January 7, 2020Iran
Nigeria and South Africa are the giants of Africa, with the two largest economies on the continent. Both have had long-term relationships with Iran, though South Africa’s has been the closer. Thus far, the official reaction to Soleimani’s death from Nigeria and South Africa has been muted or non-existent, reflecting caution. Though the Nigerian inspector general of police has put his forces on “red alert,” likely fearing action by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) or other alleged Iranian proxies, there has been no apparent word from the government. In South Africa, the fiercest reaction came from the African National Congress (ANC), while Naledi Pandor, the South African foreign minister, called for calm.
April 3, 2020Election 2020
Each Friday, I look at what the presidential challengers are saying about foreign policy. This week: the coronavirus’s impact on Election 2020, calls for sanctions relief for Iran, and authoritarian …
April 1, 2020China
In recent years, Russia has mimicked China's model of cyber sovereignty. This will likely harm Russian domestic security and influence in its near-abroad.
April 1, 2020Nigeria
President Buhari has ordered the lockdown of Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria’s commercial and political capitals, as part of the effort to contain the coronavirus. Lagos poses enormous challenges to “social distancing,” but it also has governance advantages other parts of Nigeria lack. Abuja is less crowded and in some areas has better infrastructure. It is also under the direct control of the Federal government. According to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker, as of the morning of April 1, Nigeria had 140 active confirmed cases, 2 deaths, and 9 people recovered. Nigeria recorded its first case of coronavirus in the country on February 25.
March 31, 2020Nigeria
On March 9, the governor of Kano state removed Sanusi Lamido Sanusi from his position as Emir of Kano, which is usually regarded as the second or third most important Muslim traditional ruler in Nigeria, and an Islamic scholar. There is speculation, especially among some Nigerian expats, that he is looking to launch a political career, perhaps even contesting for the presidency in 2023.
March 27, 2020Election 2020
Each Friday, I look at what the presidential challengers are saying about foreign policy. This week: The coronavirus pushes the Democratic presidential primaries to the sidelines, the Defense Product…
March 27, 2020Nigeria
Abba Kyari, President Muhammadu Buhari's chief of staff, has tested positive for coronavirus following a trip to Germany and Egypt, according to Nigerian media. So, too, have at least three of his staffers. Nigerian media describes Kyari as "very sick," and that he has been removed from Abuja to an infectious disease treatment center in Lagos.