Daily Nation/allAfrica

BY CIUGU MWAGIRU, 11 FEBRUARY 2012

Nairobi — As world attention remains riveted on the US political campaigns and their implications for the Obama presidency, many may forget that in Africa there will be major tests for democracy this year.

Among the most critical political events on the continent will be a referendum in Darfur that is expected to pave the way for the self-determination of the people of that troubled Sudanese region

In the wake of the emergence of independence for South Sudan, what happens in Darfur will be of great significance for East Africa, and Africa as a whole.

Ravaged by war for many years, Darfur has been one of the major hotspots on the African continent.

Tellingly, it was the allegedly genocidal violence in Darfur that resulted in the issuing of a warrant of arrest for Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir by the International Criminal Court.

Also of great significance this year will be developments in Libya and Egypt, the counties in Africa in which, together with Morocco, the so-called Arab uprising has had a major impact.

While in Egypt there will be elections for the Shura Council expected to steer the country’s political future, in post-Gaddafi Libya there will be the Public National Conference election expected to put paid to the uncertainties currently facing the troubled country.

Other countries holding either presidential or parliamentary elections this year include Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Togo and Sierra Leone. Also expected to hold polls before the year ends are Algeria, Angola, Burkina Faso and Madagascar.  Read more…