Continuing the tradition of L’Afrique des grands lacs. Annuaire, this companion volume to Conjonctures de l’Afrique Centrale offers a survey of political developments in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda in 2016-2017. In all these countries, the question of presidential term limits has been a major political issue. Having been re-elected for an unconstitutional third term in 2015, Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza is preparing a constitutional amendment designed to further extend his tenure. In the DRC, President Joseph Kabila overstayed his term by repeatedly delaying elections. The Rwandan constitution was amended in 2015 to allow President Paul Kagame to be re-elected in 2017 and to possibly stay in power until 2034. In Uganda, where there have been no term limits since 2005, a constitutional amendment removed the presidential age limit in 2017, thus allowing President Yoweri Museveni an unlimited tenure in office.
Filip Reyntjens is emeritus professor of law and politics at the Institute of Development Policy (IOB), University of Antwerp.