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January 8, 2020

Nigeria
The Islamic State Executes Eleven Over Christmas in Nigeria

Members of the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA), a faction of Boko Haram, recently executed eleven hostages on camera. The video, released to a Nigerian Journalist on December 26, alleged that all the hostages executed were Christians, and that their murders were in retaliation for the killing of Abubakar al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, by U.S. forces in October. It is ISWA that has identified them as Christians, but the identities of the eleven murdered have not been released.

A bearded man with Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's appearance speaks in this screen grab taken from video released on April 29, 2019.

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 6, 2020

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: December 28–January 3

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from December 28, 2019, to January 3, 2020.

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

January 6, 2020

Iran
Does the U.S. Strike on Soleimani Break Legal Norms?

The Trump administration’s killing of an Iranian military commander in Iraq raises questions about its legality under domestic and international law.

January 3, 2020

Cameroon
Lessons From the Past on Cameroon’s Crisis

The violent conflict in Cameroon, still rarely discussed in Washington, is becoming increasingly dire. Both President Paul Biya’s Francophone regime in Yaounde and the Anglophone separatists in the southwest region are accused of brutal human rights abuses, including the burning of villages, attacks on schools, and the killing of men, women, and children. Despite mediation attempts by the Swiss government and sanctions by the Trump administration, there are no signs of any progress towards a negotiated settlement. 

A sign saying " Speak English or French for a bilingual Cameroon" outside a now abandoned school in rural southwest Cameroon, on May 22, 2019.

January 1, 2020

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker

The Council on Foreign Relations's Nigeria Security Tracker is an effort to catalog and map political violence based on a weekly survey of Nigerian and international press. The data presented includes violent incidents related to political, economic, and social grievances directed at the state or other affiliative groups (or conversely the state employing violence to respond to those incidents.)

December 30, 2019

Global
Ten American Foreign Policy Notables Who Died in 2019

Year’s end is a time for taking stock, counting successes, and assessing failures. It is also time for remembering those who are no longer with us. Here are ten Americans who died in 2019 who through…

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December 30, 2019

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: December 21–27

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from December 21 to 27, 2019.

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

December 27, 2019

Rwanda
Swift Response to Open Letter Alleging Gender-Based Corruption in Rwandan Cycling

Neil Edwards is the volunteer intern for CFR's Africa Program in Washington, DC. He is a master's candidate at the School of International Service at American University and a returned Peace Corps Rw…

Samuel Mugisha of Team Rwanda competes during the Tour du Rwanda 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda, on August 12, 2018.

December 26, 2019

West Africa
Envoy for West Africa and the Sahel Delivers Grim Message to UNSC

On Monday, December 16, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, special representative and head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) delivered a grim message to the UN Security Council. He characterized West Africa as “shaken by unprecedented violence,” involving terrorism, organized crime, and intercommunal violence.

Mohammed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel, briefs the Security Council on West Africa, on January 10, 2019, in New York.