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January 7, 2020

Iran
Death of Iranian General Soleimani Provokes Muted Reaction in Africa’s Giants

Nigeria and South Africa are the giants of Africa, with the two largest economies on the continent.  Both have had long-term relationships with Iran, though South Africa’s has been the closer. Thus far, the official reaction to Soleimani’s death from Nigeria and South Africa has been muted or non-existent, reflecting caution. Though the Nigerian inspector general of police has put his forces on “red alert,” likely fearing action by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) or other alleged Iranian proxies, there has been no apparent word from the government. In South Africa, the fiercest reaction came from the African National Congress (ANC), while Naledi Pandor, the South African foreign minister, called for calm.

Women hold pictures of Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, who was killed in an air strike at Baghdad airport, during a funeral procession and burial at his hometown in Kerman, Iran, on January 7, 2020.

October 1, 2019

Australia
The President's Inbox: Charles Edel and John Lee on the U.S.-Australia Alliance

The newest episode of The President’s Inbox is live. I sat down with Charles Edel and John Lee, fellows at the University of Sydney’s United States Studies Centre, to talk about the future of the U.S…

Australia touts its history with the United States outside its embassy in Washington, D.C.

January 6, 2020

Iran
Does the U.S. Strike on Soleimani Break Legal Norms?

The Trump administration’s killing of an Iranian military commander in Iraq raises questions about its legality under domestic and international law.

July 29, 2019

Election 2020
Meet John Hickenlooper, Democratic Presidential Candidate

Political strategists often ask whether a presidential candidate is someone a voter would want to have a beer with. In the case of former Governor of Colorado John Hickenlooper, they have a candidate…

John Hickenlooper

January 15, 2020

Gambia
President Barrow’s Broken Promise Threatens Gambia’s Post-Jammeh Future

The Gambia has found itself on the brink of a new political crisis, just three years after the dramatic fall of longtime strongman Yahya Jammeh. Protestors filled the streets of the capital Banjul last month, demanding President Adama Barrow’s resignation after three years in office.  Earlier this year, Barrow began to lay the groundwork for extending his tenure in office. In late December, Barrow formed a new political party, the National Peoples Party, which would allow him to contest next year's presidential election. 

Gambia's President Adama Barrow sits in the chair reserved for heads of state before delivering his address during the seventy-third session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, September 25, 2018.

January 14, 2020

France
France and G5 Sahel Recommit Themselves as U.S. Mulls Drawdown

President Emmanuel Macron of France hosted a summit in Pau, southwestern France, with the heads of state of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauretania, and Niger. The purpose of the summit was to improve military coordination against insurgents with a particular focus on the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) and al-Qaeda affiliate Jama'at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM). Macron also sought, and received from the African chiefs of state, an endorsement of France’s continued presence in the region. He, in turn, pledged a small increase in the number of French soldiers to be deployed there. 

France's President Emmanuel Macron with the G5 Sahel heads of state deliver a news conference as part of the G5 Sahel summit on the situation in the Sahel region in Pau, France January 13, 2020

January 13, 2020

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: January 4–10

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from January 4 to 10, 2020.

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

January 16, 2020

Nigeria
Motorists Killed and Kidnapped on Nigerian Highway

Nigerian media, quoting sources in the security services, reports that up to thirty people were killed and possibly one hundred kidnapped on the night of January 14 in a single incident on the Kaduna-Zaria highway in Kaduna state. The perpetrators were dressed in military uniforms. Among the wounded was the emir of Potiskum. 

A man rides his motorbike along Gombe Numan highway in Gombe state, on November 29, 2013.

January 15, 2020

Nigeria
Nigeria’s Slide Toward Authoritarianism

The recent unlawful detention of a journalist and politician is the latest in a series of moves by Muhammadu Buhari’s administration that weaken the rule of law.

January 9, 2020

West Africa
Jihadi Violence and Terror Surging in West Africa

In a follow up to his remarks in December, Mohamed Iban, Chambas, the UN special representative sand head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) sounded the alarm on growing militant and jihadi violence. In his January 8 briefing to the UN Security Council, he said the “devastating surge” in terrorism has “shaken public confidence.” He focused on Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, where casualties from terrorism have increased fivefold since 2016, with 4,000 deaths in 2019 compared to 770 in 2016.

Mohammed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel, briefs the Security Council on West Africa, on January 10, 2019, in New York.