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September 4, 2019

Terrorism and Counterterrorism
Coastal West Africa Now Facing Islamist Extremist Threat

West Africa is facing a growing threat from Islamist extremist groups. Many of these groups originated in Mali but have since spilled over its borders, with jihadis establishing themselves in the north and east of Burkina Faso. The country has become a desirable haven for many groups because of the security vacuum that has defined the country following the deposition of longtime strongman Blaise Compaore.

Silhouetted palm trees and woman carrying merchandise on her head on beach at sunset, Gulf of Guinea, Lome, Togo, West Africa.

July 11, 2019

West Africa
West African Governments Lack Commitment to Reduce Soaring Inequality

Oxfam and Development Finance International (DFI) have developed the Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index (CRI). The index ranks 157 countries by their commitment to reducing inequality through increased spending on health and education, taxing the rich more than the poor, and paying a living wage.

A slum with a bridge, electric transmission lines, and a high-rises in the background.

July 9, 2019

Zimbabwe
Wildlife Conservation in Africa, Outrage in the West, and Cecil the Lion

Four years ago, on July 2, 2015, a Minneapolis Dentists killed a well-known Lion, Cecil, in a Zimbabwe trophy hunt with a bow and arrow. Cecil was something of a star in the developed world.

A man dressed as Cecil the Lion on a subway platform in New York.

May 24, 2019

Islamic State
Where Exactly is the Islamic State in West Africa?

The Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) claimed a May 16 attack near Tongo Tongo, Niger, killing more than 20 soldiers not far from the Malian border. In March it issued a photo of its members in Burkina Faso and in April it claimed an attack on a militia in Mali. But, it is not clear that the ISWA group based primarily in Nigeria is behind those attacks. 

Cameroon-Boko-Haram-Islamic-State-Terrorism-West-Africa

October 18, 2019

West Africa
Worrying Trends in Côte d'Ivoire

Several successive years of being one of the world’s fastest-growing economies have made Côte d'Ivoire a darling of investors bullish about Africa. But the country’s strong economic performance has not been matched by political progress in overcoming the divides that drove the country into civil war twice in the last twenty years. With elections scheduled for 2020, many of the same antagonists that featured in those earlier conflicts are jockeying for position, giving observers and citizens an unwelcome sense of déjà vu.

Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara of the Rally of the Houphouetists for Democracy and Peace (RHDP) party talks after casting his vote at a polling station during a presidential election in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire on October 25, 2015

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

October 9, 2019

Ukraine
The President's Inbox: Stephen Sestanovich on Ukraine

The latest episode of The President’s Inbox is live. I sat down with Steve Sestanovich, CFR’s senior fellow for Eurasian and Russian studies and the former U.S. ambassador-at-large for the former Sov…

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks with President Trump at the United Nations General Assembly on September 25.

October 4, 2019

Ukraine
Is Russia Winning the Ukraine Scandal?

U.S. military and economic support for Ukraine has so far weathered the widening impeachment inquiry into President Trump’s contacts with Kyiv. This backing could strengthen Ukraine in the next round…

October 1, 2019

Nigeria
Hundreds of Men and Boys Rescued From Purported Almajiri in Nigeria

The Nigerian police recently rescued some three hundred men and boys, many of them chained, from a purported Islamic school in Kaduna, according to Reuters. Some of the victims said that their parents had brought them to the building thinking it was an Islamic school in the almajiri tradition, but there is apparently no indication that the building ever was, in fact, a school.

Boys and girls protest and look at the camera in Kaduna, Nigeria.

September 30, 2019

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: September 21–27

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from September 21 to 27, 2019.

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