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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 26, 2019

United States Presidential Election (2020)
The 2020 Presidential Candidates: In Their Own Words

The Democratic and Republican presidential contenders have begun defining their approach to major foreign policy issues as they jockey for position in their parties’ primaries.

The Presidential Seal

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.

June 24, 2019

Turkey
Istanbul’s Election: What Does Erdogan’s Loss Mean for Turkey?

After his party suffered a humiliating loss in Istanbul, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is down but far from out.

Ekrem Imamoglu, mayoral candidate of Turkey's main opposition party, at a rally in Istanbul.

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 25, 2019

China
President Xi, Still the Deglobalizer in Chief…

Can China generate new friends by strategically opening its markets while…also importing less? (Don't judge China just by changes in its tariffs, the Chinese state has many other policy tools to l…

President Xi, Still the Deglobalizer in Chief…

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

June 3, 2019

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: May 25–31

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from May 25 to 31, 2019.

Nigeria-Boko-Haram-Terrorism-Security-Tracker