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May 13, 2021

Global
The President's Inbox Episodes by Topic

The President's Inbox (TPI) has produced more than two hundred episodes since it debuted in November 2016. The topics covered have ranged from Afghanistan to China to human rights to Russia to the ro…

Resolute desk

May 13, 2021

Nigeria
Nigeria’s Southern Governors Meet Over Deteriorating Security

In another sign of elite alarm over the deterioration of security in Nigeria, representatives from fifteen of the seventeen southern states—hailing from the South West, South South, and South East geopolitical zones—met virtually on May 4 and again on May 11 for an in-person meeting in Asaba, Delta State to "harmonise their positions."

A picture of Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, governor of Ondo State in Nigeria and chairman of the Southern Nigerian Governors' Forum.

May 12, 2021

Nigeria
Germany to Return Some African Art to Nigeria

The German minister of culture has announced plans to return hundreds of art objects to Nigeria. Their provenance is the Benin Royal Palace—located in Benin City, which is situated in southern Nigeria—looted and destroyed by the British in 1897. Apparently, the objects will be deposited at the Edo Museum of West African Art, under construction in Benin City.

A close-up photo of a Benin Bronze resembling a leopard on display in the Bode-Museum in Berlin, Germany.

May 11, 2021

Mali
French Journalist Kidnapped in the Sahel

In April, Olivier Dubois, an experienced French journalist, was kidnapped in Gao, a Malian city on the Niger River. Though his disappearance was soon known by the Malian and French authorities, and by the non-governmental organization Reporters Without Borders, nobody went public with the crime, ostensibly to facilitate the victim's quick release.

A man watches a video on a tablet showing a French journalist in captivity making a plea for his release.

May 10, 2021

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: May 1–7

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from May 1 to May 7, 2021.

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. Regions of Cameroon, Chad, and Niger that have experienced Boko Haram-related violence are also shaded.

May 6, 2021

Nigeria
Nigeria: Anxiety Over Deteriorating Security Morphing Into Panic

Longtime political heavyweight Bukola Saraki—former governor of Kwara State, former president of the senate, and former chairman of the National Assembly—and Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to seek outside assistance. Senior Advocate of Nigeria Robert Clarke at a Sunday, May 2 Channels Television news show questioned whether Nigeria would survive another six months.

A man sits on the ground in front of a sign that says "We rise now or we all die in Southern Kaduna." Another sign says "The government has failed us."

May 5, 2021

Nigeria
Measuring Boko Haram's Impact on State Security Services

This post analyzes Nigeria Security Tracker (NST) data on state security service casualties as a result of the Boko Haram conflict. The tracker shows deaths of security services in Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria.

Several Nigerien soldiers are seen seated on a truck wearing military gear.

May 4, 2021

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: April 24–30

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from April 24 to April 30, 2021.

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. Regions of Cameroon, Chad, and Niger that have experienced Boko Haram-related violence are also shaded.

May 3, 2021

Nigeria
In a Reversal, Nigeria Wants U.S. Africa Command Headquarters in Africa

On April 27, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, in a virtual meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, requested that the United States move the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) headquarters from Stuttgart, Germany to Africa. The request marks a reversal of official Nigerian opposition—first made public twelve years ago—to AFRICOM plans to move to the continent.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is seen on a television screen speaking during a virtual visit to the U.S. State Department, in which he spoke with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

April 30, 2021

Benin
Benin's Democracy Continues its Downward Spiral

Benin has been something of a poster child for African democracy following its move away from Marxism–Leninism after the collapse of the Soviet Union. But since Patrice Talon was elected in 2016, the president has systematically squeezed the substance out of the democratic and constitutional forms, leaving only a shell.

Benin President Patrice Talon speaks with a group of observers from the African Union; all are wearing masks, while the observers wear vests and the president wears a suit.