Trouble in Africa as tensions rise – in pictures

North Africa and the Middle East have undergone a string of uprisings and attempted revolutions – but will the unrest spread to sub-Saharan Africa? Trouble has already flared in many of the countries in the spotlight, as our pictures show
Africa Unrest: Burkina Faso student riots
Burkina Faso In April, president Blaise Compaore faced the biggest challenge to his 24-year rule as soldiers ransacked villages, traders set fire to government buildings and students rioted. He fired the government, appointed a new prime minister and named himself defence minister, but police have followed the army in staging a mutiny. Photograph: Ahmed Ouoba/AFP
Africa Unrest: Cameroon's President Biya
Cameroon Calls in February for a 'day of rage' against long-serving president Paul Biya, above, drew a relatively muted response. 'Mr Biya should draw the lessons from the humiliation of Mr Mubarak’s departure,' an opposition MP said. 'Cameroonians live in worse conditions than Egyptians.' Last week a number of soldiers were arrested after a bank robbery in which nine people were killed. Photograph: Bertrand Guay/Reuters
Africa Unrest: Democratic Republic of Congo protests
Democratic Republic of Congo Elections are due in November, with opposition parties claiming that plans to elect the president in one round of voting have 'the sole aim of organising electoral fraud on a grand scale'. There are many murmurs of dissent against president Joseph Kabila on Facebook. Photograph: Jonny Hogg/Reuters
Africa Unrest: President Ismael Omar Guelleh of Djibouti
Djibouti Thousands of demonstrators rallied this year to demand the resignation of president Ismail Omar Guelleh, pictured. Security forces used batons and teargas against stone-throwing protesters. But Guelleh won comfortably in this month’s election to secure a third term. Photograph: Simon Maina/AFP
Africa Unrest: Andre Mba Obame of Gabon
Gabon Riot police fired teargas to break up a demonstration by 5,000 people in January. Opposition leader Andre Mba Obame, pictured, called on them to overthrow the government and said president Ali Bongo 'will go like Ben Ali [of Tunisia]'. Obame took refuge at the UN compound after declaring himself the legitimate president. Photograph: Joel Bouopda Tatou/AP
Africa Unrest: Guinea Guinean police face political rioters
Guinea The first free election since independence, held last year, earned international kudos after two turbulent years of military rule. But president Alpha Conde has reportedly made little progress in easing internal tensions, controlling security forces or healing relations with foreign investors. Photograph: Jerome Delay/AP
Africa Unrest: Soldiers loyal to Ivory Coast presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara
Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo was forced out after his refusal to accept election defeat prompted a four-month stalemate and widespread atrocities that left at least 1,500 people dead. A hard core of loyalists, pictured, fought for Gbagbo to the end, but thousands of soldiers deserted. His successor, Alassane Ouattara, has strong support in the north but the country remains deeply divided. Photograph: Emmanuel Braun/Reuters
Africa Unrest: Members of Kenya's civil society chant slogans in Nairobi
Kenya Hundreds marched peacefully in Nairobi and Mombasa this month against rising fuel and food prices. Yash Pal Ghai, who helped block traffic near parliament, said: 'Some people have a single meal a day while others live in obscene luxury and comfort. It is amazing there has not been a rebellion by now.' Photograph: Thomas Mukoya/Reuters
Africa Unrest: Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of Mauritiania
Mauritania Security forces using teargas and batons dispersed several hundred anti-government protesters. Critics of president Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, pictured, began street protests in late February, although their number has rarely risen above 1,000. Cheikh Ould Jiddou, a leader of the protest, said: 'Mauritanians are fed up with this regime, and it is time that we said it loud and clear.' Photograph: Rebecca Blackwell/AP
Africa Unrest: Rioters throw stones in Maputo, Mozambique
Mozambique A steep increase in the price of bread and other goods sparked three days of protests, co-ordinated by mobile text messaging, and riots that left 13 people dead. The government, which had called the price rises 'irreversible', was forced to back down. It is planning another increase but will subsidise food for 2 million poor people in an attempt to head off further civil strife.
Photograph: Keystone/Rex Features
Photograph: KeystoneUSA-ZUMA/Rex Features
Africa Unrest: A young man walks among still smouldering grain in Kaduna, Nigeria
Nigeria Rioting left hundreds dead in the mostly Muslim north after incumbent Goodluck Jonathan, a southern Christian, beat northern rival Muhammadu Buhari in the presidential election. The poll was hailed as relatively free and fair but exposed persistent ethnic and religious faultlines that have sparked violence in Africa’s most populous nation. Photograph: Tony Karumba/AFP
Africa Unrest: A Senegalese supporter of Abdoulaye Wade holds the president's portrait
Senegal A man died in February after setting himself on fire at the gates of the presidential palace. Frustration is growing over power cuts and lack of jobs. President Abdoulaye Wade (pictured on a poster held by a supporter, above) said last week: 'The difference between us and Tunisia and Egypt is that I actually want people to demonstrate. If the Senegalese come out en masse to ask me to quit, I will go. There won’t be a revolution, or a coup d’etat.' Photograph: Rebecca Blackwell/AP
Africa Unrest: Township residents stand near barricades during protests in South Africa
South Africa Protests over poor delivery of electricity, water and other basic services have risen from two in 2006 to 111 last year, according to City Press newspaper. The death of a demonstrator who was allegedly shot with rubber bullets and beaten by police has been seen by many as a watershed. Political commentator Moeletsi Mbeki predicted South Africa’s 'Tunisia Day' will arrive in 2020. Photograph: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters
Africa Unrest: A survivor displays a bullet in front of burnt houses in Sudan
Sudan Southern Sudanese voted in January to separate from the north and form a new nation in a referendum promised to them as part of a 2005 peace deal which ended decades of civil war. At least 165 people were reportedly killed in the space of a week in fighting between south Sudan’s army and rebel militias. Photograph: Pete Muller/AP
Africa Unrest: Protesters take part in a march in Mbabane, Swaziland
Swaziland A planned uprising in April was extinguished by a brutal security crackdown, but trade unions plan to continue monthly peaceful protests. King Mswati III, who has 13 wives, has been criticised for extravagant displays of wealth. Some of the more militant activists say they want to abolish Africa’s last absolute monarchy and are prepared to 'die for democracy'. Photograph: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters
Africa Unrest: Ugandan anti-riot policemen stand guard outside Kasangati Police Station
Uganda Opposition leader Kizza Besigye is in detention after leading a series of 'walk to work' protests against rising transport and food costs. The campaign triggered clashes between opposition supporters and police, above, in Kampala and several other towns, in which at least five people were killed. President Yoweri Museveni won a recent election and blames his country's troubles on drought and soaring global oil prices. Photograph: Edward Echwalu/Reuters
Africa Unrest: Protesters display their displeasure with the government in Zambia
Zambia Police banned a meeting intended to discuss the possible secession of Barotseland in western Zambia, triggering deadly protests in January. Riots broke out this month after three people were burned to death, reportedly because they were accused of ritual murders. Photograph: AFP/Getty
Africa Unrest: Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
Zimbabwe Six activists face trial for treason after holding a meeting where they watched videos of the Egyptian and Tunisian uprisings. Prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai has voiced support for the north African movements but there has been little sign of a popular challenge to president Robert Mugabe, pictured above right. Some analysts say many of the best and brightest Zimbabweans are in exile. Photograph: Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters

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