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June 8, 2012

Sub-Saharan Africa
Boko Haram Rejects Talks with the Nigerian Government – Again

Yesterday, I blogged about a highly respected Islamic cleric and his efforts to facilitate dialogue between the Nigerian government and Boko Haram with the goal of a ceasefire. The cleric, Sheikh Da-…

People walk past burnt roofing sheets after a fire razed Gombomru main market in Nigeria's northeastern city of Maiduguri December 24, 2011.

September 28, 2012

United States
Middle East Matters This Week: The UN Debates Amidst Regional Turbulence

Significant Middle East Developments Israel and Palestine. Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the UN General Assembly yesterday within minute…

Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu draws red line on graphic of bomb as he addresses 67th United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 28, 2012 (Jackson/Courtesy Reuters).

August 14, 2012

Morsi Makes His Move

This article was originally published here on ForeignAffairs.com on Monday, August 13, 2012.  Over the weekend, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi sacked Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the minister of defen…


January 23, 2013

Conflict Prevention
Ask the Experts: Social Media and Conflict Prevention

An increasing number of policymakers and think-tank residents are championing the power of social media and big data to pressure governments, empower civil society, deter human rights abuses through …

Facebook protest

November 22, 2012

United States
Critical Tests for Egypt and the United States

The scenario is all too familiar: Violence erupts between Israel and Hamas. The U.S. President calls his Egyptian counterpart and asks for help in managing the crisis. The voice from Cairo assures th…

U.S. secretary of state Clinton meets with Egyptian president Morsi on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York on September 24, 2012 (Kelly/Courtesy Reuters).

November 6, 2012

Middle East Matters: Voices From the Region

“In the United States, you have a new elected president every four years. But here we are living with a king and the same prime minster for forty-two years.” – Yousif al-Muhafdah, a Bahraini human ri…

Yousif Muhafdah from the Bahrain Center for Human Rights at an anti-government rally in Bilad al-Qadeem on 19 October, 2012 (Mohammed/Courtesy Reuters).

January 18, 2013

Middle East Matters This Week: Algeria’s Hostage Drama, Syrian Violence, and Elections in Israel and Jordan

Significant Middle East Developments Algeria. At least eighteen Algerian kidnappers and twelve hostages were killed in an Algerian military operation yesterday that freed six hundred and fifty hosta…

Riot police stand guard outside the French Embassy in Tunis on January 18, 2012, following the hostage-taking by Islamist militants in eastern Algeria (Mili/Courtesy Reuters).

November 2, 2012

Sub-Saharan Africa
Boko Haram Offers Cease Fire Opportunity?

A phone call to journalists on November 1st may have put a cease fire with Boko Haram on the table. Abu Muhammad Ibn Abdulazeez, who claims to be a spokesman for the group, and “amir” (lieutenant) to…

A man walks past a burning car in Oshodi, Lagos south west Nigeria May 24, 2005.

January 31, 2013

Defense and Security
The World Next Week: The EU Meets on Mali, Egypt Hosts the OIC Summit, and Cubans Vote on a National Assembly

The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon and I discussed the upcoming EU meeting to discuss the situation in Mali, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit in Cairo, and elections f…

French soldiers carry their equipment after arriving in Bamako, Mali on a U.S. transport plane (Eric Gaillard/Courtesy Reuters).

November 5, 2012

Sub-Saharan Africa
Boko Haram, Negotiations, and the Nigerian Federal Government

Jacob Zenn, of the Jamestown Foundation, had a response to my November 2nd post Boko Haram Offers Cease Fire Opportunity? He writes: “The "Abu Muhammed Ibn Abdulaziz" who spoke with the media seems …

 Security forces confront angry citizens at a roadblock after a bombing in Nigeria 11/03/2012.