October 17, 2021

The year 2011 was particularly marked by the so-called Arab Spring. Starting with the revolution in Tunisia, protests, uprisings and revolutions in the Arab world were directed against the authoritarian regimes and the political and social structures of these countries in several states in the Middle East (Mashrek / Arabian Peninsula) and in North Africa (Maghreb). With a successful independence referendum, the new state of South Sudan, which is from now on independent from the Muslim north and with a predominantly Christian-oriented population, emerged in Africa. The year was also marked by the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami on March 11th. As a result of the natural disaster, a series of serious accidents occurred in several reactor blocks at the Japanese Fukushima I nuclear power plant.

Politics and world events

The group of eight met from May 26th to 27th for the 37th G8 summit in Deauville. Important topics of the meeting were the support of the Arab Spring, as well as - in view of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima - the future handling of nuclear power. With the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, the 17th Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 17) and the seventh meeting under the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 7) took place in South Africa from November 28 to December 11 .


In addition to the series of protests, uprisings and revolutions in northern Africa known as the Arab Spring, the government crisis in Ivory Coast and the independence of South Sudan in particular attracted worldwide attention. In the Horn of Africa, due to two seasonal, particularly low-precipitation rain seasons, a hunger crisis arose which, according to international organizations, currently threatens 11.5 million people (including 760,000 refugees) in Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti. Eritrea and other East African countries are also affected.


In the presidential elections, which took place in Benin on March 13th after two postponements, the previous incumbent Boni Yayi was confirmed with over 50 percent. The parliamentary elections have also been postponed from their original date to April 30th. The Forces Cauris pour un Bénin Emergent emerged as the winner with 41 out of 83 seats. Pascal Koupaki became prime minister.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

In the United Nations Human Development Index, the Democratic Republic of the Congo ranked last (187th) in 2011. The election of the President and Parliament caused controversial arguments in advance. According to the opposition, the re-election of the incumbent, Joseph Kabila, was favored by a previously adopted change in the electoral modalities. Because of the thousands of double registrations, there were numerous demonstrations and several violent clashes, which continued even after the election. Security forces killed 24 people between the election date and December 22, according to Human Rights Watch. Between December 9 and 14, 20 people died in Kinshasa alone.


In 2011, Djibouti suffered from the hunger crisis that threatened the people of the Horn of Africa. In June, around 117,000 people were dependent on humanitarian and food aid. Influenced by the Arab Spring and a constitutional amendment that allowed President Ismail Omar Guelleh his third term in the upcoming elections, numerous protests took place between January and March, but most of them ended by massive incarcerations. In the presidential election on April 8th, Guelleh was re-elected with 80% of the votes cast and sworn in on May 3rd.

Ivory Coast

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