Chadian troops participate in the closing ceremony of Operation Flintlock, N'Djamena, Chad, March 9, 2015 (AP photo by Jerome Delay).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Associate Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. While many people have argued that the Trump administration’s travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries is a bad policy regardless of which states it affects, the inclusion of Chad in the latest iteration, announced Sunday, was especially baffling to those familiar with Chad’s record on counterterrorism and its ties to the United States. As the Sahel region has struggled to cope with a proliferation of jihadi groups, Chad has played an essential role in maintaining at least a semblance […]

Rebel fighters move through the deserted streets of downtown Monrovia, Liberia, May 18, 1996 (AP photo by David Guttenfelder).

Since his arrival in the U.S. nearly two decades ago, Mohammed Jabbateh has dutifully cultivated the image of a hardworking immigrant, building up a container-shipping business in Philadelphia and supporting his family, including five children. But it is another image that helps explain why the Liberian will stand trial next week in federal court. A photograph taken during the West African nation’s 14-year-long period of civil conflict, and submitted as evidence by prosecutors, shows Jabbateh as an unsmiling young man in dark sunglasses surrounded by combatants. Known to Liberians as “Jungle Jabbah,” Jabbateh served as a commander in the United […]

Members of the Biafran separatist movement, Umuahia, Nigeria, May 28, 2017 (AP photo by Lekan Oyekanmi).

With the arrest of 60 supporters of the Biafra separatist movement this week, Nigeria has taken a step closer to provoking a violent insurgency in the southeastern region of the country. As tensions rise, both the government and the separatists are threatening to push Nigeria further into conflict. In an email interview, Ryan Cummings, director of Signal Risk, an Africa-focused risk management consultancy, examines what is driving the Biafra separatist movement, the evolution in the government’s response and the risks if the conflict escalates. WPR: What is behind the surge in pro-Biafra activism, and what do these activists hope to […]

Angola’s newly inaugurated president, Joao Lourenco, shows his ink-stained finger as he faces the media after casting his vote in the recent election, Luanda, Angola, Aug. 23, 2017 (AP photo by Bruno Fonseca).

Yesterday Angola swore in its first new president in nearly four decades. But how much change did that really represent? Joao Lourenco, who won last month’s election to succeed Jose Eduardo dos Santos, in power since 1979, is from the same party, the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola—which dos Santos still heads even after resigning as president. Known as the MPLA, the party has ruled Angola ever since its independence from Portugal in 1975. During its long tenure in power, Angola at least nominally became a democracy, and that was 25 years ago. The MPLA’s re-election, albeit in […]

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Guinean President Alpha Conde on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit, Xiamen, China, Sept. 5, 2017 (Pool photo via AP).

China signed an extraordinary $20 billion loan agreement with Guinea earlier this month, providing the West African country with much-needed financial resources over the next two decades in exchange for concessions and access to its abundant deposits of bauxite, an industrial aluminum ore that is in high demand. The first phase of the deal involves three separate Chinese mining infrastructure projects in the northwestern town of Boffa: a planned alumina refinery and two bauxite extraction operations. China is currently a top global consumer of bauxite, an industrial ore that is first refined into alumina, also known as aluminum oxide, and […]

Soldiers stand during the inauguraton of Mali’s United Nations peacekeeping mission, Bamako, Mali, July 1, 2013 (AP photo by Harouna Traore).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Associate Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. As United Nations peacekeeping missions struggle to adapt to sharp budget cuts, one of the factors that could affect future funding levels is the organization’s response to persistent allegations of sexual abuse by U.N. troops. Speaking at the U.N. Security Council earlier this year, Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., warned that the U.S. could withdraw money for missions that fail to combat abuse and hold perpetrators accountable. New evidence of the U.N.’s shortcomings in cracking down […]

Turkish supporters of former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi protest with a portrait of current Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, depicted as the "last pharaoh," Ankara, Turkey, July 13, 2013 (AP photo by Burhan Ozbilici).

Egypt and Turkey, two of the Middle East’s largest and most influential states, have developed diametrically opposed foreign policies since downgrading their diplomatic ties four years ago. With leaders in both countries continuing to consolidate power domestically, the region should brace for the impact of competing influences in the power struggle between Cairo and Ankara. In an email interview, Yasser El Shimy, adjunct professor at George Washington University in Washington D.C., discusses the evolution of Egypt-Turkey ties, how their foreign policies have become increasingly competitive, and what outside forces have done to exacerbate tensions. WPR: How have Egypt-Turkey relations evolved […]

Security forces line up Sudanese migrants detained at a police station after they were rescued from a boat that capsized in the Mediterranean Sea, Rosetta, Egypt, Sept. 21, 2016 (AP photo by Eman Helal).

The remains of at least 14 adults and children, mainly skulls and bones, were discovered last month on a desert road in Egypt’s Nile Valley. Days later, a similar discovery was made nearly 200 miles away, according to a report in Al-Monitor. Along with a series of high-profile arrests, the grisly discoveries in Egypt again raised the specter of illicit organ trafficking in a country that has become a launching point for the migration of vulnerable people from sub-Saharan Africa to Europe and beyond. Egypt has long been a destination for its troubled southern neighbors, such as Sudan, Ethiopia and […]

Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi delivers a speech, Tunis, May 10, 2017 (AP photo by Hassene Dridi).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Associate Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. Despite two years of protests, Tunisian lawmakers this week approved a so-called economic reconciliation law that allows for amnesty for officials accused of corruption under former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the first head of state to fall during the 2011 Arab uprisings. Predictably, the move was condemned by opposition lawmakers and civil society activists. One MP said the law signified “the return of the dictatorial state,” while another described it as “an advanced stage of counter-revolution.” The […]

Ethiopian troops deployed in South Sudan participate in celebrations marking the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepekers, Juba, South Sudan, May 29, 2017 (AP photo by Samir Bol).

