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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.

November 13, 2019

Nigeria
Nigerian Police Use Live Ammunition Against Peaceful Demonstrators

Nigerian media is reporting that on November 12, the Nigerian police fired live bullets to disperse those protesting the continued imprisonment of Nigerian journalist Omeyele Sowore. The media descri…

Protestors facing police hold signs that read "DSS Obey The Court," and other things.

November 6, 2019

South Africa
Renowned American Anti-Apartheid Activist Passes Away

Jennifer Davis, an American anti-apartheid activist, died on October 15. Among her many legacies, she mobilized public pressure on Congress to overturn President Ronald Reagan’s veto of the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act.

A women speaks at a committee meeting while a man and woman look on next to her.

October 23, 2019

Sierra Leone
Behind Sierra Leone’s Ambitious, Tech-Driven Development Plan

Sierra Leone currently ranks as one of the least developed countries in the world, with a GDP per capita of less than $300 and high levels of poverty. But President Julius Maada Bio has charted an ambitious development plan for the small West African country. Since 2017, President Bio has overseen increased investment in advanced technologies in the hopes of spurring development.

President Julius Maada Bio sits with his hands clasped at a desk.