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July 26, 2021

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: July 17–23

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from July 17 to July 23, 2021.

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. Regions of Cameroon, Chad, and Niger that have experienced Boko Haram-related violence are also shaded.

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 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 19, 2021

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: July 10–16

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from July 10 to July 16, 2021.

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. Regions of Cameroon, Chad, and Niger that have experienced Boko Haram-related violence are also shaded.

July 16, 2021

Wars and Conflict
Five Movies Worth Watching About Love and War

Every summer Friday, we suggest foreign-policy-themed movies worth watching. This week: films about romance amid conflict.

Three movie posters in black frames. From left: Casablanca (black and white, a man and a woman look at each other); A Farewell to Arms (a man and woman look worriedly off to the side); The English Patient (a man and woman look off to the side, a desert and airplane behind them).

July 15, 2021

South Africa
South Africa Sees the Best of Times and the Worst of Times

South Africa is in the midst of urban rioting not seen since the end of apartheid. South African and international media carries pictures of mayhem featuring looted televisions and burned-out strip malls, and some commentators are saying that South Africa is what a failed state looks like. However, the South African judiciary has reaffirmed the rule of law by sending to jail former President Jacob Zuma for contempt of court.

A South African soldier walks through a looted mall with an assault rifle in hand. Shards of broken glass litter the area under his feet.

July 14, 2021

West Africa
French President Macron Expands on Sahel Drawdown Plan

French President Emmanuel Macron announced yesterday that Operation Barkhane, the French counterterrorism force fighting jihadis in the Sahel, will end in the first quarter of 2022. This follows a recent announcement that the French president plans to cut in half the French presence in the Sahel and reorganize what will remain as specialized regional forces, while also contributing to Task Force Takuba, the recently established EU force with a remit similar to that of Barkhane.

French President Emmanuel Macron and Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum sit at a table with their countries' flags behind them, along with an EU flag. Other leaders of G5 Sahel countries are seen on a screen in the background.

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 12, 2021

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: July 3–9

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from July 3 to July 9, 2021.

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. Regions of Cameroon, Chad, and Niger that have experienced Boko Haram-related violence are also shaded.

July 9, 2021

Space
Five Movies Worth Watching About UFOs

Each Friday this summer, we suggest foreign-policy-themed movies worth watching. This week: films about UFOs and aliens.

Movie posters in black frames. From left: Close Encounters of the Third Kind (a UFO shines a beams light onto a dark road); The Day the Earth Stood Still (a robot shoots a laser toward the U.S. Capitol Building as a woman screams); and District 9 (a sign in the foreground reads, "No Humans Allowed," as a spaceship hovers over a slum in the background).