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

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Associate Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. Last week, AFP reported on Nigeria’s search for oil in the country’s northeast, the home base of the Boko Haram insurgency. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation described the effort, which is being aided by Chinese technical expertise, as a priority for the country. But analysts warned of the security implications, noting that any discoveries could create potential new targets for an insurgency that is still very much active. Those warnings are looking prescient today. Bloomberg reported Thursday that Boko […]

Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh arrives to attend the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, Maryland, Aug. 3, 2014 (AP photo by Cliff Owen).

Just weeks after sending troops to its first overseas military base in the tiny East African nation of Djibouti, China has come forward with a curious offer: to dive headlong into a dispute that illustrates the complex rivalries of the Horn of Africa region. In an interview with the Associated Press published July 21, Kuang Weilin, China’s ambassador to the African Union (AU), said China would consider sending peacekeeping troops to a border area contested by Djibouti and Eritrea. The dispute over the area, known as Ras Doumeira, dates back to the late 19th century, when Eritrea was colonized by […]

Rwandan President Paul Kagame addresses supporters at an election campaign rally in the Nyabugogo area of Kigali, July 19, 2017 (AP photo by Eric Murinzi).

In May 2016, five months after voters approved changes to Rwanda’s constitution that would allow him to spend up to 17 more years in office, President Paul Kagame sat down for a telling conversation with two of his most high-profile foreign admirers: former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and American philanthropist Howard Buffett. The venue, the 2016 World Economic Forum for Africa, held in Rwanda’s tidy capital, Kigali, was the sort of spectacle that the 59-year-old Kagame, who is almost certain to win re-election next week, relishes. Over three days of discussions and panels, African and global business elites frequently […]

Unemployed Tunisians protest amid unrest that led to a nationwide curfew, Tunis, Jan. 22, 2016 (AP photo by Riadh Dridi).

Tunisia is a paradox. It is the Arab Spring’s one fragile success story, still committed to a democratic path. It is also the largest recruiting ground for Islamist terrorist groups, revealing deep fault lines in the country’s efforts to provide its citizens with more political and economic opportunity. The Trump administration is currently sending mixed signals in terms of its approach to the country, highlighting the key role Congress can play in ensuring a balanced and productive policy. Tunisia—small, relatively homogeneous and endowed with strong human development indicators rather than natural resources—is the last Arab Spring country standing. It has […]

A medical worker sprays people being discharged from the Island Clinic Ebola treatment center, Monrovia, Liberia, Sept. 30, 2014 (AP photo by Jerome Delay).

On July 2, the World Health Organization announced the end of the latest Ebola outbreak, which took place in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s northern province of Bas-Uele. All told, four people died during the two-month outbreak, while four people survived infection with the virus. “With the end of this epidemic, DRC has once again proved to the world that we can control the very deadly Ebola virus if we respond early in a coordinated and efficient way,” said the WHO’s director-general, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. While Congo has extensive experience with Ebola, and the latest outbreak took place in […]

Ivorian troops during an election rally for President Alassane Ouattara, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, Oct. 23, 2015 (AP photo by Schalk van Zuydam).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Associate Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. More than six months after a series of military mutinies kicked off in the city of Bouake, Cote d’Ivoire still can’t shake the intermittent unrest that has provided a dark counternarrative to what was once widely viewed as a sterling post-conflict success story. Last weekend, three soldiers were killed when shooting erupted at a military camp in the northern city of Korhogo; gunfire was also reported in the Abidjan neighborhood of Abobo. This was followed by further violence on […]

Republic of Congo President Denis Sassou Nguesso stands with his wife, Antoinette, as they cast their ballots, Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, March 20, 2016 (AP photo by John Bompengo).

The legislative and local elections currently taking place in the Republic of Congo are intended to complete the process of installing a new government following a deeply divisive constitutional reform process in 2015. But government critics believe the first round of voting that took place Sunday was significant for another reason: It highlighted, they say, authorities’ struggle to confront an array of social and security challenges as President Denis Sassou Nguesso’s political legitimacy weakens. With the exception of a five-year span from 1992 to 1997, Sassou Nguesso has served as president of the central African nation since 1979. Facing term […]

Congolese President Joseph Kabila during an independence day celebration, Kindu, Democratic Republic of Congo, June 30, 2016 (AP photo by John Bompengo).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Associate Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Democratic Republic of Congo reported this week that an additional 38 suspected mass graves had been discovered in the central region of Kasai, the latest indicator of the gravity of violence that has claimed more than 3,000 lives since last year. The new findings mean that at least 80 mass graves have been identified in connection with the Kamuina Nsapu insurgency, a main driver of instability in a country that appears to be […]

A child shouts during a rally protesting Israel’s military operations in Gaza, Dakar, Senegal, July 25, 2014 (AP photo by Jane Hahn).

