Kelsey Lilley

  • Kenya’s Fake News Problem

    Fake news has reared its ugly head in elections again—this time in Kenya. As East Africa’s most tech-savvy country went to the polls on August 8, its citizens were inundated with fake news that colored the campaign season and now threatens hard-won gains to prevent post-election violence.

    Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his primary challenger, Raila Odinga, maintained large followings throughout the campaign season, and went to the polls with a razor-thin margin of popular support between them. As of August 10, Kenyatta claimed a strong lead, though Odinga casts doubt on those numbers.

    An overwhelming majority of Kenyans encountered inaccurate news about both candidates during the run-up to the elections, one
    Read More
  • Is it Time to Take Sudan Off the State Sponsors of Terrorism List?

    Atlantic Council report recommends review of designation as part of an effort to energize ties

    US President Donald J. Trump’s administration should conduct a long-overdue review of the designation of Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism, according to a new report from the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center.

    The Clinton administration designated Sudan a state sponsor of terrorism in 1993. US administrations have used the designation—not just in the case of Sudan—as a political tool.

    “The question is: is that sensible in terms of Sudan,” asked Princeton Lyman, a former US special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan who serves on the Atlantic Council’s Sudan Task Force.

    Read More
  • Lilley in World Politics Review: Ethiopia’s Crackdown on Dissent Leaves Youth With Dangerous Options


    Read More
  • Lilley Quoted by Humanosphere on the Political Transition in the Gambia


    Read More
  • A Democracy Test in The Gambia

    Even as Donald Trump was preparing for his inauguration as the next president of the United States, a more contentious transition of power was being attempted in the Gambia, where the incumbent president, Yahya Jammeh, has stubbornly refused to make way for President-elect Adama Barrow.

    Senegalese forces under the umbrella of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), a regional bloc, entered the Gambia on January 19 to assure the democratic transition from Jammeh to Barrow, who won the presidential elections in December.

    If it goes awry, the military intervention in the Gambia could present an early crisis for Trump, but the new US administration must avoid the temptation of getting its wires crossed with ECOWAS. It should, instead, support ECOWAS’ efforts to resolve the crisis, an example of the Western mantra “African solutions for African problems.” The United States must...

    Read More
  • A Stubborn Yahya Jammeh Drives The Gambia Toward a Crisis

    Celebrations in the Gambia after opposition candidate Adama Barrow ousted longtime President Yahya Jammeh in the momentous December presidential elections have been short-lived.

    The optimism spurred on by Jammeh’s concession to Barrow a day after election results were announced was soon tempered by his course reversal: on December 9, the eccentric president of twenty-two years appeared on national television to reject the poll results and call for new elections, citing “serious and unacceptable irregularities.” Jammeh seized power in a 1994 coup and has since “won” four elections. Shortly after the announcement, the Gambian military seized the independent electoral commission’s...

    Read More
  • The Gambia Votes: A Rare Victory for Democracy in Africa?

    The results from The Gambia’s presidential election, which pitted opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) candidate Adama Barrow against longtime president, Yahya Jammeh, made history as they trickled in late at night on December 1. The small West African country, bound on three sides by Senegal, has been ruled for more than two decades by the eccentric and repressive Jammeh.

    Early on December 2, The Gambia’s electoral commissioner called the election for Barrow, citing his 45 percent of the vote compared to Jammeh’s 36 percent. The victory is a massive upset in an election whose result was widely considered a foregone conclusion; Jammeh has already claimed victory in what Freedom House declared to be four “violent and rigged” elections since seizing power in a coup against the government of...

    Read More
  • Lilley Quoted by OZY on What Trump's Presidency Will Mean for Africa


    Read More
  • Lilley in the Journal of the Middle East and Africa: Book Review- Understanding Contemporary Ethiopia


    Read More
  • Lilley in Newsweek: Donald Trump's Africa Policy: Three Priorities


    Read More