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September 15, 2021

Somalia
Somalia’s Ongoing Political Crisis Exposes Fundamental Problem for U.S. Policy

The fragile Somali government is on the brink again, consumed by President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (also known as Farmaajo) and Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble’s tussle for control of the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA)—a power struggle sharpened by the murder of Ikran Tahlil. Tahlil, who worked for NISA, disappeared this summer.

Protesters hold up a sign with a red "X" drawn across a picture of the Somali president.

September 14, 2021

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: September 4–10

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

September 10, 2021

South Africa
Murder of South African Whistleblower Illustrates Dangerous Status Quo

The murder of Babita Deokaran on August 23 is a tragic example that strains of political violence harnessed by those resisting accountability and transparency persist. Deokaran was a senior financial officer at the Gauteng Department of Health and an important witness in an investigation of corruption within the department; former colleagues believe she was helping authorities link senior political figures to irregular procurement deals and contracts in an organization that is supposed to be committed to public health, not elite enrichment. President Ramaphosa hailed the late whistleblower as “a hero and a patriot.”

A woman walks holding the hand of a child with an armored car and a police vehicle parked behind her. The image is seen through a wall of barbed wire.

August 25, 2021

Kenya
BBI Ruling Leaves Kenya at a Crossroads

On August 20, Kenya’s Court of Appeals upheld a ruling declaring President Kenyatta’s signature political reform project, the Building Bridges Initiative, unconstitutional, altering the course of Kenyan politics one year out from the next general election cycle.

Three Kenyan judges, one sitting below the Kenyan coat of arms, are seen seated wearing judicial garb and medical facemasks.

August 17, 2021

Zambia
Zambian Opposition Stalwart Hichilema Secures Big Win in Presidential Elections

The Zambian people turned out in robust numbers to elect veteran opposition politician Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development (UPND) their next president, enabling him to comfortably clear the threshold required to avert a run-off.

Hakainde Hichilema, Zambian opposition leader, waves to his supporters while wearing a mask.

August 12, 2021

Ethiopia
Ethiopia Plunges Deeper Into Conflict

Nine months after fighting erupted in the northern region of Tigray, Ethiopia is going from bad to worse. The conflict has expanded geographically to Afar and Amhara, regions outside of Tigray’s borders, drawing in new combatants as the federal government mobilizes ethnic militia forces from around the country and calls upon “all capable Ethiopians of age” to take up arms and fight.

A rusted tank sits in a rocky area next to a road.

July 29, 2021

Zambia
Warning Signs Appear Ahead of Zambian Elections

The stage being set for next month’s Zambian elections looks worryingly like a case study in ongoing democratic decline. Polls slated for August 12 will elect the country’s next president and members of its National Assembly. They will feature a tight contest between incumbent Edgar Lungu and his ruling Patriotic Front versus opposition stalwart Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development.

Zambia President Edgar Lungu stands looking towards a crowd at a meeting of the African Union.

July 22, 2021

Ethiopia
Risks Grow as Tigray Conflict Enters New Phase

When Ethiopian federal forces declared a unilateral ceasefire at the end of June and Tigrayan fighters retook control of the regional capital, Mekelle, it did not signal the end of the crisis, but rather a pivot to a new phase.

Two soldiers stand on a bridge with assault rifles. Their reflections can be seen in water in front of them.

July 20, 2021

Democratic Republic of Congo
Political Uncertainty in DRC Highlights Need for Sustained Outside Attention

Back in 2019, the international community acquiesced to undemocratic dealmaking that preempted the will of Congolese voters and brought current President Felix Tshisekedi to power. President Tshisekedi, who has been extremely clear about his intention to seek a second term, has been more ambiguous about whether elections slated for December 2023 will occur on time.

Current President of the Democratic Republic of Congo Felix Tshisekedi and his predecessor Joseph Kabila sit on plush orange seats while wearing suits in apparent conversation.

April 14, 2021

Somalia
Somalia's Political Crisis Demands Sustained Attention

The lower house of Somalia’s parliament has voted to postpone national elections, which have already been delayed by months, by an additional two years, leaving themselves and President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, known as Farmaajo, in place in the interim

A picture of Somali lawmakers with their hands raised, and one with her left thumb up, as they sit in the lower house of parliament.