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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 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

September 18, 2019

South Africa
Why South Africa's Ramaphosa Is Skipping UNGA

Ramaphosa announced that he will not be going to New York this year for UNGA. South Africa’s delegation will be led by Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor. Ramaphosa says that, instead of attending UNGA, he will focus on a number of crises currently facing the country. He will work on implementing measures against gender-based violence and public violence, which almost certainly refers to the xenophobic attacks on foreigners.

Demonstrators hold signs, one of which reads "Just Want to Feel Safe."

November 12, 2012

Regional Organizations
The Future of Middle East Regionalism: Can an Institutional Desert Bloom?

—Cairo, November 12, 2012 It is a paradox of the modern Middle East that an area so rife with common security, economic, and ecological challenges should be such an institutional desert when it come…

A general view of the Arab League foreign ministers meeting on Syria at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo

September 12, 2019

Iran
Israel Is Doing All the Dirty Work Against Iran

The United States came up with “maximum pressure”—but the Israeli government is the only one carrying it out.

Israeli soldiers charge a mortar shell

September 6, 2019

Zimbabwe
Good Riddance to Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe

During his thirty-seven years in power in Zimbabwe, he committed virtually every human rights violation there is. His hands were awash in the blood of Zimbabweans. Fanning and exploiting racial and class differences, he destroyed the country’s economy, once on the cusp of being one of Africa’s most developed, driving out commercial white farmers. By the time he died, Zimbabwe was an international pariah, an economic basket case, and many or most of the country’s most educated and productive citizens had left the country.

Robert Mugabe stands in front of a blurred out, saluting soldier.

August 27, 2019

South Africa
One More Step in Dismantling Apartheid's Legacy

On August 21, South Africa’s Equality Court ruled that gratuitous displays of the Apartheid-era flag counted as hate speech and discrimination. Confronting history head on, Judge Phineas Mojapelo wrote in his ruling that the flag represents “a vivid symbol of white supremacy and black disenfranchisement and suppression,” and flying it, “besides being racist and discriminatory, demonstrates a clear intention to be hurtful.” 

South Africa's apartheid-era flag flutters in front of three black police officers.

April 21, 2011

Gender
Empowering Women Globally

Alyse Nelson, Co-Founder and CEO of Vital Voices, discusses the organization’s work to empower women around the world with Isobel Coleman, Director of CFR’s Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Init…

May 1, 2018

South Africa
Winnie's Death Reignites Criticism of Nelson Mandela’s Legacy

In the wake of Winnie’s death, commentators on the left and advocates for black power are now openly challenging the compromise made by Nelson Mandela because of the persistence of gross inequality and poverty largely defined by race.

South-Africa-Winnie-Mandela-Nelson-Legacy

December 16, 2013

China
Nelson Mandela: A Communist?

Bill Keller’s recent New York Times article entitled "Nelson Mandela, Communist" appeared on December 8. Based on research undertaken by the British historian Stephen Ellis in 2011, Keller accepts El…

People wait in a bus line to pay their respects to former South African President Nelson Mandela in Pretoria December 13, 2013.