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April 16, 2012

Sub-Saharan Africa
Mali Half-way to a Solution?

President Amadou Toure agreed to step down as president, clearing the way for the vice president to become chief of state. The military in turn agreed to the restoration of constitutional government…


June 12, 2013

Sub-Saharan Africa
Mali’s Elections and the Issues of Kidal

France and the United States are leading the push for elections to proceed on schedule in Mali in late July. The urgency reflects the view that elections are crucial to ending the rift in Bamako and …

Soldiers from the Tuareg rebel group MNLA sit in a pickup truck in the northeastern town of Kidal February 4, 2013.

July 29, 2013

Sub-Saharan Africa
Mali’s Elections: Still More Questions Than Answers

Information about Mali’s polling on Sunday, July 28 is coming from western sources–notably Radio France Internationale (RFI), Deutsche Welle (DW), and Voice of America (VOA). As is usual the day afte…

A woman casts her vote during Mali's presidential election in Timbuktu, Mali, July 28, 2013.

December 10, 2013

Politics and Government
Ten Elections to Watch in 2014

Two thousand and thirteen won’t go down in the history books as a banner year for globally significant elections. True, the election of Hassan Rouhani changed the tone in Tehran and possibly opened t…

Voters line up outside a polling booth during the state assembly election last week in New Delhi, India. (Ahmad Masood/Courtesy Reuters)

September 4, 2013

Sub-Saharan Africa
Northern Nigeria and the U.S. Response to Syria

As President Obama and the Congress decide how to respond to the apparent use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime, Alex Thurston has published a sobering post on his Sahel Blog. In his “A Northe…

A youth rides past a bicycle along Anka-Sokoto road in northeastern state of Zamfara August 13, 2013.

January 17, 2014

Defense and Security
You Might Have Missed: NSA Reforms, CIA Drone Strikes, and Benghazi

“Presidential Policy Directive/PPD-28: Signals Intelligence Activities,” White House, January 17, 2014. When the United States collects nonpublicly available signals intelligence in bulk, it shall u…

Obama NSA speech

December 5, 2013

South Africa
Perceived Corruption in South Africa Still High

This is a guest post by Diptesh Soni. Diptesh is a master’s degree candidate at the Columbia University School of International Public Affairs (SIPA) studying economic and political development. You …

Africa - Protests in Cape Town

December 13, 2013

Sub-Saharan Africa
Former Nigerian President Obasanjo’s Letter to President Goodluck Jonathan

Former president Olusegun Obasanjo witheringly criticizes President Goodluck Jonathan’s governance in an eighteen page, ostensibly private, letter that has been leaked to the press. Obasanjo’s catalo…

Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo (R) and the People's Democratic Party's (PDP) vice presidential candidate Goodluck Jonathan (left) speaks during a PDP presidential campaign rally in Ibadan March 8, 2007.

December 26, 2013

Sub-Saharan Africa
No Christmas for South Sudan

The current crisis in South Sudan escalated on December 15, when President Salva Kiir accused his long-time political rival former vice president Riek Machar of attempting a coup. Since then, there h…

(L-R) Ethiopia's Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, South Sudan President Salva Kiir and Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta meet in the capital Juba December 26, 2013.

January 14, 2014

Sub-Saharan Africa
Somalia: A New Prime Minister?

This is a guest post by Alex Dick-Godfrey, program coordinator, Studies administration for the Council on Foreign Relations Studies program.  Last month, with little fanfare, the Somali federal gove…

Somalia's new Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed delivers his speech at the Parliament Building in Mogadishu December 21, 2013.