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June 14, 2019

Nigeria
Distinguished Nigerian Ambassador Elected President of UNGA

On June 4, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) elected Ambassador Tijani Muhammad-Bande its president for the 2019–2020 term. The presidency rotates between representatives of the five regional groups in …

Nigeria-UNGA-President-Bande

June 13, 2019

Boko Haram
New Audio Offers Potential Window Into ISWA Decision-Making

Abdulbasit Kassim, leading Boko Haram scholar, recently discovered a thirty-eight-minute recording of a purported Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) communique. I translated it from the original Kanuri. It provides a particular version and explanation of ISWA's immediate history, and sheds light on why the group executed Mamman Nur, one of the Boko Haram’s founding fathers and an influential ideologue, its internal decision-making, and ISWA’s relationship with the Islamic State (IS). It is not clear, however, the extent to which what is described in the audio is true to what actually happened. 

Islamic-State-Al-Baghdadi-West-Africa-ISWA

June 12, 2019

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: June 1–7

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from June 1 to 7, 2019.

Map of Nigeria shaded to reflect NST-documented deaths per state.

June 10, 2019

Trade
African Continental Free Trade Area: A New Horizon For Trade in Africa

Kanzanira Thorington is a research associate with the digital and cyberspace policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations. On May 30, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) of…

A worker is seen at a Highveld Steel plant in Middleburg, South Africa June 6, 2017.

June 7, 2019

Nigeria
Difficulties Continue for Nigerian Journalists Covering Government

At the end of May, new rules were introduced, to take effect on June 11, that would have severely limited the press’s access to the National Assembly. According to the Nigerian Guild of Editors, the rules are “primitive, undemocratic, and blatantly anti-press and anti-people.” Happily, the proposed rules seem to have been withdrawn, however coverage of the swearing-in of members of the National Assembly will still be unusually restricted.

Nigeria-National-Assembly-Press

June 6, 2019

South Africa
South Africa’s New Foreign Minister Is a Starting Point for Improved U.S. Ties

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s appointment of Naledi Pandor as minister of international relations may be a positive step toward improving South Africa’s relations with the United States. Pandor is part of a Ramaphosa’s trimmed-down cabinet whose positions are split equally between men and women. 

South-Africa-Ramaphosa-Naledi-Pandor-Foreign-Minister

June 3, 2019

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: May 25–31

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from May 25 to 31, 2019.

Nigeria-Boko-Haram-Terrorism-Security-Tracker

June 5, 2019

Diplomacy and International Institutions
The NBA's New Africa League Builds on Strong Foundation

In February, the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced that it would set up a twelve-team-league, Basketball Africa. Slated to begin in 2020, it would be the first time that the NBA helped operate a league outside of the United States and Canada. The league would be in partnership with the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), and would build on FIBA’s Africa League.

Africa-NBA-Basketball-Siakam-Ibaka

June 4, 2019

South Africa
Ramaphosa’s Bold Pick for Public Works Minister of South Africa

Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on national television the selection of South Africa’s new cabinet. Although there was no surprise to see the names of such competent officials as Pravan Gordhan, Ephraim Patel, Naledi Pandor, Lindiwe Sisulu, and Tito Mboweni, Ramaphosa’s selection of Patricia de Lille as minister of public works and enterprises really “put the cat among the pigeons.”

South-Africa-Ramaphosa-Patricia-de-Lille-minister

June 14, 2019

United States
Happy Birthday to the U.S. Army!

The United States Army celebrates its 244th birthday today. If you see an active duty, former, or retired member of the United States Army today, wish their service Happy Birthday. The Army websit…

Army Band New York City Parade