Even before unforeseen events like natural disasters or outbreaks of new conflicts occur this year, as they always do, 2012 will be full of important political news, with elections not only in the United States but also around the world, some in countries that are crucial to the stability of their regions.
The International Peace Institute, which is based in New York and has close ties to the United Nations, has compiled a lengthy, informative list of places, people and political changes to watch this year. The guide notes the long retinue of national and legislative elections in Africa (Algeria, Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Togo, and Zimbabwe), but also the places to keep an eye on in the Continent: Somalia and the two Sudans. And while the whole world will be waiting to see who wins the US presidential election, there is also a re-election bid by Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, also in the fall.
To read the institute’s Top 20 issues in its new Global Observatory, to http://www.theglobalobservatory.org/analysis/184-ipis-top-issues-to-watch-in-2012-part-2-the-regions.html
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Dulcie Leimbach is a co-founder, with Barbara Crossette, of PassBlue. For PassBlue and other publications, Leimbach has reported from New York and overseas from West Africa (Burkina Faso and Mali) and from Europe (Scotland, Sicily, Vienna, Budapest, Kyiv, Armenia, Iceland and The Hague). She has provided commentary on the UN for BBC World Radio, ARD German TV and Radio, NHK’s English channel, Background Briefing with Ian Masters/KPFK Radio in Los Angeles and the Foreign Press Association.
Previously, she was an editor for the Coalition for the UN Convention Against Corruption; from 2008 to 2011, she was the publications director of the United Nations Association of the USA. Before UNA, Leimbach was an editor at The New York Times for more than 20 years, editing and writing for most sections of the paper, including the Magazine, Book Review and Op-Ed. She began her reporting career in small-town papers in San Diego, Calif., and Boulder, Colo., graduating to the Rocky Mountain News in Denver and then working at The Times. Leimbach has been a fellow at the CUNY Graduate Center’s Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies as well as at Yaddo, the artists’ colony in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; taught news reporting at Hofstra University; and guest-lectured at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the CUNY Journalism School. She graduated from the University of Colorado and has an M.F.A. in writing from Warren Wilson College in North Carolina. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.