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August 4, 2021

Tanzania
Arrests of Tanzanian Opposition Underline Need for Constitutional Reform

On July 21, Freeman Mbowe, chairman of Tanzania’s main opposition party, Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (the Party for Democracy and Progress, CHADEMA), and ten other party members were arrested in Mwanza, apparently for violating a ban on “unnecessary gatherings.” The ban, enacted the day prior, was officially billed as a measure to curb the spread of COVID-19. Yet its timing, coming just before a conference on discussing constitutional reform, and the charges levelled against Mbowe—the party leader is accused, without evidence, of funding terrorist activities aimed at assassinating government leaders—suggest the true intent is to suppress calls for much-needed constitutional reform.

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan and former President Jakaya Kikwete stand side-by-side.

August 3, 2021

Nigeria
"Bandits" Shoot Down Alpha Jet as Nigerian Airpower Comes Under Scrutiny

On July 18, "bandits" shot down a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jet in northern Nigeria on the border between Zamfara and Katsina states. The pilot successfully ejected from the aircraft and avoided capture by the "bandits" using his "survival skills" until he reached an army installation. While NAF planes have crashed in the past—including earlier this year when a plane crash killed Chief of Army Staff General Ibrahim Attahiru—this is apparently the first time a jet has been brought down by enemy fire.

An Alpha Jet sits idle at an airport with missiles and munitions held under the wings.

July 30, 2021

Human Rights
Five Foreign-Policy Movies Worth Watching About Human Rights

Every summer Friday, we suggest foreign-policy-themed movies worth watching. This week: films about the fight for human rights.

Three movie posters in black frames: In the Name of the Father (man looks out from black background);Beasts of No Nation (a young boy with ammunition wrapped around his neck looks out); The Pianist (a man walks among the rubble of a city).

July 30, 2021

U.S. Foreign Policy
TWE Remembers: The Fulbright Program

Seventy-five years ago, what would become the world’s foremost international educational exchange program got off to a bumpy start. 

Senator J. William Fulbright sits behind his desk holding papers and looking at the camera.

July 26, 2021

Women and Women's Rights
Five Questions With Libyan Women Leaders

The Women and Foreign Policy program interviewed five Libyan peace activists to hear about how Libyan women have contributed to the peace process and how international actors can better support them…

Libyan women participate in a protest in Misrata against the government after not receiving enough support following the deaths of family members due to the conflict.

July 22, 2021

Women and Women's Rights
A Conversation with Catharine A. MacKinnon: Prostitution as Sex Work or Sexual Exploitation?

At a CFR roundtable, Catharine A. MacKinnon discussed the impacts of COVID-19 on those in the sex industry as well as where the international debate on prostitution and sex trafficking currently stan…

Catharine MacKinnon presents in front of the Milken Institute's 21st Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California on April 30, 2018.

July 20, 2021

Western Sahara
Five Questions on the Western Sahara Peace Process

The following interview is with Fatma El Mehdi, one of eight negotiators in the Western Sahara peace process and a leader in the Sahrawi community.

Sahrawi People

July 16, 2021

Wars and Conflict
Five Movies Worth Watching About Love and War

Every summer Friday, we suggest foreign-policy-themed movies worth watching. This week: films about romance amid conflict.

Three movie posters in black frames. From left: Casablanca (black and white, a man and a woman look at each other); A Farewell to Arms (a man and woman look worriedly off to the side); The English Patient (a man and woman look off to the side, a desert and airplane behind them).

July 14, 2021

West Africa
French President Macron Expands on Sahel Drawdown Plan

French President Emmanuel Macron announced yesterday that Operation Barkhane, the French counterterrorism force fighting jihadis in the Sahel, will end in the first quarter of 2022. This follows a recent announcement that the French president plans to cut in half the French presence in the Sahel and reorganize what will remain as specialized regional forces, while also contributing to Task Force Takuba, the recently established EU force with a remit similar to that of Barkhane.

French President Emmanuel Macron and Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum sit at a table with their countries' flags behind them, along with an EU flag. Other leaders of G5 Sahel countries are seen on a screen in the background.

July 12, 2021

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: July 3–9

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from July 3 to July 9, 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.