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February 12, 2021

Transnational Crime
Nigeria's Enduring "Gold Wars"

Conflicts in northwest Nigeria over access to minerals—especially gold—are heating up. Illicit mining also causes environmental damage, thus exacerbating land and water shortages that cause further conflict.

A man standing in a small pool of water is using a plastic sheet with holes to filter gold dust.

February 25, 2021

Aging, Youth Bulges, and Population
Nigeria's Vice President Speaks Plainly on Population and Food

Nigeria's vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, addressed on February 23 a UN Food Systems Summit organized by the Nigerian government in Abuja, the national capital. He was blunt about the link between population growth and food insecurity.

A crowded market in Lagos, Nigeria's largest city.

February 24, 2021

Democratic Republic of Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo is Back on the Front Page

The killing of the Italian ambassador to the DRC and the lifting of U.S. Treasury sanctions against an Israeli businessman in the final hours of the Trump administration has again focused international attention on the interlocking crises in the DRC.

Four UN vehicles are seen parked on a dirt road, protected by armed UN soldiers, in eastern DRC. Two motorcycles are also seen driving on the road, going in opposite directions.

February 22, 2021

Boko Haram
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: February 13–19

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from February 13 to February 19, 2021.

Map of Nigeria shaded in red to reflect Nigeria Security Tracker-documented deaths per state. Borno state, the northeastern-most state, is dark red, while the rest of the country are shades of pink. Regions of Cameroon, Chad, and Niger that have experienced Boko Haram-related violence are also shaded.

January 13, 2021

Radicalization and Extremism
From Separatism to Salafism: Militancy on the Swahili Coast

Nolan Quinn is a research associate for the Council on Foreign Relations’ Africa Program. The revelation that a Kenyan member of al-Shabab was charged with planning a 9/11-style attack on the Unit…

A group of Muslim youth are seen protesting the killing of a radical Kenyan imam, Aboud Rogo Mohammed. Several are wearing Islamic dress while others are wearing everyday clothing.

February 24, 2021

Middle East and North Africa
Academic Webinar: Should We Stay or Should We Go? America's Role in the Middle East

F. Gregory Gause III, department head and professor of international affairs and John H. Lindsey ’44 Chair at Texas A&M University’s Bush School of Government and Public Service, leads a conversation…

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February 24, 2021

Iran
Biden and Iran: Two Questions

As the Biden administration enters its second month in power, two very large questions about its Iran policy remain unanswered. The first relates to nuclear negotiations. At the State Department p…

February 18, 2021

Human Rights
Kidnapping and Ransom Payments in Nigeria

On February 17, a gang of gunmen kidnapped more than forty students, teachers, and administrators from a secondary school in Niger State. At least one student was killed. President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered all four service chiefs to go to Niger State.

A picture of the interior of an abandoned school in Kagara, Nigeria after gunmen kidnapped dozens of students, relatives, and administrators. Several wooden desks and chairs are seen, while the wall is covered in graffiti.

February 23, 2021

Coronavirus
Tanzania’s COVID Denialism Harms its Economic Future

Beyond the immediate, detrimental effects for Tanzanians’ health, President John Magufuli’s aggressive COVID denialism is likely to dent the country’s economic prospects.

Two women in Tanzania are seen wearing gloves, masks, and facial shields to protect against COVID-19. Both are also wearing colorful, patterned clothing.

February 17, 2021

International Organizations
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala: A Well-Qualified New Leader for the WTO

Organization (WTO), the trade body’s top leadership position, former Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala quickly became the universal favorite to land the top job—except for among members of the Trump administration.

A picture of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the incoming head of the WTO. She is wearing traditional dress of the Igbo ethnic group from present-day Nigeria.