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Church expressed concerns about political freedoms, opposition criticised new electoral code, and insecurity persisted. 

Catholic Church expressed profound concerns about state of nation. Church 14 April issued public declaration highlighting failures in justice system, economy and, most prominently, political freedoms; statement emphasised need for free legislative elections in 2025, cautioning against political exclusion in implicit reference to recent govt-sponsored efforts to dismantle opposition National Congress for Freedom (CNL) party; political party leaders, civil society and human rights activists broadly reacted in agreement with church’s analysis, while ruling CNDD-FDD party Sec Gen said statement was sign of “freedom of expression enjoyed by every Burundian citizen”. Meanwhile, CNL remained in disarray amid govt repression, with reports at least 100 party members have fled to Tanzania since mid-March.

Electoral law amendments stirred opposition. Parliament 9 April adopted new electoral code, raising costs of candidate deposits and establishing that funds only reimbursed upon winning 5% of votes. Opposition highlighted concerns that measures will prohibit many candidates from running. Code also stipulated two-year waiting period for those who leave a political party before they are able to stand as independents, effectively barring prominent opposition figure Agathon Rwasa – ousted as CNL head in March in govt-sponsored efforts – from standing as independent in 2025 polls.

Human rights abuses and insecurity persisted. Human rights group Ligue Iteka 9 April released monthly report detailing dozens of murders, abductions and arbitrary arrests, with police, intelligence agents, soldiers and ruling-party youth wing Imbonerakure suspected as main perpetrators. Meanwhile, CNDD-FDD members accused in cases of sexual assault and other violence throughout April. Concerns remained high over agitation within army related to troop deployment in eastern DRC amid reports of desertion over pay, as Imbonerakure members continued to be trained to be deployed. 


Anglophone separatists sought African Union (AU) support, enforced lockdowns and continued to clash with govt forces; jihadist attacks persisted in the Far North. 

Separatists pursued AU backing, clashed with govt forces. Anglophone separatist group Ambazonia Governing Council 3 April sent joint letter with Nigerian Biafra separatist group to AU Chairperson Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, urging body’s intervention in their independence causes, including leading dialogue and mediation initiatives and establishing fact-finding missions to investigate human rights violations. Separatist-enforced lockdowns continued to cause disruption in North West (NW) and South West (SW) regions as weekly “Monday ghost town” strikes halted public activities, including delaying school reopenings and threatening farming; in Nkambe city, Donga Mantung division (NW), separatist militia Ambazonia Defence Force 15 April burned dozen motorbikes as punishment for non-compliance with strikes. Separatists also clashedwith govt forces and detonated around dozen roadside bombs between March and April, mostly in NW, damaging military patrol vehicles and resulting in unspecified numbers of casualties. Govt forces 8 April killed two notorious separatist fighters in Bafut and Batibo areas (NW) and two others on 24 April near Kumba city (SW). Meanwhile, two prominent repentant separatist fighters mid-April criticised govt’s demobilisation program in viral video, denouncing unfulfilled promises.

Jihadist violence persisted in Far North. Boko Haram militants 6 April targeted Ngourkouma town, Logone-et-Chari division, but faced resistance from locals who seized weapons from assailants; militants 16 April issued ultimatum to residents, demanding return of seized weapons under threat of harm to their children, prompting hundreds from neighbouring fishing villages to flee to nearby Blangoua town over fear retribution would spread. Bakoura faction of Boko Haram 14-29 April carried out attacks on military positions in Magdeme, Mora, Kolofata and Zigue towns, raiding nearby villages for resources, and 29 April killed at least six civilians and two soldiers at Darak town. Meanwhile, soldiers and vigilantes 25 April freed around twenty women Boko Haram had kidnapped near Amchide town two days earlier. 

Preparations for 2025 presidential elections continued. Amid concerns over slow voter registration rate, ruling and opposition parties, alongside religious leaders, mobilised citizens to register.

Central African Republic

Intercommunal violence escalated as govt allies responded firmly to cost-of-living protests.

Sectarian tensions rose in several regions. Series of incidents highlighted rising intercommunal tensions; rebels from Return, Reclamation, Rehabilitation (3R) group 2 April killed over twenty civilians 40km from Bohong town in Ouham-Pendé prefecture (north west). In Ouham prefecture (north), clashes erupted between Christian and Muslim communities in Bossangoa town 5 April following private dispute, highlighting ongoing divisions; in nearby Benzambé village, transhumant herders from West Africa same day killed child, leading villagers to lynch three residents they accused of witchcraft, while relatives of victim attacked and killed Fulani girl with machetes, as tensions remained high throughout month. Meanwhile, in Obo town, Haut-Mbomou prefecture (east) Russian paramilitary Africa Corps, formerly Wagner Group, initiated enlistment and training of fighters from Azandé Ani Kpi Gbé (AAKG) ethnic self-defence militia to confront Fulani-led armed group Unity for Peace in the Central African Republic (UPC) rebels; moves heightened risk of further sectarian tensions in region should Azandé fighters target Fulani, and by association Muslim, civilians accused of backing rebels.

