May 24, 2019Islamic State
The Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) claimed a May 16 attack near Tongo Tongo, Niger, killing more than 20 soldiers not far from the Malian border. In March it issued a photo of its members in Burkina Faso and in April it claimed an attack on a militia in Mali. But, it is not clear that the ISWA group based primarily in Nigeria is behind those attacks.
May 30, 2019South Africa
At a rugby stadium in Pretoria on May 25, Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in as South Africa’s fourth democratically elected president since 1994. The U.S. presidential delegation to the inauguration was headed by Kimberly A. Reed, the president of the Export-Import Bank.
May 29, 2019Nigeria
Nigeria, the “Giant of Africa,” has a long history of diplomatic leadership. It was one of the founders of the African Union and of the Economic Community of West African States. It regularly occupie…
May 21, 2019Chad
There are new reports of violence, characterized as farmer-herder conflict, in Chad. According to Agence France Presse and Voice of America, thirty-five have died [French] since May 16 in separate in…
May 17, 2019Burkina Faso
Islamist terrorist groups in northeast Burkina Faso are following a strategy of violence reminiscent in some ways of Boko Haram’s early days in Nigeria. The groups are attacking Protestant and Catholic churches, killing pastors, priests, and congregants, and also teachers in secular schools.
May 23, 2019Nigeria
The conventional wisdom is that the Boko Haram faction that calls itself the Islamic State in West African (ISWA) is less brutal than Abubakar Shekau’s rival faction, notorious for the Chibok school girl kidnapping and the targeting of civilians. There is some truth to this: ISWA has avoided using female and child suicide bombers and it does not seem to indiscriminately murder entire villages. Its rhetoric does not glory in murder like Shekau’s.
May 22, 2019South Africa
Under the leadership of Cyril Ramaphosa, the African National Congress (ANC), improved its electoral performance in the 2019 national elections. The ANC won more than 58 percent of the vote, up from 54 percent in the local government elections of 2016, though still a decline from the 62 percent in won in 2014 national elections.