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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

8 Apr 2021
The question is whether [the insurgency in northern Mozambique] can be nipped in the bud at this juncture without spreading further. AFP

Piers Pigou

Senior Consultant, Southern Africa
19 Sep 2020
Zanu PF is hunkered down in its traditional deny, avoid, blame, attack posture. The Zimbabwe Independent

Piers Pigou

Senior Consultant, Southern Africa
25 Jul 2020
Prominent Zimbabwean journalist Chin'ono has been extremely active in exposing corruption, but with that exposure has come a very hard-hitting narrative about the failures of President Mnangagwa’s administration. Al Jazeera

Piers Pigou

Senior Consultant, Southern Africa
8 Mar 2020
South Africa is not saying anything new per se, but appears to have recognised an exclusive reliance on quiet diplomacy had failed to nudge Harare in the right direction. The Daily News

Piers Pigou

Senior Consultant, Southern Africa
29 Jan 2019
[Zimbabwe's] reform agenda is being opposed by hardline elements within Zanu-PF and the state. Bloomberg

Piers Pigou

Senior Consultant, Southern Africa
21 Nov 2018
Ordinary Zimbabweans are paying for the excesses of a venal predatory elite not being held to account. Washington Post

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.