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July 21, 2021

Nigeria
Jihadis Claim to be Uniting in Northeast Nigeria

Boko Haram, the jihadi insurrection associated with some 350,000 deaths since 2009 in northeast Nigeria, was characterized by factions—conflict among which was bloody—though at times they appear to have cooperated tactically. Now, the faction associated with the self-proclaimed Islamic State, the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA), is claiming to have incorporated the followers of the rival faction led by Abubakar Shekau. (Weeks ago, Shekau died, apparently after committing suicide in a standoff with ISWA.)

A wall that has "Hate Evil" and "Boko Haram is Evil" scrawled on it.

May 24, 2021

Nigeria
Nigerian Terrorist Abubakar Shekau: Dead or Alive—and Does it Matter?

Multiple Nigerian media outlets reported last week that Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has died or been mortally wounded in a confrontation with fighters from the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA), a group that separated from Shekau’s Boko Haram in 2016. The Nigerian government has not confirmed the reports and is investigating. The caution is well-placed: Shekau has been reported dead at least four times since he became the leader of Boko Haram in 2009 following the police killing of founder Mohammed Yusuf.

Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram, stands in front of a brick wall holding a heavy machine gun.

May 24, 2021

Israel
Palestinian Politics After the Gaza Conflict

Can politics replace violence and terror? 

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.

March 19, 2021

Niger
Niger's Mahamadou Issoufou Awarded Mo Ibrahim Prize for Excellence in African Leadership

Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou, set to step down after two terms as president, was last week awarded the Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership.

A picture of Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou speaking before the UN General Assembly.

January 26, 2021

Religion
Nigeria: “A Nation In Search Of Vindication”

Roman Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Matthew Kukah in a Christmas message delivered a blistering critique of Nigeria's governance and political economy. In it he accused President Muhammadu Buhari of nepotism.

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari swears in ministers into his cabinet in Abuja, Nigeria on November 11, 2015. The room is well-lit with a green carpeted floor, with the Nigerian coat of arms surrounded by four pots of flowers. The ministers are standing around the room, while Buhari is seated at the head.

January 22, 2021

Somalia
Somali Stability Depends on More Than Just Counterterrorism

Among the many eleventh hour decisions taken in the final weeks of the Trump administration that will require quick review by President Biden’s team was the choice to withdraw nearly all U.S. military personnel from Somalia.

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo attends his inauguration ceremony in Somalia's capital Mogadishu, February 22, 2017.

January 13, 2021

Radicalization and Extremism
From Separatism to Salafism: Militancy on the Swahili Coast

Nolan Quinn is a research associate for the Council on Foreign Relations’ Africa Program. The revelation that a Kenyan member of al-Shabab was charged with planning a 9/11-style attack on the Unit…

A group of Muslim youth are seen protesting the killing of a radical Kenyan imam, Aboud Rogo Mohammed. Several are wearing Islamic dress while others are wearing everyday clothing.

January 8, 2021

Transition 2021
Transition 2021: A Divisive and Damaging Presidency Nears Its End

Each Friday, I look at what is happening in President-Elect Joe Biden’s transition to the White House. This week: The mob that stormed the Capitol Building this week highlighted how Donald Trump’s pr…

Pro-Trump protestors line the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building waving flags and hanging Trump 2020 banners.

December 11, 2020

Cybersecurity
Week in Review: December 11, 2020

Suspected Russian hackers compromise FireEye tools; Federal Trade Commission and forty-eight states sue Facebook; House passes National Defense Authorization Act; Google and Facebook make progress in…

Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan receives Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the Presidential Airport in Abu Dhabi.