The most recent meeting of the West African bloc ECOWAS featured an appearance by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who declared it a “dream to come here to this organization,” while offering Israeli partnership in areas including counterterrorism and agriculture. While Netanyahu’s outreach to Africa has generally proceeded smoothly, relations with Senegal hit a snag late last year over a United Nations resolution demanding a halt to Israeli settlement building. In response to the vote, Israel suspended aid and recalled its ambassador to Senegal, a co-sponsor of the resolution. In an email interview, Dr. Arye Oded, a retired Israeli ambassador and […]

A Senegalese boy from the southern Casamance region waits by his family’s belongings at a camp for those displaced by fighting south of Ziguinchor, Senegal, April 7, 2006 (AP photo by Laurent Emmanuel).

Early this year, as the world waited to see whether Gambia’s then-president, Yahya Jammeh, would accept his election defeat and leave office, observers questioned who could help him muster the firepower to mount a last stand. Though this debate turned out to be largely speculative, one of the most commonly cited possible reserves of support was the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC), an insurgent group that has been active in southern Senegal for more than three decades. Allegations of ties between Jammeh and the rebels go back to the early days of Jammeh’s rule, which began with a […]

Migrants and refugees stand on the deck of a vessel after being rescued by Spanish NGO workers on the Mediterranean Sea, June 16, 2017 (AP photo by Emilio Morenatti).

Editor’s note: The following article is one of 30 that we’ve selected from our archives to celebrate World Politics Review’s 15th anniversary. You can find the full collection here. As people continue to migrate—and die—by crossing the Mediterranean Sea by boat, it is time to reflect on what has gone wrong with the 2015 European Agenda on Migration. The agenda purports to be a comprehensive, multidimensional framework designed to address the crisis of increased precarious migration to Europe and associated fatalities at sea. It has led to the development and implementation of policies across a range of priority areas. Yet without […]

A fishing boat sailing down the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt, Sept. 3, 2011 (AP photo by Amr Nabil).

For millennia, the Nile River has served as the backbone of Egypt, the lifeblood of its people. Gradually, though, the land of the pharaohs is losing its grip. Late last month, Uganda hosted the first ever heads-of-state summit aimed at resolving disagreements over the waters of the Nile. But it produced no major breakthrough and appeared to be a flop. In coming months, the opening of a major dam in Ethiopia will truly test Egypt’s anxieties that countries upstream are refusing to bow to its demands. The dam’s opening will reveal just how much leverage Egypt has lost. Egypt has […]

African leaders, along with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, at the 28th Assembly of the African Union, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Jan. 30, 2017 (AP photo by Mulugeta Ayene).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, Associate Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. This week’s African Union summit—which brought heads of state to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Monday and Tuesday—featured debate on how best to accomplish one of the main recommendations from its reform commission: curb the body’s reliance on outside donors. Julian Hattem reported for WPR in February that the African Union’s expenses are expected to total $439 million this year, of which just 26 percent will be covered by African nations, undercutting leaders’ claims that it pursues “African solutions to African […]

Migrants sit on the deck of a rescue vessel after being rescued on the Mediterranean Sea, 20 miles north of Zuwarah, Libya, June 21, 2017 (AP photo by Emilio Morenatti).

Last month, a militia that had been holding Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, the son of former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, announced he had been released in accordance with an amnesty law passed by a parliament based in the eastern city of Tobruk. In response, Fatou Bensouda, the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, issued a statement calling for Gadhafi’s arrest so he could face crimes against humanity charges in The Hague. However, in a testament to the political and security factors that have dogged the court’s work in Libya for years, Gadhafi’s whereabouts are unknown, and he does not appear to […]

Demonstrators protest against South African President Jacob Zuma, Pretoria, South Africa, April 7, 2017 (AP photo by Themba Hadebe).

In December, South Africa’s ruling African National Congress will elect a new party leader to succeed beleaguered President Jacob Zuma and lead the party into national elections in 2019. Within the ANC, the campaign to replace Zuma officially has not started. But, in effect, it has been underway since the beginning of the year, with political maneuvering and jockeying behind the scenes. This is a product of the ANC’s arcane internal procedures, a hangover from its years of exile when members viewed elections for party positions with suspicion and preferred so-called consensus candidates in order to avoid “disunity.” The fiction […]