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June 10, 2022

United States
Bored Apes Play to Type, This Time Online

The connection between the rise of social media and the decline of American politics and society seems obvious. But what if what everybody knows is wrong? 

Man uses tablet computer while standing in front of video screen with Facebook and Twitter logos in this picture illustration taken in Sarajevo

May 31, 2022

Nigeria
Elite Compact Thrown Into Doubt as Atiku Abubakar’s Emergence Blows Nigerian Presidential Race Wide Open

The outcome of party presidential primaries appears to signal the end of post-military elite political consensus. 

Nigerian Presidential Candidate Atiku Abubakar gives an impassioned speech while gesturing

May 26, 2022

Nigeria
Reaction to “Blasphemy” Killing Illustrates Complicated Role of Religion in Nigeria’s Democratic Transition

Horrendous killing of college sophomore highlights the country’s ethnoreligious fault line, but interdenominational rivalry in the south is of no less moment. All in all, reactions to the murder of Ms. Deborah Yakubu, a 200-level home economics student of the Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto, have exposed Nigeria’s deepest political fractures and lingering questions over citizenship, national identity, and secularity. On May 12, following disagreement over a WhatsApp voice note deemed to have been blasphemous against Islam and Prophet Muhammad, a mob comprising some of the twenty-two-year-old’s schoolmates brutally clubbed and stoned her to death, after which they proceeded to incinerate her body.

Pastor lectures with a microphone and gestures with his arm wearing a formal attire.

April 18, 2022

Nigeria
State Pardon for Former Governors Puts Nigeria’s Anticorruption Drive in Jeopardy

The unexpected pardon last week of two leading politicians convicted earlier on charges of corruption has brought renewed focus on Nigeria’s flailing anticorruption drive. Following a meeting of the country’s Council of State, Joshua Dariye and Jolly Nyame, governors respectively of the central and northeastern states of Plateau and Taraba from 1997 to 2007 were pardoned along with 157 other convicts.

Military personnel walks in front of a sign that reads "corruption kills."

April 11, 2022

Nigeria
Nigeria’s Deepening Security Crisis Exposes Growing Reliance on Nonstate Actors

A rare positive note as Nigeria spirals into a state of lawlessness is the unintended return to the front burner of longstanding issues around governance at the subnational level. Until now, such issues have bubbled under the surface, receiving fleeting attention only when the country’s perennial crisis threatens to boil over, only to subside as soon as a temporary fix is found. Penultimate week, after still unidentified assailants opened fire on an Abuja-Kaduna train, killing eight passengers and kidnapping tens of others for ransom, Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai, emerging from a private meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, threatened to do whatever it takes to protect lives and property across the state, including “importing mercenaries from outside the country to do it.”

Nigerian police officer sitting down being interviewed wearing police outfit.

March 31, 2022

Nigeria
Nigerian Democracy in Peril as Country Descends Into Lawlessness

On Monday March 28, 2022, some gunmen launched a deadly attack on a Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) Abuja-Kaduna evening train carrying an estimated 398 passengers. After detonating explosives on the track (and possibly inside the train according to conflicting reports in the local media), the gunmen surrounded the immobilized train and started discharging their firearms into the carriages. It took at least an hour before a detachment of the Nigerian military came to the rescue of the passengers, who had cowered under their seats as the bandits fired incessantly. The incident left at least eight people dead—among them a young medical doctor Chinelo Megafu and Musa Lawal-Ozigi, secretary-general of the country’s Trade Union Congress—and at least another forty-one hospitalized, while the yet unidentified assailants also captured some of the passengers.

Officers walk on the street wearing military attire and police uniforms.

February 21, 2022

United States
TWE Celebrates Presidents’ Day

TWE’s annual essay about the United States’ commanders-in-chief.

The Oval Office arranged for the new President Joe Biden on January 21, 2021.

February 7, 2022

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: January 29–February 4

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from January 29 to February 4, 2022.

Map of Nigeria shaded in red to reflect Nigeria Security Tracker-documented deaths per state. Borno state, the northeastern-most state, is dark red, while the rest of the country are shades of pink. Regions of Cameroon, Chad, and Niger that have experienced Boko Haram-related violence are also shaded.

January 31, 2022

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: January 22–27

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from January 22 to January 27, 2022.

Map of Nigeria shaded in red to reflect Nigeria Security Tracker-documented deaths per state. Borno state, the northeastern-most state, is dark red, while the rest of the country are shades of pink. Regions of Cameroon, Chad, and Niger that have experienced Boko Haram-related violence are also shaded.

December 28, 2021

2021 in Review
Ten American Foreign Policy Notables Who Died in 2021

As 2021 comes to a close, here are ten influential U.S. foreign policy figures who passed away this year. 

American flags surrounding the Washington Monument fly at half-staff as the sun sets behind the U.S. Capitol Building.