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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

14 Dec 2017
Borrowing more may well provide some short term relief [for Zimbabwe], but it is important to see how this contributes to the long term solution as the country digs an even bigger debt hole. Daily News

Piers Pigou

Senior Consultant, Southern Africa
1 Dec 2017
[Zimbabwe's new cabinet including controversial figures ] does not bode well, certainly. We will have to wait and see what the [new ministers] actually do but it does not bode well. The Guardian

Piers Pigou

Senior Consultant, Southern Africa
1 Dec 2017
The deployment of senior members of the [Zimbabwean] military into the cabinet is profoundly shocking. [It] does not reflect the [inclusivity] sentiment expressed in [the] inaugural address. AFP

Piers Pigou

Senior Consultant, Southern Africa
1 Dec 2017
There has been a distinct impression that [Zimbabwe's new President] Mnangagwa is beholden and the power behind the throne is [the army chief] Gen Chiwenga. Financial Times

Piers Pigou

Senior Consultant, Southern Africa
30 Nov 2017
[Zimbabwe's new president] Mnangagwa is silent on the issue of electoral reform. It's worth bearing in mind that the way elections are run in Zimbabwe is about keeping most eligible potential voters out of the process. African News Agency

Piers Pigou

Senior Consultant, Southern Africa
27 Nov 2017
[Zimbabwe’s ousting of President Robert Mugabe represents] a military-assisted transition. This sets a bad precedent in terms of deepening democracy and pluralism in the region. Financial Times

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.