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March 13, 2020

Nigeria
Nigerian High Court Orders Release of Detained Former Islamic Ruler

The Federal High court in Abuja has ordered the release from detention of Lamido Sanusi, the former emir of Kano deposed and exiled by the governor of the state of Kano, Abdullahi Ganduje. The decision follows a suit filed by Sanusi in federal court. It remains to be seen whether the judge’s orders will be carried out; the rule of law can be weak in Nigeria, especially when it comes to high-profile political prisoners.

Muhammad Lamid Sanusi II, then the emir of Kano, dress is mostly red robed embroidered with gold and his red turban and veil, rides through a crowd on a dressed camel during the Durbar festival, on the second day of Eid al-Adha celebration in Nigeria's northern city of Kano, on September 2, 2017. An aid holds a heavy red parasol over him as he rides.

March 12, 2020

Coronavirus
African Health Systems Brace for Coronavirus

Though the incidence of the novel coronavirus in Africa has been relatively low, health systems there are still highly vulnerable to an outbreak. One concern is that, were coronavirus to overwhelm Africa’s fragile health infrastructure, many more Africans will die of untreated diseases than from the virus or its complications.

Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, the director general of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) has his temperature checked by a health worker wearing white medical gloves during a diplomatic meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja, Nigeria, on March 12, 2020

March 11, 2020

Coronavirus
Coronavirus Cases in Africa Stay Low For Now

The bad news is that coronavirus is seems to be spreading, if slowly, in Africa, with new cases in Togo and Cameroon and cases in the giants, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Africa. As of March 10, eleven countries in Africa have reported cases. The good news is that the number of cases remains remarkably small, despite the fact that China is Africa’s largest trading partner. The index cases in Africa, however, appear mostly to be travelers from Europe. 

Kenyan nurses wear white protective suits, face masks, goggles, hoods, and blue medical gloves during a demonstration of preparations for any potential coronavirus cases at the Mbagathi Hospital, isolation center for the disease, in Nairobi, Kenya, on March 6, 2020.

March 10, 2020

Nigeria
How to Understand the Dethronement of an Islamic Ruler in Nigeria

On March 9, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano state, through a unanimous vote of the Kano state executive council, dethroned Emir of Kano Lamido Sanusi. Soon after the vote, Sanusi was removed from …

Then-Emir of Kano Lamido Sanusi sits in white clothing with a sheer white vale and white turban, buttressed by a large, ornate, and maroon cushion, flanked by regalia.

March 9, 2020

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: February 29–March 6

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from February 29 to March 6, 2020.

Map of Nigeria shaded in red to reflect Nigeria Security Tracker-documented deaths per state. Borno state, the northeastern-most state, is dark red, while the rest of the country are shades of pink.

March 6, 2020

Election 2020
Campaign Foreign Policy Roundup: Biden Versus Sanders

Each Friday, I look at what the presidential challengers are saying about foreign policy. This week: the Democratic field narrows, and Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders square off.

Presidential candidates Senator Bernie Sanders (L) and former Vice President Joe Biden (R) shake hands at the February 25 Democratic debate.

March 6, 2020

Sub-Saharan Africa
Africa Confronts Falling Oil Prices Amid Coronavirus

The new coronavirus has led to a slowdown in economic activity in China and East Asia more broadly. The global price of oil has now fallen to $53 a barrel. This is beginning to affect the oil-exporting countries of Africa. According to Africa Confidential, three-quarters of Nigeria’s and Angola’s oil production ear-marked for export in April is unsold. Similar deficits are reported from Chad, Republic of Congo, and Gabon.

A man arranges Agip drums at an oil station and depot in Nigeria's capital Abuja, on June 19, 2009.

March 5, 2020

Democratic Republic of Congo
Tentative Victory Against Ebola in Eastern Congo

Officials from Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the last Ebola patient has been discharged from a hospital in Beni. The patient’s discharge follows two weeks in which no new cases of Ebola have been reported. The current Ebola outbreak in the eastern DRC started in August 2018. Some 3,300 fell ill from the virus, and about two-thirds of those succumbed to it.

Semida Masika, the last patient being treated for Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is seen in a sleeveless blue flowery dress, flanked by male health workers and officials, after she was discharged from hospital in Beni, DRC.

March 4, 2020

Nigeria
Nigeria Responds to First Coronavirus Case, Learning From 2014 Ebola Response

The new coronavirus was introduced into Nigeria on February 25, 2020, by an Italian engineer traveling from Milan (a European center of the virus outbreak) via Istanbul to Lagos on Turkish Airlines. Nigeria’s Ebola response in 2014 may be instructive for how it responds to coronavirus today.

Nigeria's Minister of Health Osagie Ehanire briefs the media on the status of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, in Abuja, Nigeria.

March 2, 2020

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: February 22–28

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from February 22 to 28, 2020.

Map of Nigeria shaded in red to reflect Nigeria Security Tracker-documented deaths per state. Borno state, the northeastern-most state, is dark red, while the rest of the country are shades of pink.