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November 15, 2019

Tanzania
Tanzania, Where Magufuli Is Waging a War on Democracy

During the four year tenure of President Magufuli, the country has move toward full-on authoritarianism. On November 7, a Magistrates Court in Tanzania postponed for the seventh time the case of journalist Erick Kabendera, who has voiced criticism of the country’s president, John Pombe Magufuli. After initially being violently abducted from his home and later investigated over his citizenship status, Mr. Kabendera is now facing a host of economic charges, including “assisting an organized crime racket” and money laundering. 

Tanzanian investigative journalist Erick Kabendera arrives, flanked by security, at the Kisutu Residents Magistrate Court

November 18, 2019

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: November 9–15

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from November 9 to 15, 2019.

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

November 5, 2019

Uganda
How Will China React to Uganda’s Looming Debt Crisis?

Uganda is heading toward a debt crisis. According to a senior official at the Bank of Uganda, unless the country is able to sustain a growth rate of at least 7 percent—which economic projections show Uganda will not do—the country will default on its payments. As is the case for many African countries, China is Uganda’s largest creditor, making up 39 percent of total debt this past fiscal year. If Uganda defaults, it is unclear how China will react.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping flanked by Chinese and Ugandan flags.

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.

November 14, 2019

Mali
Foreign Troops Fighting Jihadists in the Sahel Face Criticism as Terror Grows

In response to the proliferation of ostensibly jihadist groups in the Sahel, governments have deployed more than 20,000 international and local troops, comprising 4,500 French soldieries, 13,000 UN peacekeepers, and about 5,000 troops connected to the G5 Sahel—an initiative godfathered by France and including Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. But terror groups have endured and grown more deadly.  

A French soldier kneels with his weapon while a camel stands in the background in a semi-arid landscape.

November 12, 2019

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: November 2–8

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from November 2 to 8, 2019.

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

November 4, 2019

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: October 26–November 1

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from October 26 to November 1, 2019.

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

November 8, 2019

Nigeria
Middle Class Nigerians Struggle to Afford Housing in Lagos

Housing for professionals working in the modern economy are challenged in most of the world’s mega-cities. Lagos is no exception, as profiled by the BBC. Its reporter estimates that “middle-to-high-income” housing can cost between $5,000 and $40,000 a year. But the practice of paying a year’s worth of rent upfront sets Lagos apart: the BBC’s reporter was asked for between $11,000 and $22,000 for a two-bedroom apartment with electricity in a good Lagos neighborhood, Victoria Island.

Yachts seen docked at the marina in front of housing complex building

November 7, 2019

Nigeria
The Oscars Disqualify Nigeria’s Film Submission Over Language

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has disqualified from competition in the International Feature Film category the Nigerian film “Lionheart” because most of the dialogue is in English. English is the only official language of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. So, “Lion Heart” is incontestably a foreign made film in Nigeria’s only national language.

Genevieve Nnaji, a Nigerian actress, poses in a red suit at the Toronto Film Festival.

November 1, 2019

Nigeria
The UN Should Speak Up About the Unlawful Detention of Journalists in Nigeria

On the same day that President Buhari spoke, his government ignored a court ruling ordering the release on bail of Mr. Omoyele Sowore, the founder of Sahara Reporters, a New York-based online news website that has reportedly extensively on government corruption in Nigeria. In fact, several Nigerian journalists and activists are unlawfully held in detention by the Nigerian government for reporting on widespread corruption and human rights violations. 

Police officers look on as Nigerians living in South Africa hold placards in protest against President Muhammadu Buhari.