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April 7, 2020

South Africa
President Ramaphosa Leads Strong Response to COVID-19 in South Africa

On March 27, President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize imposed on South Africa one of the strictest lockdowns outside of China to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Among the prohibited activities: dog-walking, jogging, the sale of alcohol, and leaving a place of residence (except for emergencies). At the time restrictions were put in place, South Africa had around 1,000 cases and had just recorded its first deaths. 

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, dressed in military fatigues, stands before a podium with many microphones and gestures as he addresses members of the South African Defense Force before their deployment ahead of a nationwide lockdown for three weeks to try to contain the coronavirus disease outbreak, in Johannesburg, March 26, 2020.

April 6, 2020

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: March 28–April 3

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from March 28 to April 3, 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.

April 3, 2020

Coronavirus
How Jihadi Groups in Africa Will Exploit COVID-19

As the COVID-19 outbreak begins to spread in earnest in Africa, we can expect so-called jihadi groups on the continent to try to take advantage of the crisis to unleash violence and recruit members. We are already seeing indications that this has started happening. Governments, development workers, and aid agencies need to be made aware of this threat and take steps to deny these brutal militias more room to operate.

A soldier carrying a rifle in military fatigues observes temperature checks at the border between Abuja and Nasarawa states in Nigeria, as the authorities try to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), on March 30, 2020.

April 3, 2020

Coronavirus
After the Pandemic: Can the United States Finally Retool for the Twenty-First Century?

Over the more than half a century since the United States embraced its integration into the global economy, it has produced both the strongest and the weakest of the advanced economies. The streng…

New York Police Officer Times Square Coronavirus

April 2, 2020

Nigeria
With Travel Restricted, Nigeria's Elite Face Coronavirus at Home

The Nigerian medical and public health systems were a shambles long before the coronavirus. It is estimated that half of Nigeria's physicians practice medicine outside of the country. Contributing to the poor medical and health system, rich Nigerians routinely go abroad for medical treatment.

A cameraman with a medical mask films Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari as addresses the nation on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Abuja, Nigeria. In the foreground is a man sitting with a medical mask and gloves.

April 1, 2020

Nigeria
Lagos and Abuja on Lockdown to Stop Coronavirus in Nigeria

President Buhari has ordered the lockdown of Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria’s commercial and political capitals, as part of the effort to contain the coronavirus. Lagos poses enormous challenges to “social distancing,” but it also has governance advantages other parts of Nigeria lack. Abuja is less crowded and in some areas has better infrastructure. It is also under the direct control of the Federal government. According to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker, as of the morning of April 1, Nigeria had 140 active confirmed cases, 2 deaths, and 9 people recovered. Nigeria recorded its first case of coronavirus in the country on February 25. 

A street-level view of a deserted road in the central business district is pictured on the first day of a 14-day lockdown aimed at limiting the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Lagos, Nigeria, on March 31, 2020.

March 31, 2020

Nigeria
Lamido Sanusi: A Man of Nigeria’s Past and Possibly Its Future

On March 9, the governor of Kano state removed Sanusi Lamido Sanusi from his position as Emir of Kano, which is usually regarded as the second or third most important Muslim traditional ruler in Nigeria, and an Islamic scholar. There is speculation, especially among some Nigerian expats, that he is looking to launch a political career, perhaps even contesting for the presidency in 2023.

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Nigeria's central bank governor at the time, gestures as he speaks during an interview with Reuters in his office in Lagos.

March 30, 2020

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: March 21–27

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from March 21 to 27, 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.

March 27, 2020

Nigeria
President Buhari’s Top Aide Tests Positive for Coronavirus in Nigeria

Abba Kyari, President Muhammadu Buhari's chief of staff, has tested positive for coronavirus following a trip to Germany and Egypt, according to Nigerian media. So, too, have at least three of his staffers. Nigerian media describes Kyari as "very sick," and that he has been removed from Abuja to an infectious disease treatment center in Lagos.

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari attends the opening of the 56th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government in Abuja, Nigeria, on December 21, 2019.

March 25, 2020

Nigeria
Women, Boko Haram, and Suicide Bombings

As the military dislodged Boko Haram in 2015 from the territory it had captured and occupied earlier, victims of suicide bombers grew as a proportion of those the group killed through August 2018. Between June 2014, when Boko Haram reportedly deployed its first female suicide bomber, and February 2018, about 468 women and girls have been deployed or arrested in 240 suicide attacks, killing roughly 1,200 and injuring some 3,000.

Women, wrapped in red, organge, and blue cloth, carry green parcels on their head and walk past armed soldiers in military fatigues on a bridge separating Cameroon and Nigeria, in Gamboru Ngala, Borno, Nigeria.