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January 10, 2019

Ethiopia
David Pilling's African Year in Review

He recalls the popular challenge now underway against Omar al-Bashir’s rule in Sudan; the deaths of Kofi Annan, the first African secretary General of UN, and Winnie Mandela, a flawed leader of the South African liberation movement; the highly positive emergence of the reform-minded Abiy Ahmed, the Ethiopian prime minister; and the international attention to Congolese surgeon Denis Mukwege, who won a Nobel Peace prize for his work with rape victims.

Ethiopia-Eritrea-Abiy-Afwerki-Peace

January 24, 2020

Myanmar
Why the ICJ Is Trying to Protect Myanmar’s Rohingya

The International Court of Justice issued an important decision aimed at protecting Myanmar’s persecuted Rohingya minority, but its impact is unclear.

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi listens as Gambian Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou speaks at a hearing at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands.

January 21, 2020

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: January 11–17

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from January 11 to 17, 2020.

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

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.

January 23, 2020

Nigeria
Borno State Increasingly Isolated as Boko Haram Threatens Roads

Over the last couple of weeks, Boko Haram has increased attacks on the road from Maiduguri to Kano, the only remaining safe highway of the six major roads that connect Maiduguri with the rest of the state and country, according to Nigeria media. A major report on the increasing isolation of Maiduguri closely follows Boko Haram attacks on transmission lines supplying the city with electricity. Destroyed bridges and frequent attacks on travelers have cut off not only Maiduguri residents, but many other residents of Borno state from accessing or travelling to Borno’s neighboring states.

The city gate of Maiduguri along Bulumkutu road, on July 26, 2019, in Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria.

January 22, 2020

Nigeria
Boko Haram Cuts Electricity to Maiduguri in Northern Nigeria

On January 20, the electric company serving Maiduguri, capital of Borno state, publicly stated that Boko Harm attacks on transmission lines and infrastructure had cut electricity service to the city on January 17, removing Maiduguri from the national grid. The electric company had promised to restore power soon.

A Boko Haram flag flies on transmission lines in Damasak, Borno, Nigeria, on March 24, 2015.

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 24, 2020

Nigeria
Facing Rising Insecurity, Southwest Governors in Nigeria Launch Policing Initiative

In southwest Nigeria (Yorubaland), the location of Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos, there has been a dramatic upsurge in kidnapping, house invasions, and robbery. On January 9, the governors of the six states in the region announced the establishment of Operation Amotekun (“leopard” in the Yoruba language).

Three armed police officers stand in front of the Novare Shoprite Mall in Lekki, near Lagos, Nigeria, after it was looted, on September 3, 2019.

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.