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January 24, 2020

Elections and Voting
Cyber Week in Review: January 24, 2020

Cyber Command documents detail campaign to counter ISIS in cyberspace; Conflicting arguments surround the alleged hacking of Jeff Bezos’ phone; Suzhou uses facial recognition to shame pajama wearers;…

 Jeff Bezos, president and CEO of Amazon and owner of The Washington Post, speaks at the Economic Club of Washington DC's "Milestone Celebration Dinner."

January 24, 2020

Nigeria
Facing Rising Insecurity, Southwest Governors in Nigeria Launch Policing Initiative

In southwest Nigeria (Yorubaland), the location of Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos, there has been a dramatic upsurge in kidnapping, house invasions, and robbery. On January 9, the governors of the six states in the region announced the establishment of Operation Amotekun (“leopard” in the Yoruba language).

Three armed police officers stand in front of the Novare Shoprite Mall in Lekki, near Lagos, Nigeria, after it was looted, on September 3, 2019.

January 23, 2020

Nigeria
Borno State Increasingly Isolated as Boko Haram Threatens Roads

Over the last couple of weeks, Boko Haram has increased attacks on the road from Maiduguri to Kano, the only remaining safe highway of the six major roads that connect Maiduguri with the rest of the state and country, according to Nigeria media. A major report on the increasing isolation of Maiduguri closely follows Boko Haram attacks on transmission lines supplying the city with electricity. Destroyed bridges and frequent attacks on travelers have cut off not only Maiduguri residents, but many other residents of Borno state from accessing or travelling to Borno’s neighboring states.

The city gate of Maiduguri along Bulumkutu road, on July 26, 2019, in Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria.

January 23, 2020

Digital Policy
Forget Saving the Post Office—I Just Need to Save My Job

It is easy for people to obfuscate their identity online and even falsify metrics, like page views. The U.S. government needs to develop a system to verify that people online are who they claim to be…

A U.S. Postal Inspection Service facility is pictured near Miami International Airport

January 22, 2020

Nigeria
Boko Haram Cuts Electricity to Maiduguri in Northern Nigeria

On January 20, the electric company serving Maiduguri, capital of Borno state, publicly stated that Boko Harm attacks on transmission lines and infrastructure had cut electricity service to the city on January 17, removing Maiduguri from the national grid. The electric company had promised to restore power soon.

A Boko Haram flag flies on transmission lines in Damasak, Borno, Nigeria, on March 24, 2015.

January 21, 2020

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: January 11–17

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from January 11 to 17, 2020.

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

January 17, 2020

Election 2020
Campaign Foreign Policy Roundup: The Seventh Democratic Debate

Each Friday, I look at what the presidential challengers are saying about foreign policy. This week: the Democrats debate in Des Moines, the New York Times interviews the candidates, and two new poll…

The top six Democratic presidential challengers take the stage at the January 14 debate in Des Moines, Iowa.

January 16, 2020

United States
Five Questions About the Senate Impeachment Trial Answered

The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump began today as the House trial managers read the articles of impeachment on the Senate floor and Chief Justice John Roberts swore in ninety-nine U.S. s…

Impeachment

January 16, 2020

Nigeria
Motorists Killed and Kidnapped on Nigerian Highway

Nigerian media, quoting sources in the security services, reports that up to thirty people were killed and possibly one hundred kidnapped on the night of January 14 in a single incident on the Kaduna-Zaria highway in Kaduna state. The perpetrators were dressed in military uniforms. Among the wounded was the emir of Potiskum. 

A man rides his motorbike along Gombe Numan highway in Gombe state, on November 29, 2013.

January 15, 2020

Gambia
President Barrow’s Broken Promise Threatens Gambia’s Post-Jammeh Future

The Gambia has found itself on the brink of a new political crisis, just three years after the dramatic fall of longtime strongman Yahya Jammeh. Protestors filled the streets of the capital Banjul last month, demanding President Adama Barrow’s resignation after three years in office.  Earlier this year, Barrow began to lay the groundwork for extending his tenure in office. In late December, Barrow formed a new political party, the National Peoples Party, which would allow him to contest next year's presidential election. 

Gambia's President Adama Barrow sits in the chair reserved for heads of state before delivering his address during the seventy-third session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, September 25, 2018.