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January 15, 2020

Nigeria
Nigeria’s Slide Toward Authoritarianism

The recent unlawful detention of a journalist and politician is the latest in a series of moves by Muhammadu Buhari’s administration that weaken the rule of 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.

September 13, 2019

United States
John Bolton’s Successor Will Struggle to Satisfy Donald Trump

Diplomacy could well come to occupy center stage for a president who relishes summitry.

Trump_John Bolton

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 9, 2020

West Africa
Jihadi Violence and Terror Surging in West Africa

In a follow up to his remarks in December, Mohamed Iban, Chambas, the UN special representative sand head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) sounded the alarm on growing militant and jihadi violence. In his January 8 briefing to the UN Security Council, he said the “devastating surge” in terrorism has “shaken public confidence.” He focused on Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, where casualties from terrorism have increased fivefold since 2016, with 4,000 deaths in 2019 compared to 770 in 2016.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.