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October 30, 2020

Election 2020
Campaign Foreign Policy Roundup: Election 2020 Is Almost Over, Maybe

Each Friday, I look at what the presidential contenders are saying about foreign policy. This week: where things stand four days before Election Day.

Three people stand behind privacy screens to cast their vote while another walks in front of them carrying a ballot to a voting booth.

October 30, 2020

Nigeria
Northwest Nigeria Potential Jihadi Linchpin in West Africa

Up to now, radical jihadi activity in West Africa has been centered in Mali—with spillover to adjacent parts of Burkina Faso and Niger—and the Lake Chad Basin. The two locales are now increasingly br…

A crowd gathers in front of the Sultan Palace Hall Sokoto in Sokoto, Nigeria. Several cars can be seen.

October 29, 2020

Democratic Republic of Congo
Why Cobalt Mining in the DRC Needs Urgent Attention

Cobalt is an essential mineral used for batteries in electric cars, computers, and cell phones. Demand for cobalt is increasing as more electric cars are sold, particularly in Europe.

An artisanal miner carries raw ore at Tilwizembe, a former industrial copper-cobalt mine, outside of Kolwezi, the capital city of Lualaba Province in the south of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, June 11, 2016

October 27, 2020

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: October 17-23

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from October 17 to October 23, 2020.

Map of Nigeria shaded in red to reflect Nigeria Security Tracker-documented deaths per state. Borno state, the northeastern-most state, is dark red, while the rest of the country are shades of pink. Selected regions of Cameroon, Chad, and Niger are also shaded.

October 26, 2020

Nigeria
Will the Lekki Toll Gate Atrocity Change Nigeria?

Nigeria’s governance system is oppressive, though it lacks an evocative name like apartheid. The tragic episodes of brutality by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), while dismaying, are not new occurrences.

A picture of the Lekki toll gate, with concrete road barriers in the foreground. Graffiti is sprayed on the barriers, with protest slogans such as #EndSARS and #EndSWAT.

October 23, 2020

Election 2020
Campaign Foreign Policy Roundup: Biden and Trump Debate Foreign Policy, Kinda

Each Friday, I look at what the presidential contenders are saying about foreign policy. This week: foreign policy was a topic at the second and final presidential debate of the 2020 campaign. 

Joe Biden and Donald Trump gesture at each other from behind their podiums while Kristen Welker is seated between them on the debate stage.

October 23, 2020

Nigeria
Nigeria: Fear of Repression

Western media is reporting that violence in Lagos—initially connected to protests against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a police unit—is intensifying. President Muhammadu Buhari addressed the nation on October 22, calling for protests to end.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari can be seen wearing traditional clothing before giving a televised address. Nigerian flags and another flag can be seen behind the president, along with the Nigerian coat of arms.

October 23, 2020

Cybersecurity
Cyber Week in Review: October 23, 2020

Iran and Russia target upcoming U.S. elections; DOJ files antitrust lawsuit against Google; DOJ indicts six Russian GRU officers for involvement in cyberattacks; Sweden bans Huawei and ZTE from 5G ne…

Posters showing six wanted Russian military intelligence officers are displayed as FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich speaks at a news conference at the Department of Justice, in Washington, U.S., October 19, 2020.

October 22, 2020

Tanzania
Magufuli is Transforming Tanzania's Ruling Party From a “Benign Hegemon” Into a Malevolent One

​On October 28th, Tanzania will choose a president and members of the country’s National Assembly. This year, few observers expect a fair vote, given incumbent President John Magufuli and his government’s weaponization of the law.

Tanzanian President John Magufuli walks down a red carpet while observing a guard of honor in Nairobi, Kenya. The soldiers are wearing dark blue uniforms; some soldiers are holding swords raised.

October 21, 2020

Nigeria
Protests, Chaos in Nigeria

In Lagos, "security services" have fired on "peaceful protesters." This on top of COVID-19, low oil prices, and radical Islamist groups bent on destroying the state—Nigeria was in trouble even before the SARS demonstrations.

A picture of fires burning on the streets of Lagos, Nigeria. Thick black smoke is billowing into the sky. Several armed men can be seen patrolling the road.