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March 18, 2021

Heads of State and Government
John Magufuli, Tanzania’s COVID-Denying President, Dies

Vice President Samia Suluhu, announcing President John Magufuli’s death yesterday, said the president died from a heart condition, and that he had been treated at two different hospitals in Dar es Salaam.

A copy of the Tanzanian newspaper "The Citizen," with the headline "Nation mourns," shows a picture of recently deceased President John Magufuli after his death was announced yesterday. In the bottom left, a picture of soon-to-be-president Samia Suluhu.

March 11, 2021

Heads of State and Government
Tanzanian President Magufuli’s Veneer of Omniscience in Critical Condition

A story published yesterday in Kenyan newspaper the Nation suggests—though does not confirm—that Tanzanian President John Magufuli was flown into Kenya and admitted to a hospital in Nairobi to receive treatment for COVID-19.

Tanzanian President John Magufuli, standing at a red podium with his country's coat of arms, gives a speech after re-election. He is flanked by a soldier in a red uniform and one other official wearing professional dress.

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.

November 15, 2019

Tanzania
Tanzania, Where Magufuli Is Waging a War on Democracy

During the four year tenure of President Magufuli, the country has move toward full-on authoritarianism. On November 7, a Magistrates Court in Tanzania postponed for the seventh time the case of journalist Erick Kabendera, who has voiced criticism of the country’s president, John Pombe Magufuli. After initially being violently abducted from his home and later investigated over his citizenship status, Mr. Kabendera is now facing a host of economic charges, including “assisting an organized crime racket” and money laundering. 

Tanzanian investigative journalist Erick Kabendera arrives, flanked by security, at the Kisutu Residents Magistrate Court

July 13, 2021

Nigeria
T.B. Joshua: A Preacher Who Held Outsized Influence in Nigeria and Africa

Policy makers, diplomats, and commentators in the secular West often fail to take into account the profound influence of religious leaders in sub-Saharan Africa, whether among Christians, Muslims, or adherents of traditional religions. Heaven, hell, and what secularists regard as magic are literal realities, more immediate than government policy or the pronouncements of political leaders. What the preacher says is more credible than the utterances of politicians.

T.B. Joshua, a now-deceased Nigerian pastor, holds his hand on a woman's face. The woman holds her hands raised with her palms upward.

July 21, 2021

Nigeria
Jihadis Claim to be Uniting in Northeast Nigeria

Boko Haram, the jihadi insurrection associated with some 350,000 deaths since 2009 in northeast Nigeria, was characterized by factions—conflict among which was bloody—though at times they appear to have cooperated tactically. Now, the faction associated with the self-proclaimed Islamic State, the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA), is claiming to have incorporated the followers of the rival faction led by Abubakar Shekau. (Weeks ago, Shekau died, apparently after committing suicide in a standoff with ISWA.)

A wall that has "Hate Evil" and "Boko Haram is Evil" scrawled on it.

July 23, 2021

Oceans and Seas
Five Movies Worth Watching About Conflict at Sea

Every summer Friday, we suggest foreign-policy-themed movies worth watching. This week: films about stormy relationships and battles at sea.

Three movie posters in black frames. From left: Run Silent, Run Deep (two men in khaki uniforms above a sinking ship); Mister Roberts (four men in khaki uniforms look off the edge of a ship); Dunkirk (a young man looks out into a chaotic ocean).

July 13, 2021

Cuba
U.S.-Cuba Relations

Communist Cuba has long been a major foreign policy challenge for the United States. The bilateral relationship thawed considerably under President Obama, but many restrictions were reimposed by the …

A man shows U.S. and Cuban flags at his house in Havana.

July 8, 2021

Food and Water Security
Water Scarcity

Fresh water is more than just a resource, it is the source of all life. But in many arid regions of the world, water supplies are under pressure from climate change, and outdated rules and infrastruc…

Podcast A drop of water drips from a pipe in a field

June 30, 2021

Sub-Saharan Africa
Africa’s ‘Leaders for Life’

Sub-Saharan Africa is home to many of the world’s longest-ruling heads of state. Pro-democracy advocates have at times successfully stopped presidents from extending their mandates, but the authorita…

A worker throws away campaign posters of President Yoweri Museveni after Uganda’s 2021 election.