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January 16, 2020

United States
Five Questions About the Senate Impeachment Trial Answered

The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump began today as the House trial managers read the articles of impeachment on the Senate floor and Chief Justice John Roberts swore in ninety-nine U.S. s…

Impeachment

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 15, 2020

Gambia
President Barrow’s Broken Promise Threatens Gambia’s Post-Jammeh Future

The Gambia has found itself on the brink of a new political crisis, just three years after the dramatic fall of longtime strongman Yahya Jammeh. Protestors filled the streets of the capital Banjul last month, demanding President Adama Barrow’s resignation after three years in office.  Earlier this year, Barrow began to lay the groundwork for extending his tenure in office. In late December, Barrow formed a new political party, the National Peoples Party, which would allow him to contest next year's presidential election. 

Gambia's President Adama Barrow sits in the chair reserved for heads of state before delivering his address during the seventy-third session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, September 25, 2018.

January 14, 2020

Taiwan
All Sound and No Fury? Will The Trump Administration Get Tough on Currency in April?

A number of Asian countries could be designated as manipulators in the U.S. Treasury's April foreign exchange report. And unlike the politically motivated designation of China last summer, there woul…

All Sound and No Fury? Will The Trump Administration Get Tough on Currency in April?

January 14, 2020

France
France and G5 Sahel Recommit Themselves as U.S. Mulls Drawdown

President Emmanuel Macron of France hosted a summit in Pau, southwestern France, with the heads of state of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauretania, and Niger. The purpose of the summit was to improve military coordination against insurgents with a particular focus on the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) and al-Qaeda affiliate Jama'at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM). Macron also sought, and received from the African chiefs of state, an endorsement of France’s continued presence in the region. He, in turn, pledged a small increase in the number of French soldiers to be deployed there. 

France's President Emmanuel Macron with the G5 Sahel heads of state deliver a news conference as part of the G5 Sahel summit on the situation in the Sahel region in Pau, France January 13, 2020

January 14, 2020

Trade
What to Look for in the “Phase One” U.S.-China Trade Deal

On Wednesday, January 15, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and U.S. President Donald J. Trump will sign the “phase one” trade agreement that has been in the works since the March 22, 2018, determination u…

Trump Liu He Lighthizer Trade

January 13, 2020

Taiwan
Tsai Ing-wen’s Victory: A Few Initial Notes

Although Taiwan’s presidential election seemed, in the middle of last year, like it was going to be a close contest, this past weekend incumbent Tsai Ing-wen, of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP…

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) vice presidential candidate William Lai attend the final campaign rally ahead of the elections in Taipei, Taiwan on January 10, 2020.

January 13, 2020

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: January 4–10

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from January 4 to 10, 2020.

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

January 9, 2020

West Africa
Jihadi Violence and Terror Surging in West Africa

In a follow up to his remarks in December, Mohamed Iban, Chambas, the UN special representative sand head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) sounded the alarm on growing militant and jihadi violence. In his January 8 briefing to the UN Security Council, he said the “devastating surge” in terrorism has “shaken public confidence.” He focused on Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, where casualties from terrorism have increased fivefold since 2016, with 4,000 deaths in 2019 compared to 770 in 2016.

Mohammed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel, briefs the Security Council on West Africa, on January 10, 2019, in New York.

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.