Democratic setbacks in sub-Saharan Africa have outpaced once promising gains, says guest blogger Vukasin Petrovic from Freedom House.
For poorer countries like Burundi, sending soldiers to join a UN or African Union peacekeeping mission offers financial and political benefits, as well as better arms and training.
Most of Africa's 54 nations ban homosexuality, so President Obama's promotion of gay rights as a human right draws quick ire from African governments.
The Sudan People's Liberation Movement dominates South Sudan's political arena, and its reticence to allow political opposition to develop could hurt its image among Western donors.
Civil war research shows that conflicts that end with a decisive rebel victory are more likely to result in lasting peace and stability than those wars ended by a negotiated settlement. That bodes well for Libya, if the rebels can show they can govern.
After a decade of Ugandan military operations to disarm rival clans, Uganda's Karamoja region has become more secure. Now the region is becoming more self-sufficient.
Although African incumbents facing reelection have so far performed well, those still facing votes will need to tread carefully amid rising public anger.
Social media: From Iran to Tunisia and Egypt and beyond, Twitter and Facebook are the power tools of civic upheaval – but social media is only one factor in the spread of democratic revolution.
African leaders could allow freedom of expression, or they could mimic the Chinese model of building a 'Great Firewall of China' to shut down Internet systems that allow critical thinking.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni accused foreign and domestic media outlets of cheering on opposition supporters on Tuesday. He said they would be treated as 'enemies of Uganda’s recovery.'