July 29, 2019Election 2020
Update: John Hickenlooper announced on August 15, 2019, that he was ending his campaign. Political strategists often ask whether a presidential candidate is someone a voter would want to have a be…
January 23, 2020Nigeria
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.
January 22, 2020Nigeria
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.
January 15, 2020Gambia
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.
January 14, 2020France
President Emmanuel Macron of France hosted a summit in Pau, southwestern France, with the heads of state of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauretania, and Niger. The purpose of the summit was to improve military coordination against insurgents with a particular focus on the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) and al-Qaeda affiliate Jama'at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM). Macron also sought, and received from the African chiefs of state, an endorsement of France’s continued presence in the region. He, in turn, pledged a small increase in the number of French soldiers to be deployed there.
January 13, 2020Nigeria
This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from January 4 to 10, 2020.
January 3, 2020Cameroon
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.
January 24, 2020Nigeria
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).
February 13, 2020Public Health Threats and Pandemics
A new coronavirus that originated in China has sparked fears of a potential pandemic, as health experts seek to answer questions about how it spreads.
January 16, 2020Nigeria
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.