"The African spring has arrived. Down with the dictators! This time for Africa!" (Anonymous Africa)
The hacktivist group Anonymous is planning to expand its operations to the African continent in an effort to depose of corrupt political leaders. The international group is infamous for shutting down government websites from the United States to North Korea. Anonymous' new branch has been active since June and was responsible for shutting down nearly 50 various websites of the South African government, including that of the ruling party the African National Congress.
The group's blog has specifically decried the actions of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe as well as the oppressive Authoritarian Monarchy of Swaziland. The group has recently targeted Zimbabwean news agencies for praising notorious President Robert Mugabe. Zimbabwe is currently preparing for a presidential election that has been criticized by the international community for being rigged. Anonymous Africa has also cited what they refer to as one of "Africa's undertold genocides" in which 20,000 people were killed.
President Mugabe has been in power since Zimbabwe's independence in 1963 and has repeatedly refused to relinquish power. Human Rights Watch warned of possible election violence if things do not change within the country.
The movement, while noble, could prove to do more harm than good. Africa is notorious for post-election violence (see Mali, Kenya, or Zimbabwe to name a few). Rebellion upon the scale of the Arab Spring could lead to even more instability and violence on a massive scale. African governments simply do not have the capacities to build new governments from the ground up amidst political rebellion. If Anonymous truly wants to make a difference, it should tread lightly and contemplating the consequences of its actions.