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November 12, 2019

Election 2020
The President's Inbox: Should the United States Maintain Maximum Pressure on Iran?

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

A line of Iranian flags wave in a square in Tehran.

November 10, 2019

United States
Happy 244th Birthday to the United States Marine Corps!

The U.S. Marine Corps turns 244 years-old today. On November 10, 1775, the Continental Congress adopted a resolution to create a Marine force composed of two battalions. Since then, the Marines have …

U.S. Marine Corps

October 29, 2019

Nigeria
Beyond the Nigerian Correctional Services Act

Nigeria’s criminal justice system is in urgent need of reform. Prisons are overcrowded, holding 73,314 people despite having capacity for only 50,153. Of those held, an estimated 70 percent are awaiting trial and have not yet been convicted of a crime; reports find that some people have been awaiting trial for as long as thirteen years. The chronic underfunding of the justice system exacerbates overcrowding and pre-trial detention.

A Lady Justice statue stands outside the Court of Appeal in Abuja, Nigeria

September 18, 2019

South Africa
Why South Africa's Ramaphosa Is Skipping UNGA

Ramaphosa announced that he will not be going to New York this year for UNGA. South Africa’s delegation will be led by Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor. Ramaphosa says that, instead of attending UNGA, he will focus on a number of crises currently facing the country. He will work on implementing measures against gender-based violence and public violence, which almost certainly refers to the xenophobic attacks on foreigners.

Demonstrators hold signs, one of which reads "Just Want to Feel Safe."

September 6, 2019

Zimbabwe
Good Riddance to Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe

During his thirty-seven years in power in Zimbabwe, he committed virtually every human rights violation there is. His hands were awash in the blood of Zimbabweans. Fanning and exploiting racial and class differences, he destroyed the country’s economy, once on the cusp of being one of Africa’s most developed, driving out commercial white farmers. By the time he died, Zimbabwe was an international pariah, an economic basket case, and many or most of the country’s most educated and productive citizens had left the country.

Robert Mugabe stands in front of a blurred out, saluting soldier.

August 27, 2019

South Africa
One More Step in Dismantling Apartheid's Legacy

On August 21, South Africa’s Equality Court ruled that gratuitous displays of the Apartheid-era flag counted as hate speech and discrimination. Confronting history head on, Judge Phineas Mojapelo wrote in his ruling that the flag represents “a vivid symbol of white supremacy and black disenfranchisement and suppression,” and flying it, “besides being racist and discriminatory, demonstrates a clear intention to be hurtful.” 

South Africa's apartheid-era flag flutters in front of three black police officers.

August 1, 2019

Nigeria
Notes From Yobe State on Living With ISWA

From far away it is difficult to know what daily life is really like in an area controlled by a Boko Haram faction. Chitra Nagarajan, a journalist and author who has written for the Guardian (UK), among other publications, recently spent time in Yobe State doing research on gender.

A girl walks past a bull stall on the street in Dapchi.

May 1, 2018

South Africa
Winnie's Death Reignites Criticism of Nelson Mandela’s Legacy

In the wake of Winnie’s death, commentators on the left and advocates for black power are now openly challenging the compromise made by Nelson Mandela because of the persistence of gross inequality and poverty largely defined by race.

South-Africa-Winnie-Mandela-Nelson-Legacy

December 16, 2013

China
Nelson Mandela: A Communist?

Bill Keller’s recent New York Times article entitled "Nelson Mandela, Communist" appeared on December 8. Based on research undertaken by the British historian Stephen Ellis in 2011, Keller accepts El…

People wait in a bus line to pay their respects to former South African President Nelson Mandela in Pretoria December 13, 2013.

December 10, 2013

China
Nelson Mandela and Capitalism

Andrew Ross Sorkin addresses Nelson Mandela’s transformation from a socialist to a capitalist in the December 10 New York Times. Like other African liberation movements, the African National Congress…

Former South African President Nelson Mandela (L) raises the hand of the new President, Thabo Mbeki after he took the oath of office at the Union Buildings in Pretoria June 16.