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March 13, 2020

Election 2020
Campaign Foreign Policy Roundup: Campaigning in the Era of the Coronavirus

Each Friday, I look at what the presidential challengers are saying about foreign policy. This week: the coronavirus dominates the conversation, Senator Sanders defends a sister-city program, and exp…

Former Vice President Joe Biden stands behind a podium and in front of American flags while he speaks on the coronavirus pandemic in Wilmington, Delaware, on March 12.

March 10, 2020

Saudi Arabia
Why Current Saudi-Russia Oil Price War Is Not Déjà Vu

It’s happened several times before: geopolitical tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia have led to a dramatic drop in oil prices in years past. But the breakdown in Saudi-Russian cooperation in oi…

A gas station worker wearing a protective face mask sits next to a petrol station, after Saudi Arabia imposed a temporary lockdown on the province of Qatif following the spread of coronavirus, in Qatif, Saudi Arabia March 9, 2020. REUTERS/Stringer

March 6, 2020

Election 2020
Campaign Foreign Policy Roundup: Biden Versus Sanders

Each Friday, I look at what the presidential challengers are saying about foreign policy. This week: the Democratic field narrows, and Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders square off.

Presidential candidates Senator Bernie Sanders (L) and former Vice President Joe Biden (R) shake hands at the February 25 Democratic debate.

March 6, 2020

Sub-Saharan Africa
Africa Confronts Falling Oil Prices Amid Coronavirus

The new coronavirus has led to a slowdown in economic activity in China and East Asia more broadly. The global price of oil has now fallen to $53 a barrel. This is beginning to affect the oil-exporting countries of Africa. According to Africa Confidential, three-quarters of Nigeria’s and Angola’s oil production ear-marked for export in April is unsold. Similar deficits are reported from Chad, Republic of Congo, and Gabon.

A man arranges Agip drums at an oil station and depot in Nigeria's capital Abuja, on June 19, 2009.

March 5, 2020

Democratic Republic of Congo
Tentative Victory Against Ebola in Eastern Congo

Officials from Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the last Ebola patient has been discharged from a hospital in Beni. The patient’s discharge follows two weeks in which no new cases of Ebola have been reported. The current Ebola outbreak in the eastern DRC started in August 2018. Some 3,300 fell ill from the virus, and about two-thirds of those succumbed to it.

Semida Masika, the last patient being treated for Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is seen in a sleeveless blue flowery dress, flanked by male health workers and officials, after she was discharged from hospital in Beni, DRC.

March 2, 2020

Asia
U.S.-ASEAN Relations—No Summit, But What’s the Status

The planned summit between representatives from the ten countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and U.S. President Donald J. Trump in Las Vegas has been postponed, because of …

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo poses with his ASEAN counterparts for a family photo during the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand on August 1, 2019.

March 2, 2020

United Nations
A Cyberspace ‘FIFA’ to Set Rules of the Game? UN States Disagree at Second Meeting

In mid-February, country representatives convened at the United Nations to hold the second formal meeting of the Open-Ended Working Group on international cybersecurity. 

The United Nations building is pictured in New York.

February 28, 2020

West Africa
As Militaries Struggle in the Sahel, Jihadis Cooperate

According to The Washington Post, jihadi groups with ties to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS) are working together to gain control of a large part of the Sahel, the border region between the Sahara and the better-watered pasture and agricultural lands to the south. The story’s sources are identified as U.S. and local officials on the ground. “What we’ve seen is not just random acts of violence under a terrorist banner,” says Brigadier General Dagvin Anderson, head of U.S. Special Operations in Africa. “But a deliberate campaign that is trying to bring these various groups under a common cause.

Armed Burkinabe soldiers ride in a truck, facing to the left and the right, as it drives down a dirt road during a patrol in the Sahel region of Burkina Faso.

February 27, 2020

South Africa
History's Verdict Thirty Years After South Africa's Mandela Freed

Thirty years after State President F.W. de Klerk ordered his release from Cape Town’s Victor Vorster Prison, Nelson Mandela’s reputation as a genuine hero of the twentieth century holds up. With F.W. de Klerk and others, Mandela led the successful transition with the ANC from apartheid to non-racial democracy, forestalling the race war that many thought was inevitable.

A tall man in a purple polo shirt puts his arms around the shoulders of a shorter woman in a white shirt as she holds his shoulder. They both look at the statue of Nelson Mandela, raising his hands and smiling, in a small crowd of people. The statue is flanked by two towers attached to building with roman columns.