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June 18, 2015

Vatican City
How to Read Pope Francis on the Environment

The pope’s encyclical on the environment carries a profoundly religious message about care for the earth, wedded to a new call for activism, say religious scholars Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim.

January 25, 2019

Nigeria
Grim Outlook for Violence Around Elections in Nigeria

Presidential elections take place in Nigeria on February 16 (unless they are delayed). While there are dozens of candidates, only two stand a chance of winning the election. They are Muhammadu Buhari, incumbent president and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Atiku Abubakar, former vice-president and candidate of the People’s Democratic Party.

Nigeria-Election-Buhari-Violence

November 8, 2018

Cameroon
Cameroon's Future Looks Grim as Biya Begins Another Term

On November 4, two days before Biya’s inauguration, seventy-eight students, the principal, and two staff members were kidnapped from a Presbyterian school near Bamenda, in the Anglophone part of the country. On November 7, officials reported that the seventy-eight students were freed the day before, as was a staff member. As of November 8, the principal, a teacher, and perhaps more children, were still in captivity.

Cameroon-Biya-Election-President-Separatism

May 24, 2019

Islamic State
Where Exactly is the Islamic State in West Africa?

The Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) claimed a May 16 attack near Tongo Tongo, Niger, killing more than 20 soldiers not far from the Malian border. In March it issued a photo of its members in Burkina Faso and in April it claimed an attack on a militia in Mali. But, it is not clear that the ISWA group based primarily in Nigeria is behind those attacks. 

Cameroon-Boko-Haram-Islamic-State-Terrorism-West-Africa

May 23, 2019

Nigeria
ISWA Tries to Win Over Some Nigerians While Killing Others

The conventional wisdom is that the Boko Haram faction that calls itself the Islamic State in West African (ISWA) is less brutal than Abubakar Shekau’s rival faction, notorious for the Chibok school girl kidnapping and the targeting of civilians. There is some truth to this: ISWA has avoided using female and child suicide bombers and it does not seem to indiscriminately murder entire villages. Its rhetoric does not glory in murder like Shekau’s.

Nigeria-ISWA-Boko-Haram-Military-Bomb

May 22, 2019

South Africa
Emboldened Ramaphosa Asserts Authority Over South Africa’s ANC

Under the leadership of Cyril Ramaphosa, the African National Congress (ANC), improved its electoral performance in the 2019 national elections. The ANC won more than 58 percent of the vote, up from 54 percent in the local government elections of 2016, though still a decline from the 62 percent in won in 2014 national elections. 

South-Africa-Ramaphosa-ANC-Election-Parliament

May 21, 2019

Chad
Farmer Herder Clashes in Chad Follow Familiar Pattern

There are new reports of violence, characterized as farmer-herder conflict, in Chad. According to Agence France Presse and Voice of America, thirty-five have died [French] since May 16 in separate in…

Chad-Farmer-Herder

May 10, 2019

United Kingdom
Archie, Africa, and the Commonwealth

The birth of Archie, the first son of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, has led to British media speculation, picked-up by the New York Times, that the Queen (actually, in conjunction with the Theresa May government) may dispatch them to Africa for a undetermined period. Their role, beyond lubricating the UK’s ties with its former African colonies, would be to build support for the Commonwealth of Nations. It would also get the Royal couple out of the media circus surrounding Archie’s birth. There is further speculation that Archie’s mixed race would make the family particularly attractive to Africans.

UK-Archie-Harry-Meghan-Sussex

May 20, 2019

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: May 11–17

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from May 11 to 17, 2019.

Nigeria-Boko-Haram-Terrorism-Security-Tracker

May 21, 2019

China
China’s Massive Belt and Road Initiative

China’s Belt and Road Initiative is the most ambitious infrastructure investment effort in history. But is it also a plan to remake the global balance of power?

Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images