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April 4, 2019

Nigeria
Former Director General of Nigeria’s National Intelligence Agency Arrested

On February 7,  the Federal High Court in Lagos issued a warrant for the arrest of Ayodele Oke, former director general of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), and his wife Folasade following an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Just before they were due to appear in court, they apparently left the country for "medical treatment," and the Nigeria media is not reporting where they are now. The EFCC has declared the couple wanted after their failure to respond to a court summons. 

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June 14, 2019

Nigeria
Distinguished Nigerian Ambassador Elected President of UNGA

On June 4, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) elected Ambassador Tijani Muhammad-Bande its president for the 2019–2020 term. The presidency rotates between representatives of the five regional groups in …

Nigeria-UNGA-President-Bande

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

May 31, 2019

Nigeria
Nigerian President Buhari’s Lack of Wealth Matters Little

Part of the basis of Muhammadu Buhari’s street popularity is his modest style of living, at least compared to other members of Nigeria’s elite. As is required by law, in May 2019, President Buhari submitted his asset declaration to the Code of Conduct Bureau. According to Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, there was no significant change in President Buhari’s assets since he last submitted a declaration following his 2015 election as president.

Nigeria-Buhari-Inauguration-2019

May 30, 2019

South Africa
Ramaphosa Inaugurated in South Africa, U.S. Sends Delegation

At a rugby stadium in Pretoria on May 25, Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in as South Africa’s fourth democratically elected president since 1994. The U.S. presidential delegation to the inauguration was headed by Kimberly A. Reed, the president of the Export-Import Bank.

South-Africa-Ramaphosa-Inauguration-Pretoria

June 13, 2019

Boko Haram
New Audio Offers Potential Window Into ISWA Decision-Making

Abdulbasit Kassim, leading Boko Haram scholar, recently discovered a thirty-eight-minute recording of a purported Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) communique. I translated it from the original Kanuri. It provides a particular version and explanation of ISWA's immediate history, and sheds light on why the group executed Mamman Nur, one of the Boko Haram’s founding fathers and an influential ideologue, its internal decision-making, and ISWA’s relationship with the Islamic State (IS). It is not clear, however, the extent to which what is described in the audio is true to what actually happened. 

Islamic-State-Al-Baghdadi-West-Africa-ISWA

June 12, 2019

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: June 1–7

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from June 1 to 7, 2019.

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

June 10, 2019

Trade
African Continental Free Trade Area: A New Horizon For Trade in Africa

Kanzanira Thorington is a research associate with the digital and cyberspace policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations. On May 30, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) of…

A worker is seen at a Highveld Steel plant in Middleburg, South Africa June 6, 2017.

May 15, 2019

Burkina Faso
French Forces Free Hostages in Burkina Faso With U.S. Help

President Emmanuel Macron of France announced on May 10 that French military forces rescued four hostages in Burkina Faso held by Islamist militants. Two were French, one was American, and one was South Korean. No authorities have released freed hostage names, citing privacy considerations. However, the operation cost the lives of two French soldiers, the names of whom have been made public.

France-Macron-Military-Burkina-Faso-Hostage

June 7, 2019

Nigeria
Difficulties Continue for Nigerian Journalists Covering Government

At the end of May, new rules were introduced, to take effect on June 11, that would have severely limited the press’s access to the National Assembly. According to the Nigerian Guild of Editors, the rules are “primitive, undemocratic, and blatantly anti-press and anti-people.” Happily, the proposed rules seem to have been withdrawn, however coverage of the swearing-in of members of the National Assembly will still be unusually restricted.

Nigeria-National-Assembly-Press