Key Political Events That Shaped Africa In 2021

Key Political Events That Shaped Africa In 2021

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By Spy Uganda

Kampala: 2021 was a year that gained popularity over a couple of events politically, economically and socially and of course not forgetting the notorious pandemic that slaughtered a couple of people globally.

Meanwhile, allow us to take you through the political field with some key incidences that shaped the year in the African continent.

Political Upset In Uganda

President Yoweri Museveni won the presidential election on January 14, with 58.6% of the votes, catapulting him into his sixth term in office. But the opposition candidate Bobi Wine, who won 34.8% of the votes, alleged that there had been widespread election fraud and called on Ugandans to reject the results.

Wine, a former singer whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, then took his election challenge to the supreme court, saying he had evidence of vote-rigging. However, three weeks later, he asked his lawyers to withdraw the case, claiming the judges were biased.

Museveni’s presidency began in 1986 off the back of a rebel movement in the country. He was initially hailed as a modern leader following the brutal de facto dictatorships of Idi Amin Dada and Milton Obote, but he has since grouped among authoritarian leaders with brutal governments.

Chadian President Idriss Deby Dies On The Battlefield  

Just hours after he was declared the winner of the presidential election, Chad’s president, Idriss Deby Itno, died on April 20 while fighting rebels in the north of the country. He had just won his sixth mandate after three decades in power. A military transition council took power, led by Idriss Deby’s son Mahamat Idriss Deby, a 37-year-old general.

Deby promised to set up “free and transparent” elections in the country within 18 months. In November, he decreed an amnesty for rebels and political opponents in the country, aiming to open dialogue with armed groups.

Laurent Gbagbo Returns To Ivory Coast After Nearly A Decade

Ivory Coast’s former president Laurent Gbagbo returned home on June 17 for the first time since his ouster from power in 2011. He took a passenger flight from Brussels, where he had lived after The Hague’s International Criminal Court acquitted him in January 2019 of war crimes. Hundreds of supporters greeted him at the airport.

After meeting his old rival Henri Konan Bédié, he then met with the current leader Alassane Ouattara at the presidential palace on July 27 – their first meeting since the embattled election of 2010, which led to a bloody civil war. In October, Gbagbo launched a new political party and has yet to rule out running for the next presidential election in 2025.

Tigrayan Rebels Take Mekele In Ethiopia

Rebel fighters entered Mekele, the capital of Ethiopia’s Tigray region on June 29, prompting Ethiopia’s government to call a ceasefire after almost eight months of fighting. It marked a major turning point in the conflict. Mekele had been under the control of federal troops since November 28. The arrival of rebel fighters in the town sparked celebrations, with residents coming out and dancing in the streets.

The war has caused thousands of deaths, displaced more than two million people and plunged hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians into famine. On December 20, Tigrayan fighters announced that they would withdraw from regions outside of Tigray in order to allow humanitarian aid to arrive.

Former South African President Jacob Zuma Sent To Prison

South Africa’s Constitutional Court gave former South African president Jacob Zuma a 15-month jail term on June 29 for refusing to comply with an enquiry into corruption committed during his time in office between 2009 and 2018. Minutes before the deadline on July 7, Zuma turned himself in. Days of rioting and looting by his supporters leftover 300 people dead. He was released on medical parole in September but the country’s High Court ordered him to go back to prison in December.

France Returns Benin Artworks  

On November 9, France returned 26 artworks looted from the Palace of Abomey by colonial troops and until then displayed in the Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac in Paris. French President Emmanuel Macron met the Beninese President Patrice Talon at the Élysée Palace and conducted an official ceremony to hand over the treasures after almost 130 years away from their country of origin.

Hundreds of Beninese people gathered at Cotonou airport to welcome home the artworks in an emotional and historical moment for the country.

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