The international community has become captivated by the ongoing crises in North Africa, which have seen strongmen deposed and a full-blown civil war erupt in Libya, a major oil producing state. This has been to the detriment of a range of slower burning situations, not least the apparent slide towards conflict in Côte d’Ivoire, a country that was once a major economic force in West Africa, which looks set to be denied a smooth transition back to relative prosperity. Nigeria, the largest oil producer south of the Sahara, is heading towards another election and stability there is far from assured. However, there have been some apparent bright spots, with a negotiated solution breaking the impasse in Madagascar and a return to civilian rule in Niger.

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Sudan’s first multi-party elections in 24 years have ended with a resounding victory for incumbent Omar al-Bashir’s National Congress Party. The poll has been heavily criticised by the international community, with election monitors at the Carter Center calling the process: “Highly chaotic, non-transparent, and vulnerable to electoral manipulation.” The Centre’s report also highlighted violence and intimidation around the country in the run up to the vote. EU election monitors in the restive Darfur region were withdrawn over safety concerns.

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Nigeria’s acting president Goodluck Jonathan meeting US president Barack Obama in Washington PHOTOS: AFP/Getty Images

Continued speculation about the political ambitions of Nigeria’s acting president is provoking questions about the future of the country’s polarised political system

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