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September 25, 2018

Nigeria
Boko Haram Leader Shekau's Book Helps Explain Factional Rifts

In June 2018, the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) leader, Abu Mus’ab al-Barnawi, released a history of his jihadist movement. In 2017, the Ansaru leader, under the pseudonym Abu Usama al-Ansari, also released his own history, while Abubakar Shekau released a book in the name of the Boko Haram faction he currently leads.

Nigeria-Boko-Haram-Abubakar-Shekau

February 13, 2018

South Africa
Jacob Zuma’s Undoing

The scandal-plagued leader’s removal could set the party of Nelson Mandela on a path toward reestablishing South Africa as a role model for the rest of the continent.

South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa (left) and President Jacob Zuma stand at the opening of Parliament in Cape Town.

February 15, 2018

South Africa
Finally, Jacob Zuma Resigns as President of South Africa

The governing African National Congress (ANC) and its large parliamentary majority moved quickly to elect deputy president and current party leader Cyril Ramaphosa to state presidency.

South-Africa-Zuma-Resigns-ANC

February 14, 2018

South Africa
The Painful Exit of South Africa’s Jacob Zuma

Zuma is not out yet, but he will be by February 15. Today, Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete moved the motion of no confidence originally scheduled for February 22 to Thursday, February 15.

South-Africa-Zuma-No-Confidence

August 23, 2018

South Africa
President Trump Gets South African Land Reform Wrong

President Trump tweeted on August 22 that he has directed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to “closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures” and the “large scale killing of farmers.” In his tweet, the president quoted Fox News host Tucker Carlson that “South African government is now seizing land from white farmers.”

South-Africa-Trump-Tweet-President-Land-Reform

August 9, 2018

Nigeria
Boko Haram Faction Releases Book on History and Ideology

The book likely represents the public views of one of Yusuf’s sons and the current ISWAP leader, Abu Musab al-Barnawi, who became very close to Abubakar Shekau after the former’s father was killed in 2009.

Nigeria-Boko-Haram-Damasak-Mosque

July 26, 2018

Nigeria
Up-Armored SVBIEDs Make Their Way to Nigeria

They are used to carry out suicide attacks on Nigerian troops in the bush during battles. Up-armored SVBIEDs are not like car bombs, which are designed to avoid detection in urban environments. Rather, up-armored SVBIEDs appear obviously to be weaponized, but in the bush they still have some camouflage.

Up-Armored-SVBIEDs-ISIS-Iraq

July 17, 2018

South Africa
Mandela’s Centenary Is Marked by the Rise of Close Friend Ramaphosa

Cyril Ramaphosa, president of South Africa since January, was a close colleague of Nelson Mandela and regularly associates himself with the Mandela legacy and seeks to restore the late president’s values as South Africa’s lodestar.

South-Africa-Ramaphosa-Mandela-De-Klerk

March 31, 2017

South Africa
Jacob Zuma’s Cabinet Reshuffle Bad News for South Africa

As part of a wide-ranging cabinet reshuffle, President Jacob Zuma has fired highly respected Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, along with other long-time stalwarts of the…

Zuma Cabinet Reshuffle

June 28, 2018

South Africa
Modernity and Tradition Clash in South African Reed Dance

The clash between the modern and the traditional is illustrated by the “reed dance.” Performed by “maidens” in the semi-nude, it is widespread among the Ndebele people, including Xhosas and Zulus, in southern Africa. It is perhaps best known in Swaziland, where the king chooses a new wife every year following the annual reed dance.

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