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January 16, 2020

Nigeria
Motorists Killed and Kidnapped on Nigerian Highway

Nigerian media, quoting sources in the security services, reports that up to thirty people were killed and possibly one hundred kidnapped on the night of January 14 in a single incident on the Kaduna-Zaria highway in Kaduna state. The perpetrators were dressed in military uniforms. Among the wounded was the emir of Potiskum. 

A man rides his motorbike along Gombe Numan highway in Gombe state, on November 29, 2013.

January 3, 2020

Cameroon
Lessons From the Past on Cameroon’s Crisis

The violent conflict in Cameroon, still rarely discussed in Washington, is becoming increasingly dire. Both President Paul Biya’s Francophone regime in Yaounde and the Anglophone separatists in the southwest region are accused of brutal human rights abuses, including the burning of villages, attacks on schools, and the killing of men, women, and children. Despite mediation attempts by the Swiss government and sanctions by the Trump administration, there are no signs of any progress towards a negotiated settlement. 

A sign saying " Speak English or French for a bilingual Cameroon" outside a now abandoned school in rural southwest Cameroon, on May 22, 2019.

January 15, 2020

Nigeria
Nigeria’s Slide Toward Authoritarianism

The recent unlawful detention of a journalist and politician is the latest in a series of moves by Muhammadu Buhari’s administration that weaken the rule of law.

January 6, 2020

Iran
Does the U.S. Strike on Soleimani Break Legal Norms?

The Trump administration’s killing of an Iranian military commander in Iraq raises questions about its legality under domestic and international law.

July 29, 2019

Election 2020
Meet John Hickenlooper, Democratic Presidential Candidate

Political strategists often ask whether a presidential candidate is someone a voter would want to have a beer with. In the case of former Governor of Colorado John Hickenlooper, they have a candidate…

John Hickenlooper

December 11, 2019

Nigeria
Buhari's Attacks on the Press in Nigeria Continue Unabated

On December 6, the Department of State Security (DSS) stormed into an Abuja courtroom and illegally detained journalist Omoyele Sowore. The episode is deeply disappointing to American friends of Nigeria who are invested in that country’s democratic trajectory. The DSS flagrantly violated the rule of law and the sanctity of a courtroom by violently manhandling Sowore and causing the judge to flee her own chambers. The episode unfurled in full view of national and international media, dragging Nigeria’s international reputation through the mud.

A fight breaks out as security personnel attempt to re-arrest Nigerian activist Omoyele Sowore at the Federal High Court in Abuja, Nigeria December 6, 2019.

January 8, 2020

Nigeria
The Islamic State Executes Eleven Over Christmas in Nigeria

Members of the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA), a faction of Boko Haram, recently executed eleven hostages on camera. The video, released to a Nigerian Journalist on December 26, alleged that all the hostages executed were Christians, and that their murders were in retaliation for the killing of Abubakar al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, by U.S. forces in October. It is ISWA that has identified them as Christians, but the identities of the eleven murdered have not been released.

A bearded man with Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's appearance speaks in this screen grab taken from video released on April 29, 2019.

December 30, 2019

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: December 21–27

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from December 21 to 27, 2019.

Map of Nigeria shaded to reflect NST-documented deaths per state.

January 6, 2020

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: December 28–January 3

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from December 28, 2019, to January 3, 2020.

Map of Nigeria shaded to reflect NST-documented deaths per state.

January 7, 2020

Iran
Death of Iranian General Soleimani Provokes Muted Reaction in Africa’s Giants

Nigeria and South Africa are the giants of Africa, with the two largest economies on the continent.  Both have had long-term relationships with Iran, though South Africa’s has been the closer. Thus far, the official reaction to Soleimani’s death from Nigeria and South Africa has been muted or non-existent, reflecting caution. Though the Nigerian inspector general of police has put his forces on “red alert,” likely fearing action by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) or other alleged Iranian proxies, there has been no apparent word from the government. In South Africa, the fiercest reaction came from the African National Congress (ANC), while Naledi Pandor, the South African foreign minister, called for calm.

Women hold pictures of Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, who was killed in an air strike at Baghdad airport, during a funeral procession and burial at his hometown in Kerman, Iran, on January 7, 2020.