For years, Ethiopia has been actively engaged in the civil war in neighboring South Sudan, providing troops and diplomatic support to help stabilize the ravaged country. But Ethiopia’s relations with Sudan, which South Sudan broke away from in 2011, go far deeper and have not always been amicable. In an email interview, Terrence Lyons, associate professor of international relations at George Mason University and research associate at the Brookings Institution, discusses the roots of the relationship, how South Sudan’s independence and subsequent civil war have complicated Ethiopia’s foreign policy, and what other regional issues Ethiopia, Sudan and South Sudan must […]

Tanzanian President John Magufuli is congratulated by former President Jakaya Kikwete during his inauguration ceremony, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Nov. 5, 2015 (AP photo by Khalfan Said).

Tundu Lissu was having a rough year even before he was attacked by multiple gunmen last week, taking bullets in the stomach, leg and arm. The opposition lawmaker, who is also president of the national bar association, gained new prominence last year when he began denouncing President John Magufuli as a “petty dictator.” Since then, he has been arrested repeatedly in retaliation for anti-government statements, including this past July and August. By the AFP’s count, he has been arrested “at least six times” in 2017 alone. Last Thursday, the dangers he faced became starker when assailants shot him outside his […]

German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomes Niger’s president, Mahamadou Issoufou, to a conference on G-20 partnerships with Africa, Berlin, June 12, 2017 (AP photo by Michael Sohn).

Niger’s president, Mahamadou Issoufou, is a central figure in two distinct but overlapping crises: the elevated flow of migrants from Africa to Europe and the insecurity in Africa’s Sahel region. In both crises, European leaders are increasingly looking to Issoufou to implement solutions. Issoufou has used his international prominence to play up his leadership at home, which may not be as secure as it seems. Within the migrant crisis, Niger is a key partner for European leaders who hope to both block migration and prevent it through economic development. The northern Nigerien city of Agadez is a hub for migrants […]

African migrants who were rescued from the Mediterranean Sea north of the Libyan coast look up from the deck as they approach Sicily, Sept. 1, 2017 (AP photo by Darko Bandic).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and senior editor, Frederick Deknatel, discuss the looming battle over Syria’s reconstruction and the new realm of the North Korean threat after Pyongyang’s most recent nuclear test. For the Report, Andrew Green talks with Peter Dörrie about why German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door response to the migrant and refugee crisis upended Germany’s Africa policy and how Merkel is now trying to stem the flow of African migrants. If you like what you hear on Trend Lines, as well as what you’ve seen on WPR, please think about supporting our work […]

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and army chief of staff Lt. Gen. James Ajongo Mawut attend a ceremony, Juba, South Sudan, May 18, 2017 (AP photo by Bullen Chol).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Associate Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. On his first overseas trip since becoming administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, Mark Green’s most confrontational interaction occurred when he sat down with South Sudanese President Salva Kiir. Giving voice to Washington’s frustration with the country’s four-year-old civil war, particularly the dangers facing humanitarian aid workers and reports of atrocities, Green told Kiir the Trump administration would be conducting “a complete review” of its policy toward the world’s youngest nation. Kiir, however, countered that Green’s view […]

Activist Kemi Seba gestures during an interview, Paris, June 28, 2006 (AP photo by Michel Euler).

During a rally in Senegal’s capital last month, a fiery and prominent political activist, Kemi Seba, launched into his customary, extended harangue against France’s influence over its former African colonies. As he criticized African leaders he said were pursuing French interests at the expense of their own citizens, Seba became especially impassioned discussing the continued reliance on the CFA franc, a currency backed by reserves held in France that is used by more than a dozen African countries. At one point, with cameras rolling, Seba said, “Here’s what I think about this money,” before setting a pale green 5,000 CFA […]

Riot police remove a barricade used to block a road during protests, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dec. 20, 2016 (AP photo by John Bompengo).

Angola has long been a kingmaker in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, wielding tremendous power and influence in its domestic politics. Yet despite decades of close relations, tensions are rising between the two countries. As Congolese President Joseph Kabila’s grip on power looks increasingly tenuous, Angola, which just elected a new president for the first time in nearly 38 years, fears instability on its border. In an email interview, Alex Vines, head of the Africa program at Chatham House in London and a senior lecturer at Coventry University, discusses the importance of stability in relations between Angola and Congo, […]

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is greeted by Niger’s president, Mahamadou Issoufou, and members of the Wodaabe ethnic group, Niamey, Niger, Oct. 10, 2016 (Dpa photo by Michael Kappeler via AP)

BERLIN—When Adam Bahar fled Sudan in 2008, he had no plans to head to Germany. Bahar’s family is originally from the historically neglected Darfur region in Sudan’s west. When fighters from the region rebelled against the Khartoum-based government in 2003, they were met with sweeping violence. The government backed a genocidal response aimed not just at the rebels, but also their perceived civilian sympathizers. Nearly 15 years later, spasmodic attacks continue. Listen to Andrew Green discuss this article on WPR’s Trend Lines Podcast. His audio begins at 21:10: Bahar, living in Khartoum when the fighting began, was horrified both by […]

Showing 1 - 17 of 181 2 Last