Malian troops stand with former rebels before a joint patrol in Gao, Mali, Feb. 23, 2017 (AP photo by Baba Ahmed).

Ethnic violence in central Mali is the latest manifestation of the chronic insecurity that has prevailed for the better part of a decade. But even as bullets continue to fly, officials have backed a range of initiatives—from disarmament to criminal trials—to move on from the Malian conflict. BAMAKO—On a Monday morning last June, toward the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, Amadou Barry, a 55-year-old cattle herder and member of the Fulani ethnic group, noticed smoke coming out of a nearby village. It wasn’t long before he registered the sound of gunshots—a telltale sign that a militia attack was […]

People stand behind burnt out cars after a suicide bombing in Maiduguri, northeastern Nigeria, Feb. 17, 2017 (AP photo by Hamza Suleiman).

How has Nigeria responded to a resurgent Biafran separatist movement, and how is it dealing with its other security challenges? Learn more with a subscription to World Politics Review. Fifty years after the Biafran war, a new separatist movement has taken shape in the Nigerian province. In response, the Nigerian government has used a repressive approach to snuff out the movement, arresting activists en masse. The movement’s self-declared leader, Nnmadi Kanu, was at home when Nigerian soldiers stormed his compound. More than 20 people were either killed during the attack or disappeared after it. Kanu himself has not been seen […]

An Iraqi soldier watches smoke rise after an airstrike by U.S.-led coalition warplanes against ISIS, on the border between Syria and Iraq in Qaim, Anbar province, Iraq, Nov. 13, 2018 (AP photo by Hadi Mizban).

During the 2016 U.S. presidential race, then-candidate Donald Trump didn’t talk much about the specifics of foreign and national security policy, with one exception: a pledge to defeat the Islamic State. Once elected, Trump ramped up the anti-ISIS military campaign that President Barack Obama had begun and increased support to local militias in Syria, including many Syrian Kurds, and security forces in Iraq. Eventually, this paid off. Through a grueling campaign led by the militias and the Iraqis, the Islamic State lost most of the territory it controlled in both Iraq and Syria. A month ago, Trump declared victory. “We […]

Security forces help civilians flee the scene of the attack at the 14 Riverside hotel-office complex in Nairobi, Kenya, Jan. 15, 2019 (AP photo by Ben Curtis).

NAIROBI, Kenya—Last week, a five-man cell from al-Shabab, al-Qaida’s Somalia-based affiliate, entered the popular 14 Riverside hotel-office complex in an affluent neighborhood of Kenya’s capital, where there were more than 700 workers and hotel guests. One of the men blew himself up with a suicide vest, while the four others threw hand grenades and fired on people having a late lunch and then trying to flee. Al-Shabab has wreaked havoc in East Africa since 2006, proving to be one of the world’s deadliest jihadist groups. Its latest attack in Nairobi was an appalling reminder that, despite historic reforms and rapprochement […]

Pedestrians walk past a campaign poster showing Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa during the ruling party’s launch of its election manifesto, Harare, May 4, 2018 (AP photo by Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Senior Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent.A year ago, Zimbabwe’s president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, was riding high as he traveled to Davos, Switzerland, to declare at the World Economic Forum that his country was “open for business.” It was a message he had delivered many times since coming to power in November 2017, after longtime President Robert Mugabe was forced out in a military intervention, and would continue to deliver at seemingly every opportunity. As Alex T. Magaisa, a Zimbabwean analyst, put it last year, the new […]

Kenyan security forces aim their weapons as they run through a hotel complex in Nairobi, Kenya, Jan. 15, 2019 (AP photo by Ben Curtis).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Senior Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. On Monday, a court in Kenya ruled that three men must stand trial over their alleged role in the 2013 assault on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi by the Somali extremist group al-Shabab. That attack, which left more than 60 people dead, underscored the risk of blowback in Kenya over its military operations against al-Shabab in neighboring Somalia. The very next day, assailants detonated explosives in the parking lot of a Nairobi hotel and shopping complex before going inside […]

Across Africa, governments are struggling to contain militant groups that have capitalized on widespread anger over problems like corruption, inequality and abusive state security forces. Download your FREE copy of African Insurgencies In Nigeria, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Mali, Chad, Mozambique and Somalia to learn more today. In some countries, like Nigeria, these groups have already created large-scale humanitarian emergencies, killing thousands and displacing even more. In others, like Mozambique, the worst may still be yet to come. This report provides a survey of these crises and explains why official responses are falling short. Download African Insurgencies today to take a […]

U.S. President Donald Trump and James Mattis, then the secretary of defense, during a reception in the East Room at the White House, Washington, Oct. 25, 2018 (AP photo by Manuel Balce Ceneta).

During the Cold War, America’s global strategy was based on two pillars: leadership and security partnerships. First applied only to Europe, this strategy later expanded to the Pacific and, by the 1970s, to the Middle East, which became and remain the most important regions in American foreign policy. Global leadership placed economic and military burdens on the United States, but most Americans believed that the benefits justified the costs. While there were always debates over precisely how and where to implement the strategy, there was broad agreement on the two core pillars. The political right and left, Republicans and Democrats, […]

Security agents stand next to a large photograph of Senegalese President Macky Sall at the start of a campaign rally, Dakar, Senegal, March 23, 2012 (AP photo by Rebecca Blackwell).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Senior Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. Some 27 candidates initially threw their hats in the ring to challenge Senegalese President Macky Sall in the West African nation’s upcoming election, which is scheduled for Feb. 24. Seven weeks out from voting, however, it looks like the actual number of contenders will be considerably lower. On Wednesday, Senegal’s Constitutional Council ruled that 19 candidacy registrations had been rejected outright, while three others were still under review. Only five registrations, Sall’s included, had been approved. As Jeune Afrique […]