Govt supporters responded firmly to protests over cost of living. Crescent Beninga, spokesperson of Civil Society Working Group, 7 April called for peaceful protest against water and electricity shortages, but faced opposition from pro-govt factions; notably, Central African Youth Advisory Council 9 April denounced protest as political manipulation while National Coordination of Central African Students 11 April urged students to boycott march, branding it uncivil and unpatriotic. Around 100 demonstrators 12 April attempted to march in capital Bangui but security forces blocked them; activist Blaise Didatien Kossimatchi same day organised pro-govt counter-demonstration.

In another important international development. President Touadéra met with French counterpart Emmanuel Macron 17 April in France’s capital Paris in bid to ease tensions over govt’s growing ties with Russia; presidents agreed upon “roadmap” for “constructive partnership”.


Tensions continued to mount in lead-up to May presidential election as opposition disunity persisted; govt requested U.S. troops leave. 

Amid political tensions, opposition remained divided over boycott of polls. Ahead of May presidential vote, which includes transitional President Déby and recently-appointed PM Succès Masra as main contenders, opposition remained divided. Civil society opposition platform Wakit Tama 12 April endorsed boycott – which some parties including New Chad Artisans party and Chadian Liberal Party called for in March and early April – citing concerns over lack of electoral roll revision and timing during rainy season. Meanwhile, Union of Nationalists Party 3 April accused international community of financing flawed electoral process. Other opposition parties, however, formed alliances to contest vote and oversee electoral process; 34 parties 9 April formed Justice-Equality Coalition around Masra, partly in order to monitor polling stations nationwide; but alliance, as well as others including Coalition for Just and Equitable Republic created to support influential former PM Padacké’s candidacy, unlikely to defeat ruling party. Meanwhile, electoral authorities criticised perceived violations of electoral rules including supporters of Déby and Masra early April organising rallies and religious ceremonies across country, ahead of official 14 April campaign start date, and Masra 28 April urging supporters to monitor vote by taking photos of tally sheets.

Socio-economic crisis sparked civil unrest, insecurity continued in hinterland. Amid socio-economic deterioration including rising fuel prices and electricity shortages, various unions held protests including students 3 April in capital N’Djamena and textile workers 9 April in Sarh city (Moyen-Chari region). Inter-communal violence remained high, particularly in Moyen-Chari and Mayo-Kebbi Ouest regions.

Govt requested U.S. troop withdrawal. Letter from Air Force Chief of Staff Gen Idriss Amine Ahmed 4 April confirmed previous rumours that govt asked U.S. troops to withdraw from Adji Kosseï military base at airport in N’Djamena; Ahmed cited lack of legal basis for U.S. presence. U.S. military 25 April said Washington would reposition “some” troops but described it as “temporary step” as talks continue.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Military stalemate persisted in North Kivu as security deteriorated in regional capital Goma; govt renewed scrutiny over supposed allies of rebels. 

Military front remained frozen but pervasive violence swept Goma city. Frontlines in North Kivu province stalled as govt forces held regional capital Goma but M23 rebels retained control of strategic areas near Sake town (25km north west of Goma) and foothills of Nyiragongo volcano; heavy gunfire continued, however, including 4 April mortar that killed three Tanzanian soldiers in Mubambiro area deployed as part of Southern African regional bloc (SADC) mission SAMIDRC, which Congolese army blamed on M23. Meanwhile, escalating insecurity gripped Goma with military and pro-govt Wazalendo militia groups blamed for surge in lawlessness that saw at least 22 civilians and one soldier killed in city during month; notably, alleged soldiers and Wazalendo members on motorbikes 10 April killed four civilians during armed robbery near provincial governorate building. Locals at times responded violently, leading to soldiers and Wazalendo casualties and raising tensions. In response, govt suppressed protests while also attempting to demonstrate accountability, including 15 April sentencing Republican Guard member to death for civilian shootings. Meanwhile, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa 24 April announced extension of troop contribution to SAMIDRC for unspecified time.

