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June 22, 2022

Security Alliances
The G7, NATO, and the Future of the West

Rather than making democracy a litmus test, G7 and NATO leaders would gain more traction by focusing on the need for all countries to defend the fundamental rules of the international system grounded…

G7 leaders pose in front of their national flags for a family photo during a NATO summit on Russia's invasion of Ukraine at the alliance's headquarters in Brussels, Belgium on March 24, 2022.

May 10, 2022

Ukraine
Is Diplomacy Between Russia and the West Still Possible?

The West should keep open the possibility of diplomacy with Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin watches a military parade on Victory Day in central Moscow, Russia May 9, 2022.

May 19, 2022

Sudan
The Horn of Africa’s Dubious Dialogues

It’s a matter of conventional wisdom that the crises gripping the Horn of Africa are fundamentally political, and that viable, sustainable solutions can be found only through inclusive political dialogue. But in both Sudan and Ethiopia, current dialogues—one internationally backed and one a domestic project—inspire little confidence. The United States has real interests at stake in the region that are ill-served by relying on these processes to stabilize these two fragile countries.  In Sudan, where a more just and accountable political dispensation has been a U.S. priority for decades, the administration seems determined to defer to the United Nations (UN)-African Union (AU)-Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) tripartite mechanism, which the State Department recently described as “the most inclusive mechanism to achieve an urgently needed agreement” on a way forward in Sudan.

Secretary Anthony Blinken shakes hands with Workneh Gebeyehu from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development. Both wearing suits, ties, and black face masks.

April 18, 2022

West Africa
Under Threat: Democracy in Africa

Our panelists discuss the most recent rise in violent conflict and coups in Africa, the threats these coups pose to fragile democratic institutions, governance, and civil society, and options to prev…

Play National observers look on while electoral official organize votes during the closing of the polls in a polling station in the city of Bahir Dar, on June 21, 2021. - Ethiopia voted on June 21, 2021, in an election billed as the most democratic yet in Africa's second-most populous country, but taking place as famine blights its war-torn Tigray region.

March 22, 2022

Sub-Saharan Africa
Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine May Drive a Wedge Between the West and Africa

The apparent reluctance of many African countries to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caught many Western governments, diplomatic experts, and observers of Africa’s international relations by surprise. Although twenty-eight African countries voted in favor of the March 2, 2022, UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution demanding that Russia “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders,” notably, seventeen African nations abstained while no votes were recorded from another eight. Unsurprisingly, Eritrea, whose leader Isaias Afwerki enjoys a close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and who has long staked out an anti-Western diplomatic stance, joined Belarus, North Korea, Russia, and Syria in voting against the resolution. In total, 141 (out of 194) UN member states endorsed the resolution.

United States Ambassador to the United Nations wearing a red jacket speaks into a microphone while seated at the United Nations.

March 24, 2022

Ukraine
Ukrainian Refugees Fleeing West

Our panelists discuss the growing Ukrainian refugee crisis, the situation on the ground in Poland and other neighboring countries where over three million Ukrainians have fled, and what is to be expe…

Play A group of Ukrainian refugees walk along the platform at a train station in Poland.

March 9, 2022

Burkina Faso
What the Sankara Assassination Trial Means for West Africa

The trial against Burkina Faso’s exiled former leader for a decades-old assassination case could signal progress on accountability at a time of coups and upheaval regionwide.

People attend the opening of the trial against alleged perpetrators of the assassination of former President Thomas Sankara in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

March 18, 2022

Sub-Saharan Africa
AGOA: The U.S.-Africa Trade Program

AGOA is the cornerstone of the U.S.-Africa trade relationship, but declining support has called the program’s value into question.

A worker wearing a dust mask sews at an export processing zone factory in Athi River, Kenya.

April 28, 2022

Sub-Saharan Africa
Africa Must Be Wary of Cutting Its Nose to Spite Its Face

Invoking historical rough justice and persistent infantilization by the West, African countries have, to widespread astonishment, refused to give a full-throated backing to Western sanctions against Russia. Seventeen of the thirty-five abstainers from the United Nations General Assembly vote on March 2, 2022, to condemn the Russian “aggression against Ukraine” were African. More troublingly, even more African countries abstained from voting on the UN April 7, 2022, resolution to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council over “gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights” in Ukraine. The latter list included South Africa, Cameroon, Ghana, and Nigeria, which hitherto had joined 140 other UN members to condemn the Russian invasion.

Kenyan Ambassador to the United nations sits in front of his microphone.

January 25, 2022

Burkina Faso
Coup in Burkina Faso Bodes Ill for Stability in West Africa

After President Roch Kabore of Burkina Faso was overthrown in a military coup, both the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU) condemned what they have insisted is an “attempted coup” and reminded the Burkinabe military of its constitutional role of defending and upholding the constitution.

A group of military personnel wearing camouflage give an announcement on broadcast television.