Editor's note

A number of African countries and regions are battling rising levels of violent extremism. The state response has tended to be a single-minded focus on force; governments are reluctant to be seen to be negotiating with terrorist groups. Akinola Ojo argues that it’s time to rethink this approach and explore dialogue as a crucial part of any official response to extremism.

Mozambique’s elections are set for next month, and as part of the preparations a peace deal was negotiated between the government and the Renamo opposition party. It’s a step in the right direction – but will it hold? Justin Pearce outlines three issues that may scupper the deal.

Also today:

Godfred Boafo

Commissioning Editor: Ghana

Top Story

Several African states are struggling to stem violent extremism. Wikimedia Commons

Dialogue does not mean defeat: rethinking Africa’s stance on counter-terrorism

Akinola Olojo, Institute for Security Studies

It is time to reconsider the predominant strategy in play on the continent for dealing with terrorism.

Politics + Society

What must happen for Mozambique to have lasting peace after accord

Justin Pearce, University of Cambridge

The splintering in Renamo has its origins in the unexpected death last May of Afonso Dhlakama, its leader of 39 years.

Lessons from the UN peacekeeping mission in Rwanda, 25 years after the genocide it failed to stop

Samantha Lakin, Clark University

Learning from what actually worked during the United Nations' infamously ineffective 1994 peacekeeping mission in Rwanda may save lives in the future.

Health + Medicine

Ebola in the Congo: a forgotten conflict became a danger to world health

Aymar Nyenyezi Bisoka, Université catholique de Louvain

Local communities are wary of the sudden arrival of outsiders and of their interest in regions where there's been violence for years

Remembering David Sanders: a humble, visionary public health activist

Tanya Doherty, South African Medical Research Council

Sanders was not afraid to challenge and speak out about sensitive and difficult issues, to people in senior positions of power - and when he did, they sat up and listened.

En español

Robert Mugabe: tan conflictivo vivo como muerto

Roger Southall, University of the Witwatersrand

¿En qué lugar del panteón de los líderes nacionalistas africanos que llevaron a sus países a la independencia debemos colocar a Mugabe?

Qué dice (y qué no) el informe de la ONU sobre la carne

José Antonio Mendizabal Aizpuru, Universidad Pública de Navarra

El reciente informe del Panel Intergubernamental de Expertos sobre el Cambio Climático pretende concienciarnos de las consecuencias que pueden tener para el futuro del planeta las pautas y hábitos de vida que hemos instaurado en nuestra sociedad.

From our international editions

Why ‘macho culture’ is not to blame for violence against women in Mexico

Catherine Whittaker, University of Aberdeen

As protests continue in Mexico about violence against women, some have blamed macho culture. But that may do more harm.

How immigration can make some UK-born residents feel worse off even if they aren’t – new research

Peter Howley, University of Leeds

It's not all about the economics – people's sense of well-being may help explain anti-immigration attitudes.

Have scientists finally killed off the Loch Ness Monster?

Jason Gilchrist, Edinburgh Napier University

Scientists are left with two conclusions. Either Nessie is an eel, or she never existed at all.

How nine days underwater helps scientists understand what life on a Moon base will be like

Csilla Ari D`Agostino, University of South Florida

How is NASA preparing astronauts for high-stress living on the Moon? Turns out the answer is by living in undersea bases just off the coast of Florida in a lab known as Aquarius Reef Base.


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