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November 19, 2019

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
What’s Behind Washington’s Unsettling West Bank Announcement?

By announcing that Israeli settlements do not violate international law, the Trump administration continues a pattern of policy shifts that further weakens the prospects for Palestinian statehood.

September 4, 2019

Terrorism and Counterterrorism
Coastal West Africa Now Facing Islamist Extremist Threat

West Africa is facing a growing threat from Islamist extremist groups. Many of these groups originated in Mali but have since spilled over its borders, with jihadis establishing themselves in the north and east of Burkina Faso. The country has become a desirable haven for many groups because of the security vacuum that has defined the country following the deposition of longtime strongman Blaise Compaore.

Silhouetted palm trees and woman carrying merchandise on her head on beach at sunset, Gulf of Guinea, Lome, Togo, West Africa.

July 11, 2019

West Africa
West African Governments Lack Commitment to Reduce Soaring Inequality

Oxfam and Development Finance International (DFI) have developed the Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index (CRI). The index ranks 157 countries by their commitment to reducing inequality through increased spending on health and education, taxing the rich more than the poor, and paying a living wage.

A slum with a bridge, electric transmission lines, and a high-rises in the background.

July 9, 2019

Zimbabwe
Wildlife Conservation in Africa, Outrage in the West, and Cecil the Lion

Four years ago, on July 2, 2015, a Minneapolis Dentists killed a well-known Lion, Cecil, in a Zimbabwe trophy hunt with a bow and arrow. Cecil was something of a star in the developed world.

A man dressed as Cecil the Lion on a subway platform in New York.

November 20, 2019

Guinea
Guinea Confronts Third Termism

The small West African country of Guinea has become the latest in sub-Saharan Africa threatened by third termism. President Alpha Condé’s second term ends in 2020, and the current constitution prevents him from seeking a third. So, last month, the eighty-one-year-old set to work drafting a new constitution, one that could allow him to remain in office indefinitely. 

Guinea's President Alpha Conde attends the opening of the 54th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, in Abuja, Nigeria December 22, 2018.

November 20, 2019

Elections and Voting
Julian Castro

CFR invited the presidential candidates challenging President Trump in the 2020 election to articulate their positions on twelve critical foreign policy issues. Candidates’ answers are posted exactly…

Julian Castro

November 19, 2019

Burkina Faso
The Roots of Burkina Faso’s Crisis

Burkina Faso is in trouble. The shocking ambush of a Canadian mining company’s convoy earlier this month was part of a relentless series of deadly attacks perpetrated both by terrorist organizations and by domestic criminal groups that have claimed hundreds of lives, forced nearly half a million people from their homes, and gravely shaken domestic and international confidence in the country’s security services.

A pro-democracy protester holds up a Burkina Faso flag at Place de la Nation in Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso, November 2, 2014

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

November 15, 2019

Election 2020
Foreign Policy Roundup: The Democratic Foreign Policy Establishment Embraces Joe Biden

Each Friday, I look at what the presidential challengers are saying about foreign policy on the campaign trail.

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to a crowd after filing for the New Hampshire presidential primary on November 8.

November 14, 2019

Mali
Foreign Troops Fighting Jihadists in the Sahel Face Criticism as Terror Grows

In response to the proliferation of ostensibly jihadist groups in the Sahel, governments have deployed more than 20,000 international and local troops, comprising 4,500 French soldieries, 13,000 UN peacekeepers, and about 5,000 troops connected to the G5 Sahel—an initiative godfathered by France and including Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. But terror groups have endured and grown more deadly.  

A French soldier kneels with his weapon while a camel stands in the background in a semi-arid landscape.