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November 9, 2020

Human Trafficking
The Global Health Crisis and Human Trafficking Are Correlated–But How?

This post is part of the Council on Foreign Relations’ blog series on human trafficking, in which CFR fellows and other leading experts assess new approaches to improve U.S. and global efforts to cur…

Women at a Textile Mill

April 28, 2022

Sub-Saharan Africa
Africa Must Be Wary of Cutting Its Nose to Spite Its Face

Invoking historical rough justice and persistent infantilization by the West, African countries have, to widespread astonishment, refused to give a full-throated backing to Western sanctions against Russia. Seventeen of the thirty-five abstainers from the United Nations General Assembly vote on March 2, 2022, to condemn the Russian “aggression against Ukraine” were African. More troublingly, even more African countries abstained from voting on the UN April 7, 2022, resolution to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council over “gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights” in Ukraine. The latter list included South Africa, Cameroon, Ghana, and Nigeria, which hitherto had joined 140 other UN members to condemn the Russian invasion.

Kenyan Ambassador to the United nations sits in front of his microphone.

December 15, 2011

Defense and Security
Guest Post: Linda Robinson on the End of the Iraq War

Members of the U.S. Air Force board a plane at al-Asad air base in Iraq before flying to the United States. (Mohammed Ameen/courtesy Reuters) I woke up this morning to an email inbox full of news al…

Members of the U.S. Air Force board a plane before flying to the U.S., at al-Asad air base in Iraq’s western province of Anbar November 1, 2011. U.S. President Barack Obama announced on Oct. 21 that American troops would fully withdraw from Iraq by year-end, as scheduled under a 2008 security pact between the two countries. Picture taken November 1, 2011. REUTERS/Mohammed Ameen

March 22, 2022

Sub-Saharan Africa
Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine May Drive a Wedge Between the West and Africa

The apparent reluctance of many African countries to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caught many Western governments, diplomatic experts, and observers of Africa’s international relations by surprise. Although twenty-eight African countries voted in favor of the March 2, 2022, UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution demanding that Russia “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders,” notably, seventeen African nations abstained while no votes were recorded from another eight. Unsurprisingly, Eritrea, whose leader Isaias Afwerki enjoys a close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and who has long staked out an anti-Western diplomatic stance, joined Belarus, North Korea, Russia, and Syria in voting against the resolution. In total, 141 (out of 194) UN member states endorsed the resolution.

United States Ambassador to the United Nations wearing a red jacket speaks into a microphone while seated at the United Nations.

March 17, 2022

Foreign Policy
Outdated Cold War Analogies Could Lead the West Astray

The applicability of the Truman Doctrine to the West's present confrontation with Russia is constrained by the realities of a different time, seventy-five years ago.

U.S. President Harry S. Truman, standing at podium, addresses a joint session of Congress in the House Chamber in Washington, D.C., March 12, 1947 (AP Photo).

March 3, 2021

Nigeria
Mass Kidnapping in Nigeria Captures International Attention—Again

On February 27 "bandits" attacked the Government Girls Secondary School in Jangebe, Zamfara State and kidnapped some three hundred girls. Government reaction was predictable: search-and-rescue missions and strong statements.

A line of young girls, most without shoes and wearing blue Islamic headdress, leave a building after being released from captivity by bandits. A Nigerian policeman carrying an assault rifle is standing next to the line of girls.

June 16, 2021

Ethiopia
As Policymakers Raise Alarm about Tigray Crisis, More Action is Needed

As the horrific suffering in Ethiopia’s Tigray region continues, the United States and other members of the international community are sounding ever more urgent alarms. 

An Ethiopian refugee stands as she is registered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) at the Um Rakuba refugee camp which houses Ethiopian refugees fleeing the fighting in the Tigray region, on the Sudan-Ethiopia border, Sudan, November 28, 2020.

May 24, 2021

Conflict Prevention
In Africa, Major Power Rivalry Is Not the Whole Story

Any doubts about the bipartisan consensus in Washington around the need to compete with China in Africa were erased in the early months of 2021, when senior Biden administration appointees like U.S. …

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta stands at the Nairobi Terminus, which operated the Standard Gauge Railway line constructed by the China Road and Bridge Corporation and financed by the Chinese government, on October 16, 2019.