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October 17, 2019

Nigeria
Buhari Orders Land Borders Closed in Long-Running Effort to Boost Rice Production

In August, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered closed Nigeria’s land border with Benin, preventing the import of goods. The move significantly affected trade in foodstuffs. It is part of an effort to tackle smuggling and associated corruption, but also, apparently, to spur the domestic agricultural industry. On October 14, Nigeria ordered closed all of Nigeria’s borders with Benin, as well as those with all other countries, for the same reasons.

A farmer works with rice sprouts on a farm

January 24, 2020

Election 2020
Campaign Foreign Policy Roundup: Restoring U.S. Leadership

Each Friday, I look at what the presidential challengers are saying about foreign policy. This week: U.S. leadership in the world; the wisdom of making campaign donors ambassadors; and early voting b…

Former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks at a campaign rally in Muscatine, Iowa, on January 21. Ivan Alvarado/Reuters

September 16, 2019

Eritrea
How Long Must Eritrea Wait for Change?

Last week, the Committee to Protect Journalists ranked Eritrea "the most censored country in the world." That unsurprising conclusion is only the latest dubious distinction for Eritrea, a state that often seems frozen in an authoritarian limbo in the midst of region characterized by profound changes. 

Eritrean refugees participate in a demonstration in support of a U.N. human rights report accusing Eritrean leaders of crimes against humanity in front of the Africa Union headquarters in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, June 23, 2016

January 22, 2020

Nigeria
Boko Haram Cuts Electricity to Maiduguri in Northern Nigeria

On January 20, the electric company serving Maiduguri, capital of Borno state, publicly stated that Boko Harm attacks on transmission lines and infrastructure had cut electricity service to the city on January 17, removing Maiduguri from the national grid. The electric company had promised to restore power soon.

A Boko Haram flag flies on transmission lines in Damasak, Borno, Nigeria, on March 24, 2015.

January 16, 2020

Nigeria
Motorists Killed and Kidnapped on Nigerian Highway

Nigerian media, quoting sources in the security services, reports that up to thirty people were killed and possibly one hundred kidnapped on the night of January 14 in a single incident on the Kaduna-Zaria highway in Kaduna state. The perpetrators were dressed in military uniforms. Among the wounded was the emir of Potiskum. 

A man rides his motorbike along Gombe Numan highway in Gombe state, on November 29, 2013.

January 15, 2020

Gambia
President Barrow’s Broken Promise Threatens Gambia’s Post-Jammeh Future

The Gambia has found itself on the brink of a new political crisis, just three years after the dramatic fall of longtime strongman Yahya Jammeh. Protestors filled the streets of the capital Banjul last month, demanding President Adama Barrow’s resignation after three years in office.  Earlier this year, Barrow began to lay the groundwork for extending his tenure in office. In late December, Barrow formed a new political party, the National Peoples Party, which would allow him to contest next year's presidential election. 

Gambia's President Adama Barrow sits in the chair reserved for heads of state before delivering his address during the seventy-third session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, September 25, 2018.

January 14, 2020

Taiwan
All Sound and No Fury? Will The Trump Administration Get Tough on Currency in April?

A number of Asian countries could be designated as manipulators in the U.S. Treasury's April foreign exchange report. And unlike the politically motivated designation of China last summer, there woul…

All Sound and No Fury? Will The Trump Administration Get Tough on Currency in April?

January 10, 2020

China
Cyber Week in Review: January 10, 2020

Trump administration pressed Dutch government to cancel sale of chip equipment to China; Congressional commission mulls new private sector reporting requirements; DHS warns of cyberattacks following …

Employees are seen working on the final assembly of ASML's TWINSCAN NXE:3400B semiconductor lithography tool with its panels removed

January 8, 2020

Election 2020
The President's Inbox: The Killing of Qasem Soleimani

Each week between now and the Iowa caucuses, I’m talking with experts with differing views on how the United States should handle a foreign policy challenge it faces. These special episodes are part …

Debris burns outside Baghdad International Airport where a U.S. drone strike killed Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani and seven others on January 3. Iraqi Security Media Cell via Reuters

January 8, 2020

Nigeria
The Islamic State Executes Eleven Over Christmas in Nigeria

Members of the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA), a faction of Boko Haram, recently executed eleven hostages on camera. The video, released to a Nigerian Journalist on December 26, alleged that all the hostages executed were Christians, and that their murders were in retaliation for the killing of Abubakar al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, by U.S. forces in October. It is ISWA that has identified them as Christians, but the identities of the eleven murdered have not been released.

A bearded man with Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's appearance speaks in this screen grab taken from video released on April 29, 2019.