi-autonomous Tanzanian archipelago, will be hard fought. With the ruling party changing the rules in its favour, they could turn violent. The islands’ politicians should urgently meet to discuss levelling the playing field and lowering the risk of clashes.
Al-Shabaab remains focused on recapturing power in Somalia, but it continues to plot attacks in Kenya and Tanzania – and perhaps in Uganda as well. To counter the movement, East African states should eschew heavy-handed crackdowns and work instead to reduce its appeal to potential recruits.
The Horn of Africa faces myriad crises. Beyond the potentially devastating impact of COVID-19 on politics and the economy, the region is grappling with deeply troubled transitions, cross-border jihadism and remains a playground for great power competition. In this Episode, Host Alan Boswell joins five Crisis Group analysts to analyse the pandemic's political and economic implications.
Originally published in The East African