Senegal is home to many different ethnic groups – partly a result of the country’s history, which has been shaped by slavery and colonialism, but also as a result of migration, flight and exile in more recent times. The country has managed to integrate its different ethnicities and religions in an exemplary way. At the moment, though, the situation can hardly be described as harmonious. Senegal’s president has unleashed a storm of protest by controversially standing for a third term.

Elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Political Situation Following the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections

On 28 November 2011 the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo were once again called upon to elect a president and parliament for this central African country. After the first free elections following independence were held in 2006, this was to be the second election under the multiparty system.

Elections in Warsaw, Negotiations in Brussels

Polish Parliamentary Elections and the Presidency of the Council of the European Union

For Poland 2011 was a year of challenges and tests. The government in Warsaw had to cope with holding the Presidency of the EU for the first time since joining the Union. Poland proposed an ambitious agenda for the period of its EU Presidency, which it would have to implement at the same time as holding its own national elections. The end result was success for the Polish government: it not only won the elections but also served a positive and professional term as President of the Council.

Exile for Lukashenko?

How Advocates of Democracy are being Forced to Emigrate from Belarus

In the last 17 years of Lukashenko’s presidency, people have left Belarus to go into exile for many different reasons. Many have left their homeland to study or set up a business, or simply because they feared for their lives. Many of the President’s former allies who have fallen out of favour now live in Moscow. Lukashenko’s democratic opponents have chosen Prague, Warsaw or Vilnius as places to live in exile.

Papua: Challenges for Indonesia’s National Integrity

Currently, a conflict over independence is smouldering away in Indonesia’s most easterly region, partly as a hangover from Dutch colonial times as partly because of the Cold War. In the past, the Indonesian government was able to treat the unrest in the region as a domestic matter, but recently it has started to attract more and more international criticism. Although it is now ten years since the introduction of the Special Autonomy Law relating to Papua, 2011 was still a year of rising tension in the region.

Senegal - An Ethnic Mosaic

Historical and Modern Foundations of a Diverse yet Cohesive Country

More than 50 ethnic groups and a similar number of nationalities have melded in Senegal into a family of peoples: there is virtually no xenophobia or ethnic and religious conflict. A glance at the country’s historical, geographical and sociocultural background sheds light on the development of the integrated nation that is Senegal.

The Palestinian Diaspora

Palestinian Expatriates and their Impact on the Middle East Conflict

While almost half of all Palestinians are refugees, many of whom live in unfit conditions, there is also a large number of expatriate Palestinians spread all over the world who have a secure position in society and who are networked in various ways. It is due to them that the Palestinian population as a whole can be considered a cosmopolitan people. And they exert influence on the Middle East conflict through a global network.

Argentina after the elections

President Kirchner embarks on her second term of office with a strengthened mandate

With the the general election in October 2011, Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has been confirmed in office. In the concurrent congressional elections, at which half the seats in the Chamber of Deputies and a third of the seats in the Senate were up for renewal, the Peronist election platform “Frente para la Victoria” (FPV) that backs her also emerged victorious. As the 2011 elections clearly showed, Peronism remains by far the most important political force in Argentina.

Barometer of Public Opinion on the parties of “National Unity” and President Santos

Results of Regional and Local Elections in Colombia

Colombia’s congressional elections took place in March 2010 and the presidential elections in May of the same year, while regional and local elections were held in October 2011. Just over 30 million Colombians were called upon to decide on who was to take up well over 18,000 positions, for which over 100,000 candidates were vying. The significance of the outcome of the 2011 elections for all parties went beyond the elections themselves.

Combating Piracy around the Horn of Africa

The issue of maritime security and the widespread threats to shipping in the area around the Horn of Africa has received a little less media attention in recent times due to the events in the Arab world since the beginning of 2011. But this region of East Africa continues to be important because of the ongoing catastrophic drought and the recent abductions in Kenya by Somali militias. Despite international efforts to combat their activities, Somali pirates have actually extended their operating range in the region.

About this series

This periodical responds to questions concerning international issues, foreign policy and development cooperation. It is aimed at access of information about the international work for public and experts.

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Dr. Gerhard Wahlers



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