Global politics of 2016 were full of shocks, surprises and general instability. Below are three issues that stood out.
As the year that gave us Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States of America, 2016 was definitely an unforgettable election year. The 2016 African election calendar was a very busy one. The aftermath of African elections varied by location.
Senegal and Benin, for example, had peaceful elections whereas elections elsewhere were riddled with allegations of rigging, corruption and in some cases such Gambia and The Democratic Republic of Congo, leaders simply contested the election results and refused to step down. It remains difficult to assess the future of democracy in African states, although nearly all African states have a colonial past, these countries differ in terms of legislation, governance and other response mechanisms.
Syria and the Responsibility to Protect
In any given year, humanitarian crises are a natural occurrence, however one especially notable humanitarian issue in 2016 was that of Syria. The Responsibility to Protect gives the international community the duty to intervene in cases where states fail to protect their citizens. For over five years, the world has watched the Syrian civil war in which innocent people have been killed, displaced and in some cases lost their homes while the international community discussed, attributed blame and discussed some more. This may lead one to question whether the doctrine of Responsibility to Protect holds any value in reality.
The Rise of Populism?
Following the election of Donald Trump and the outcome of the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, many politicians, commentators and economists are of the view that 2016 was the year that the “left- behinds” of the Western world hit back. For many, these key events all involved a populist surge against the political establishment. In 2017 it remains to be seen whether the anti-establishment mood sparked by Brexit and the surprise victory of Trump will remain a strong force.
Moving forward from this tumultuous year, it is incredibly difficult to be optimistic about 2017. One can only hope for a better year ahead in which the international community works cooperatively to deal with the world’s most pressing problems.
Featured image | Voting: Creative Commons License
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Best of Africa.
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