Ian Birrell

Ian Birrell is a former Deputy Editor of The Independent and co-founder of Africa Express. He writes regularly for all Independent titles.

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What’s wrong with the Tories? Why aren’t they being more optimistic?

Voters will turn away if they keep hearing sneers and grumbles from Cameron and co

Malian artists Aliou Toure and Bijou at their London album launch. To get here they had to fly to Senegal and wait weeks for visas

Families that need £18,600 to spend Christmas together: The shameful earnings threshold imposed on British citizens wanting to bring their foreign spouses here

As politicians pander to the public’s backlash against immigration, Ian Birrell reports on the new regulations preventing husbands and wives from seeing their children 

The hip of the desert: Africa Express returns

Africa Express has returned from its recent excursion to Mali with a new album and a more direct approach to making music

Robert Mugabe celebrating his birthday in Harare

Should Britain have invaded Zimbabwe?

According to Thabo Mbeki, Tony Blair wanted to overthrow Robert Mugabe by force. The former PM denies this – but would it have been such a bad idea?

Conservative party must heed warning from Nick Boles or risk terminal decline

Tories should revive the National Liberal Party brand in order to build coalitions before, rather than after, elections

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta

UN sees off bid to halt Kenyatta’s crimes against humanity trial

So the International Criminal Court can fight on in its struggle to bring tyrants to justice.

Ebrahimi was a disabled man, driven out of his previous house by a mysterious arson attack following complaints from neighbours

How hateful is Britain? Insulted, bullied and murdered – for being disabled

In our supposedly civilised society, people who are ‘different’ still face abuse, vigilante justice and death

‘Blonde angel’: The case of Maria highlights the abuse towards Roma people across Europe

The grim history of the Roma is no fairy tale

The reaction to the discovery of a little blonde girl in a travellers' camp illustrates an age-old – and shameful – persecution of an isolated people

Video footage released last week appeared to show a man claiming to be Boko Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau

Boko Haram insurgency: The conflict in northern Nigeria crying out for more attention – and less violence

The group lives up to its name - which translates as 'Western education is sinful' - by shooting children taking exams and burning down dozens of schools

Kenya shopping mall attack: The West must act judiciously over Somalia if these horrors are to end

Somalia’s problems have been worsened by bungled intervention from outside

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