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Piers Pigou

Senior Consultant, Southern Africa
South Africa

Crisis Group Role

Piers Pigou is Crisis Group's Senior Consultant for Southern Africa. Formerly he was Crisis Group’s Southern Africa Project Director, overseeing the organisation's research and advocacy activities in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Madagascar and Angola.

Areas of Expertise

  • Political violence 
  • Security sector reform
  • Transitional justice issues (including, access to information, reparations, investigations and prosecutions).

Professional Background

Before joining Crisis Group, he served as the Program Manager at the Foundation for Human Rights, as a Senior Associate for Southern Africa at the International Center for Transitional Justice, as the Director of the South African History Archive and as a Research and Advocacy Coordinator at the Institute for Democratic Alternatives in South Africa/Center for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation. Piers also worked for the Truth Commissions in both South Africa and East Timor. He holds a M.A. in Southern African Studies from York University and a B.A. (Hons) in Politics from Portsmouth Polytechnic.

Areas of Expertise

  • English (native)
  • French (basic)

In The News

18 Jun 2018
Most [of Zimbabwe's presidential candidates] have minimal support bases and the election is likely to simply reinforce this reality. Twenty-three candidates is an unfeasible number of aspirants. For some candidates it is about principle and symbolism; for others it may well be little more than egotistical vanity project or something bordering in self-delusion. Bulawayo24 News

Piers Pigou

Senior Consultant, Southern Africa
4 May 2018
[President of Zimbabwe] Mnangagwa needs legitimacy and cash. He can’t get cash until he gets legitimacy. Financial Times

Piers Pigou

Senior Consultant, Southern Africa
21 Feb 2018
[Zimbabwe's] MDC [opposition party] needs enigmatic leadership that can inspire, lead and build a party that faces huge organisational and leadership challenges. No single leader can achieve this alone. Daily News

Piers Pigou

Senior Consultant, Southern Africa
15 Feb 2018
[Zimbabwe's veteran opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai's] passing is of terrible sadness but represents enormous challenge to the new cadre of leadership in the opposition. VOA

Piers Pigou

Senior Consultant, Southern Africa
5 Feb 2018
It seems highly unlikely that [former President] Mugabe would risk jeopardizing the handsome golden parachute he has been given by teaming up with Joice Mujuru. Daily News

Piers Pigou

Senior Consultant, Southern Africa
16 Jan 2018
If conditions [in Zimbabwe] were genuinely free and fair, and if there were clear and credible political alternatives on the table, economic conditions would play a major role in voters' political calculations. NewsdzeZimbabwe

Piers Pigou

Senior Consultant, Southern Africa

Latest Updates

Commentary / Africa

Zimbabwe’s Very Peculiar Coup

Zimbabwe’s military has detained the country’s 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe and his wife, Grace Mugabe, and taken control of the streets of the capital and the main television station. The next step – apparently, a legitimate-looking transfer of power to someone of the army’s choosing – may prove less easy.

Commentary / Africa

Standoff in Zimbabwe as Struggle to Succeed Mugabe Deepens

President Robert Mugabe plunged Zimbabwe into political crisis by firing his long-time ally and enforcer Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa on 6 November 2017. In this Q&A prior to an apparent army coup in Mnangagwa's favour on 14-15 November, Crisis Group’s Senior Southern Africa Consultant Piers Pigou gives the background to the struggle to succeed the 93-year-old president.

Commentary / Africa

Mugabe’s Brittle By-election Victory Bodes Ill for Zimbabwe’s 2018 Elections

The ruling ZANU-PF is exploiting the many weaknesses of Zimbabwe’s electoral system to outpace the country’s divided opposition. Yet without a real change of policy, the country seems doomed to steeper decline.

Commentary / Africa

Confrontation in Zimbabwe Turns Increasingly Violent

Abductions, assaults by pro-government thugs and anti-government demonstrations met by tear gas and water cannon all signal rising levels of violence in Zimbabwe. The situation is aggravated by the government’s failure to implement proposals for reform and mounting economic woes.