September 23, 2019Nigeria
This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from September 14 to 20, 2019.
September 13, 2019Nigeria
Zakari Oumoru, the governor of Maradi, a region (equivalent to a state) in Niger, hosted a cross-border meeting with the Nigerian governors of Katsina, Sokoto, and Zamfara states to focus on cross-border crime, particularly banditry, kidnapping, and cattle rustling. The governors of the four states signed a memorandum of understanding, the text of which has not yet been carried in the Nigerian media. However, it appears to pledge closer cooperation against cross-border crime. Also present were representatives of the Nigerian security services based in the three Nigerian states.
September 20, 2019Nigeria
President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, on a number of occasions, has stated that Boko Haram is “technically defeated.” The Council’s Nigeria Security Tracker indicates otherwise, and on September 14, the New York Times published an extensive story on the resurgence of Boko Haram. It was accompanied by three pictures on a back page, including one of a child’s scar from an injury sustained during a suicide bombing.
September 11, 2019South Africa
Mob attacks on foreign-owned shops in Johannesburg have damaged relations between South Africa and Nigeria. The Nigerian government has announced that it is evacuating some four hundred Nigerians from South Africa. The violence is being characterized as “xenophobic,” which, by all accounts, it is. But the story is more complicated, and aspects of it have roots in apartheid South Africa and the dislocations resulting from too-rapid urbanization.
September 18, 2019South Africa
Ramaphosa announced that he will not be going to New York this year for UNGA. South Africa’s delegation will be led by Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor. Ramaphosa says that, instead of attending UNGA, he will focus on a number of crises currently facing the country. He will work on implementing measures against gender-based violence and public violence, which almost certainly refers to the xenophobic attacks on foreigners.
September 4, 2019Terrorism and Counterterrorism
West Africa is facing a growing threat from Islamist extremist groups. Many of these groups originated in Mali but have since spilled over its borders, with jihadis establishing themselves in the north and east of Burkina Faso. The country has become a desirable haven for many groups because of the security vacuum that has defined the country following the deposition of longtime strongman Blaise Compaore.
September 10, 2019Namibia
Nobody who cares about Africa’s wildlife can like a September 9 New York Times headline, “Hunter Seeks to Import Parts of Rare Rhino He Paid $400,000 to Kill.” The story recalls the dentist from Michigan who paid for, shot, and killed Cecil, an elderly lion in Zimbabwe. In this case, a Michigan big game hunter paid a Namibia conservation organization $400,000 for the opportunity to shoot a black rhino. Now, he is applying to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to bring its skull, hide, and horns into the United States.
September 12, 2019Nigeria
On September 11, the Presidential Elections Tribunal rejected Atiku Abubakar’s petition, saying that he had failed to provide sufficient proof of fraud. Atiku Abubakar’s next step is to appeal to the Supreme Court. Defeated presidential candidates in the past have appealed to the Supreme Court, as they are entitled to do, but none have ever had an election overturned.
September 5, 2019Nigeria
The “super camp” strategy is driven chiefly by the military’s apparent inability to defend itself against constant ISWA raids on poorly constructed military barracks in rural areas. Under the new strategy, military personnel will be based in a few, well-constructed “super camps,” which ISWA presumably cannot overrun. While the military may have reduced the potential for casualties and theft of military materiel, it has also reduced its ability to combat ISWA in rural areas. This strategy appears to also be the most recent formulation of the military’s “fortress strategy,” which seemingly was never implemented after its initial 2017 announcement.