Govt continued to accuse former President Kabila of M23 support. Intelligence services 5 April released deposition video of Éric Nkuba, recently-arrested adviser to pro-M23 politico-military group Congo River Alliance, in which Nkuba implicated Kabila and several figures close to him as M23 supporters; next day, Kabila allies dismissed allegations and said Nkuba coerced into testimony.

Armed militias continued attacks against civilians in Ituri and North Kivu. In North Kivu, Islamic State-affiliated Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels 2 April killed ten civilians in Mangina commune, Beni territory. In Ituri province, ADF 7 April killed eight civilians in Otomabert village, Irumu territory while ethnic Lendu militia CODECO members 14 April ambushed and robbed convoy of humanitarian workers on road to Fataki town, Djugu territory. In attempt to address violence, Defence Minister Jean-Pierre Bemba 19 April oversaw signing of agreement for immediate cessation of hostilities by various armed groups including CODECO.


International diplomacy continued to push govt to seek solution to crisis in eastern DR Congo; tensions between Kigali and Kinshasa remained high.

International actors called for Rwanda to pursue diplomatic resolution. On sidelines of 30-year Rwandan genocide commemorations in capital Kigali, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa 6 April met with President Kagame amid strained ties over former’s contribution of troops to southern African bloc (SADC) mission in DR Congo (DRC); Ramaphosa next day said both leaders emphasised need for political solution over military action. Mauritanian President and AU Head Mohamed El Ghazouani held similar discussions with Kagame, seeking to facilitate dialogue and secure ceasefire in eastern DRC. Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron 23 April called for dialogue between Kagame and his Congolese counterpart Félix Tshisekedi and urged respect for DRC “territorial integrity” during call with Rwandan president.

Tensions remained high over Kigali’s role in DRC. Kagame 8 April said Congolese M23 rebels only existed as they were “denied their rights as citizens” and those accusing Rwanda of supporting group should themselves be accused of “not supporting M23” due to “injustice” done to community. Belgian ambassador to Kinshasa Roxane de Bilderling 19 April argued DRC could lodge formal complaint with International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Rwanda; Rwandan govt rejected suggestions, saying instead “DRC should take Belgium to ICJ”. Meanwhileduring Tshisekedi’s official visit to France, Congolese president 29 April denounced “predatory and expansionist ambitions” of unnamed countries while Macron next day called on Kigali to end “support for M23 and withdraw its forces from Congolese territory”.


African Union (AU) confirmed Eritrea is controlling territory in Ethiopia’s Tigray region; Asmara strengthened ties with Moscow and Beijing.

AU confirmed Eritrean presence in Ethiopia’s Tigray region. AU monitoring team 4 April confirmed Eritrean control over part of Zalambessa town in Ethiopia’s East Tigray Zone, though Eritrea continued to reject claims it is occupying Ethiopian territory. Meanwhile, Ethiopia’s dismantling of Amhara-established administrations in Ethiopia’s north – part of its plan to tackle Tigray-Amhara territorial dispute – could strain relations with Eritrea given alleged ties between Amhara nationalist militias known as Fano (who have been fighting insurgency in Ethiopia) and Asmara (see Ethiopia). 

Eritrea bolstered ties with Russia and China. Russian Pacific fleet late March-early April visited Massawa port, marking growing defence partnership between two countries; Russian delegation led by deputy commander-in-chief of Russian navy, Vice Admiral Vladimir Kasatonov, 1 April met Eritrean army officials, 5 April met President Isaias Afwerki to discuss enhancing bilateral ties. Isaias 7 April met China’s Special Envoy to Horn, Xue Bing, and discussed expansion of economic cooperation.


Al-Shabaab-related insecurity persisted, while police deployment to Haiti remained delayed.

Al-Shabaab militants remained threat in north east. Insurgents continued to stage attacks and ambushes, targeting civilians and security forces. Al-Shabaab militants 9 April attacked two vehicles travelling between Makowe and Garsen towns, Lamu county, killing civilian; suspected Al-Shabaab bomb 29 April killed at least five civilians and wounded five others in El Wak town, Mandera county. Meanwhile, amid Al-Shabaab cross-border attacks, Interior Principal Secretary Raymond Omollo 2 April said in interview govt would not yet reopen border points with Somalia due to “challenge of insecurity”.

Multinational security mission to Haiti continued to face delays. Although govt continued to insist Nairobi would still lead mission, deployment remained on hold. President Ruto 13 April welcomed official establishment of transitional presidential council in Haiti (see Haiti), seen as crucial step to allow deploying of force, and 25 April said “Kenya stands ready and willing” to give security support. Eight Haitian private sector organisations 15 April sent letter to Ruto expressing concerns over delays to security mission.

