August 20, 2020Mali
Despite the crowd’s jubilation in Bamako, the arrest of President Ibrahim B. Keita, Prime Minister Boubou Cisse, and other government officials seems unlikely to result in fundamental change in Mali.
August 12, 2020Boko Haram
Nigerian Major General Ibrahim Manu Yusuf, commander of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MJTF) fighting the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency in the Lake Chad Basin, announced that 109 Boko Haram fighters and their prisoners had defected in Cameroon.
April 10, 2020Nigeria
While at prayer on April 13, 2007, the prominent Salafi scholar, Shaikh Jaafar Mahmud Adam, was assassinated at his mosque in Kano. At the time, the murder made a deep impression on mainstream Muslims, many of whom revered Adam. The murder took place in the final days before the 2007 presidential elections, and many observers, including those at the U.S. embassy, thought that the murder was somehow related. But it now seems more likely that Adam was assassinated by a vengeful former member of the Nigerian Taliban. His murder was an early manifestation of the deadly battles among Boko Haram’s competing factions that continue up to the present.
March 18, 2020Nigeria
On February 19, 2020, Senator Ibrahim Gaidam, the former governor of Yobe State, introduced legislation to create the National Agency for Deradicalization, Rehabilitation, and Reintegration of Repentant Insurgents. Gaidam represents Yobe state, which borders Borno and has been affected by the insurgency. The bill’s purpose is to rehabilitate Boko Haram defectors and prevent violent extremism in Nigeria.
January 7, 2020Iran
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.
December 18, 2019Nigeria
In the immediate aftermath of the State Security Service’s invasion of an Abuja court room and its re-arrest of Nigerian journalist Omoyele Sowore, the Lagos daily newspaper the Punch announced that it will prefix President Muhammadu Buhari’s name with his military rank, Major General, and will refer to his administration as a “regime,” until “they purge themselves of their insufferable contempt for the rule of law.”
November 14, 2019Mali
In response to the proliferation of ostensibly jihadist groups in the Sahel, governments have deployed more than 20,000 international and local troops, comprising 4,500 French soldieries, 13,000 UN peacekeepers, and about 5,000 troops connected to the G5 Sahel—an initiative godfathered by France and including Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. But terror groups have endured and grown more deadly.