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October 29, 2019

Nigeria
Beyond the Nigerian Correctional Services Act

Nigeria’s criminal justice system is in urgent need of reform. Prisons are overcrowded, holding 73,314 people despite having capacity for only 50,153. Of those held, an estimated 70 percent are awaiting trial and have not yet been convicted of a crime; reports find that some people have been awaiting trial for as long as thirteen years. The chronic underfunding of the justice system exacerbates overcrowding and pre-trial detention.

A Lady Justice statue stands outside the Court of Appeal in Abuja, Nigeria

October 30, 2019

Nigeria
Nigerian Military Introduces Controversial Plans to Identify Terrorists and Criminals

Nigerian security services say that they have been requiring residents of the northeast—where Boko Haram is active—to produce identification cards on demand. The army claims that citizens are “cooperating” with the requirement, though it is hard to verify that claim. The army has now announced that it will extend the policy to the entire country in early November.

President Buhari looks at the camera, flanked by a Nigerian flag.

October 28, 2019

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: October 19–25

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from October 19 to 25, 2019.

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

October 25, 2019

Religion
Kenyan Theologian Who Elevated African Religion Passes Away

The Kenyan John Mbiti, an Anglican priest, theologian, and academic, died on October 5 at the age of eighty-seven. He led the reappraisal of traditional African religions that sees them as equal to other world religions. He argued that traditional African religions were specifically congruent with Christianity, and that Christianity was more than Europe.

The Ecumenical Centre and Church is pictured on November 21, 2008 in Abuja, Nigeria.

October 24, 2019

South Africa
Leader of South Africa’s Opposition Quits Party and Parliament

On October 23, Mmusi Maimane resigned as the leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA). His resignation was preceded by that of the DA mayor of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba on October 21, and immediately followed by that of the party’s federal chairperson, Athol Trollip.

Mmusi Maimane casts his vote at a polling station

October 17, 2019

Nigeria
Buhari Orders Land Borders Closed in Long-Running Effort to Boost Rice Production

In August, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered closed Nigeria’s land border with Benin, preventing the import of goods. The move significantly affected trade in foodstuffs. It is part of an effort to tackle smuggling and associated corruption, but also, apparently, to spur the domestic agricultural industry. On October 14, Nigeria ordered closed all of Nigeria’s borders with Benin, as well as those with all other countries, for the same reasons.

A farmer works with rice sprouts on a farm

October 22, 2019

Nigeria
Nigerian Art Continues to Make Waves

A work by the late Nigerian artist Ben Enwonwu fetched $1.4 million at a Sotheby’s auction in London on October 15. The painting, “Christine,” is a 1971 portrait of the Caribbean-origin American wife of a missionary. After her death, the portrait hung on the wall at her family’s home. Unaware of the origin of the piece, a stepson eventually reached out to Sotheby’s to see if it had any value. 

A women looks at the painting "Christine," by Ben Enwonwu.

October 15, 2019

South Africa
U.S. Treasury Moves Against South Africa’s Corrupt Gupta Family

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S Treasury has formally sanctioned on October 10 members of the Gupta family and associates, who are members of a “significant corruption network in South Africa.” Under the sanction, all Gupta property in the United States is blocked and must be reported to OFAC.

Sigal Mandelker addresses a press roundtable and gestures with her hand.

October 21, 2019

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: October 12–18

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from October 12 to 18, 2019.

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

October 14, 2019

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: October 5–11

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from October 5 to 11, 2019.

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