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April 12, 2021

Middle East and North Africa
What Is U.S. Policy on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?

The United States has long tried to negotiate a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but several factors, including deep divisions between and within the parties and declining U.S. interes…

A Palestinian uses a ladder to climb over the wall separating the Israeli and Palestinian sides of the West Bank.

April 7, 2021

Nigeria
Attacks Against Security Facilities Accelerate in Former Biafra

On April 5, gunmen attacked a prison in Owerri, Nigeria, freeing 1,844 inmates. (Owerri, the capital of Imo State, is a major trading center with more than one million residents.) On April 6, “bandits” stormed a police station in Ehime Mbano, also in Imo.

A picture of a prison with walls covered in ash and a torched car outside.

March 31, 2021

Ivory Coast
Concern Grows About Jihadi Activity in Ivory Coast

In the early hours of March 29, an estimated sixty gunmen attacked two small military installations in Kafolo and Kolobougou, both located in Ivory Coast on the border with Burkina Faso.

Two soldiers are seen from the rear saluting a coffin of a soldier, with the Ivory Coast flag draped over top, being carried by several members of Ivory Coast's military.

March 16, 2021

Middle East and North Africa
The Hard Edge of the Pope’s Moral Power

The pontiff’s Middle Eastern diplomacy may seem superficial, but it could make a huge practical impact.

February 25, 2021

Aging, Youth Bulges, and Population
Nigeria's Vice President Speaks Plainly on Population and Food

Nigeria's vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, addressed on February 23 a UN Food Systems Summit organized by the Nigerian government in Abuja, the national capital. He was blunt about the link between population growth and food insecurity.

A crowded market in Lagos, Nigeria's largest city.

February 11, 2021

Women and Women's Rights
Why Ending FGM Advances U.S. Interests

This guest post was authored by Maryum Saifee, a U.S. Department of State foreign service officer and alumna of the Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship program. Ms. Saifee i…

Dawoodi Bohra women walk past a construction site.

February 5, 2021

Nigeria
Ethnic and Religious Violence Worsen in Kaduna

Kaduna is increasingly the epicenter of violence in Nigeria, rivaling Borno state, the home turf of Boko Haram. In rural areas, conflicts over water and land use are escalating, and Ansaru, a less prominent Islamist group, is active.

A picture of the Sultan Bello mosque, also known as the Kaduna Central mosque, in Kaduna, Nigeria.

February 2, 2021

Religion
The Pervasive Influence of Nigeria's Religious Leaders

Nigerians like to say that they are the world's happiest people and the most religious. The basis of their happiness, they go on to say in the face of poor well-being statistics (such as one of the highest levels of maternal mortality), is religion.

Several Muslim worshippers are seen from from behind sitting on the floor inside a mosque. They are socially distanced, as suggested by health protocols for COVID-19. Most are wearing Islamic dress.

February 2, 2021

Nigeria
Nigerian President Buhari Shuffles Military Service Chiefs

President Buhari's January 26 announcement that he has fired all four of his military service chiefs will be welcomed by his critics. His new appointments appear to be of high quality in terms of official announcements about their background.

Major General Leo Irabor, then-commander of the Nigerian military's operation against Islamist insurgency Boko Haram, is seated while speaking to the media. He is wearing camouflage, military fatigues with a hat. A flag is on a flagpole over his right shoulder.

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.