In other important developments. Amid struggling economy, doctors’ strike over pay and training that began in March continued as medical union 4 April rejected govt’s offer; Ruto administration insisted it did not have funds to pay more. Meanwhile, military chief General Francis Ogolla killed with nine others in helicopter crash 18 April in North Rift region. Unclear circumstances behind crash led to speculation that incident may not have been accident, heightening political tensions.


Govt continued to face opposition over contentious constitutional review while tensions remained high with both Ethiopia and Puntland state; Al-Shabaab undertook several attacks. 

Constitutional review process remained controversial. Amendments passed in parliament last month that call for direct vote for presidency and grant additional powers to president’s office continued to face political opposition. Former President Sheikh Sharif 12 April met with President Mohamud in Kenyan capital Nairobi over issue, but failed to reach agreement. Sheikh Sharif and other opposition members 16 April met in Nairobi in attempt to form coalition against govt. Process likely to keep political tensions high in coming months.

Frictions with Ethiopia intersected with domestic tensions. After 3 April meeting between Ethiopian and Puntland state officials in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa – and in wake of Jan Ethiopia-Somaliland port deal and March Puntland announcement that it has withdrawn from federation – Somalia’s Foreign Ministry 4 April ordered Ethiopian Ambassador to leave federal capital Mogadishu and demanded Ethiopian consulates in Puntland capital Garowe and Somaliland capital Hargeisa close within week; Ethiopia, however, reacted mutely and consulates remained operational. Meanwhile, Mohamud discussed Ethiopia-Somaliland deal during 2-8 April trip to Saudi Arabia and 11-13 April visit to Kenya, with latter reportedly proposing regional maritime treaty to defuse dispute; govt 19 April, however, ruled out dialogue with Ethiopia until latter “revokes” Somaliland agreement.   

Amid stalled govt operations, Al-Shabaab carried out several attacks. Militants 6 April used vehicle-borne improvised explosive device in attack on Baclad town (Middle Shabelle region) and 11 April attacked Bar Sanguni military base (Lower Juba region) for second time in space of four weeks, with reports of up to 30 soldiers and 27 militants killed. Meanwhile, although govt 13 April asserted it would resume anti-Al-Shabaab campaign, no significant action taken or progress made.

In other important developments. Pirates 14 April released MV Abdullah, cargo ship seized in March, and 23-member crew after reportedly receiving $5mn ransom; first major pay-out to Somali pirates in years raised concerns over resurgence in attacks on vessels in Indian Ocean.

South Sudan

South Africa’s president brokered talks between Kiir and Machar ahead of December poll, Murle youth from Jonglei State launched well-coordinated deadly attack, and economy worsened.

South African president held high-level political talks in capital Juba. South African President Ramaphosa 16-18 April visited capital Juba to mediate talks between President Kiir and VP Machar. Ramaphosa publicly emphasised need for govt to prepare for Dec elections, though mediation likely sought to broker pre-election deal that could see Machar rejoining Kiir’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM)as deputy; rank and file of Kiir and Machar’s parties showed discontent at secrecy of diplomacy amid deep polarisation.

International community reiterated concerns over election preparedness. Political Parties Council and National Election Commission – tasked with organising poll – 4 April received first batch of allocated funding, representing only fraction of requested money, leaving electoral process vastly underfunded. UN Sec-Gen Guterres 8 April transmitted letter to UN Security Council outlining over a dozen outstanding preconditions essential for holding fair election and emphasising urgent need for technical, legal and operational assistance. U.S. 16 April said South Sudan’s politicians so far have “failed to meet the standards necessary for genuine and peaceful elections”. UN Security Council 29 April renewed UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) mandate for one year.

Jonglei state saw worrying uptick in intercommunal violence. In one of the most serious escalations since 2020 war in Jonglei, armed Murle youth from Jonglei State’s Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA) 26 April launched well-coordinated and well-armed attack on Toposa cattle keepers in Kapoeta East County (Eastern Equatoria state), killing unknown number and abducting scores of women and children; UNMISS 30 April deployed additional peacekeepers to Jonglei and Kapoeta East county to deter more violence. Meanwhile, former leader of Murle rebel group David Yau Yau 1 April defected from SPLM to join Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in Opposition, raising fears of electoral violence in GPAA, 29 April announced he had returned to SPLM. 

Pipeline rupture hurt economy. Main pipeline exporting South Sudan’s oil remained in disrepair, plunging country further into economic and fiscal crisis; Juba 25 April claimed oil exports through pipeline would resume within two months.

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