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March 27, 2020

South Korea
Unmasking Differing U.S. and South Korean Approaches to COVID-19

Policies governing face masks and other protective equipment access have revealed the high political stakes of government responses to the crisis in an election year in both countries.

Medical staff in protective gear work at a 'drive-thru' testing center for COVID-19 in Yeungnam University Medical Center in Daegu, South Korea, on March 3, 2020.

January 7, 2020

Iran
Death of Iranian General Soleimani Provokes Muted Reaction in Africa’s Giants

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.

Women hold pictures of Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, who was killed in an air strike at Baghdad airport, during a funeral procession and burial at his hometown in Kerman, Iran, on January 7, 2020.

January 24, 2020

Nigeria
Facing Rising Insecurity, Southwest Governors in Nigeria Launch Policing Initiative

In southwest Nigeria (Yorubaland), the location of Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos, there has been a dramatic upsurge in kidnapping, house invasions, and robbery. On January 9, the governors of the six states in the region announced the establishment of Operation Amotekun (“leopard” in the Yoruba language).

Three armed police officers stand in front of the Novare Shoprite Mall in Lekki, near Lagos, Nigeria, after it was looted, on September 3, 2019.

March 11, 2020

South Korea
Long-Term Impacts of Coronavirus in South Korea

Despite South Korea’s high capacity for response, COVID-19's spread may incite human, economic, and political disasters

A woman wearing a mask to prevent contracting the coronavirus reacts as employees from a disinfection service company sanitize a traditional market in Seoul, South Korea, on February 26, 2020.

March 6, 2020

North Korea
North Korea’s Coronavirus Quarantine: More Effective Than Sanctions

Coronavirus will likely be far more effective than sanctions in inducing internal changes in North Korea.

Volunteers carry out disinfection work during an anti-virus campaign in Pyongyang, North Korea in this image released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on March 4, 2020.

February 28, 2020

South Korea
The Real Obstacles to the Return of Tourists to North Korea’s Mount Kumgang

Has the time come for South Korean tourists to return to Mount Kumgang?

An employee enters a room at a hotel in Mount Kumgang resort in Kumgang, North Korea, on September 1, 2011.

November 21, 2019

Nigeria
Abacha, Abiola, and Nigeria’s 1999 Transition to Civilian Rule

The 1999 transition of Nigeria from military to civilian, democratic government, is a defining moment in Nigerian history, representing the beginning of the longest, uninterrupted government since independence in 1960. But what exactly transpired during the period of transition, which began in earnest with the death of military dictator Sani Abacha in1998, is not entirely clear. Max Siollun, in a fascinating study of the period, Nigeria’s Soldiers of Fortune, has done us a service by illuminating some of the behind-the-scenes machinations of that period, and putting to bed some of the rumors that passed for history.

A supporter of Chief Mashood Abiola holds up a newpaper during a demonstration outside the family home July 10 to protest about the suspicious nature of his death.

March 17, 2020

Coronavirus
Coronavirus Crises Loom in Africa as Cases Spread

The Associated Press reported on Monday that thirty of fifty-four countries in Africa have reported the presence of COVID-19, and the list is likely incomplete. The virus had been slower to appear in Africa than in most other regions of the world. As elsewhere, the coronavirus was usually introduced by travelers from other continents, notably Europe. All of South Africa’s sixty-two cases, as of Monday, were from abroad, according to the health ministry.

A worker wearing tan clothes and a blue medical mask walks outside the coronavirus isolation facility at the Mbagathi Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, on March 15, 2020.

November 13, 2019

Nigeria
Nigerian Police Use Live Ammunition Against Peaceful Demonstrators

Nigerian media is reporting that on November 12, the Nigerian police fired live bullets to disperse those protesting the continued imprisonment of Nigerian journalist Omeyele Sowore. The media descri…

Protestors facing police hold signs that read "DSS Obey The Court," and other things.

December 23, 2014

China
Where to Look for the Next Jack Ma?

Where to look for the next Jack Ma? This is a trillion dollar question. According to a document released by the State Council (China’s cabinet) last October, by 2020 the size of China’s health servic…

Jack.Ma