Asylum-seekers during a protest outside a prison in the Negev desert, southern Israel, Feb. 22, 2018 (AP photo by Tsafrir Abayov).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and managing editor, Frederick Deknatel, discuss the challenges of covering international affairs in the Trump era. For the Report, Yardena Schwartz talks with WPR’s senior editor, Robbie Corey-Boulet, about how a divisive debate in Israel has left African migrants who arrived there seeking refuge in a state of limbo, neither welcomed nor expelled. If you like what you hear on Trend Lines and what you’ve read on WPR, you can sign up for our free newsletter to get our uncompromising analysis delivered straight to your inbox. The newsletter offers a […]

Malian presidential candidate Soumaila Cisse gestures during a campaign rally in Yanfolila, Mali, July 16, 2018 (AP photo by Baba Ahmed).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Senior Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. It was a turbulent home stretch for Mali’s presidential campaign, which formally ended Friday. Though voting was still two days away, the credibility of the results had already been called into question. That’s because some members of the opposition spent the past week taking issue with the voters’ roll, reportedly raising objections after the election commission published an online version that differed from the version that had been vetted by international monitors. Officials from the election commission attributed the […]

A boy walks past campaign posters for Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Harare, Zimbabwe, July 25, 2018 (AP photo by Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi).

The oldest man in the world lives in Zimbabwe. His name is Phidas Ndlovu, and he is 140 years old. At least, that is according to Zimbabwe’s Biometric Voters’ Roll, which was compiled ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for July 30. The vote is a milestone in Zimbabwean politics—the first held since the ouster of longtime President Robert Mugabe in November last year, and the first time in the history of independent Zimbabwe that Mugabe’s name will not appear on the ballot. But as much as the country’s political landscape has changed in the past eight months, […]

Cameroonian President Paul Biya attends a signing ceremony at the Great Hall Of The People, Beijing, China, March 22, 2018 (Photo by Lintao Zhang for Getty Images via AP images).

When Cameroon’s 85-year-old president, Paul Biya, announced on Twitter earlier this month that he would be running for a seventh consecutive term in October, it was a chance for the world to marvel anew at his remarkable longevity. Biya came to power 36 years ago, taking over for Ahmadou Ahidjo, Cameroon’s first president. Though the transfer was amicable, the two men were soon engaged in a power struggle that forced Ahidjo into exile. He would later be sentenced in absentia to life in prison for allegedly plotting against Biya, and he never returned, dying in Senegal in 1989. The Ahidjo […]

African migrants cross a street in southern Tel Aviv, Israel, April 3, 2018 (AP photo by Ariel Schalit).

TEL AVIV—This free-spirited coastal city, known for its vibrant nightlife and liberal politics, often seems so different from the rest of Israel that many call it “the State of Tel Aviv.” Yet the different parts of Tel Aviv also offer stark contrasts, especially between the wealthier north and the downtrodden south. In the north, chic cafes, shops, bars and restaurants abut tidy, well-groomed sidewalks lined with trees and flowers. In the south, crumbling buildings face sidewalks covered with garbage and entire blocks that smell like urine. In addition to this aesthetic fault line, in recent years a new political fault […]

Ethiopians wave during the visit of Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, July 15, 2018 (AP photo by Mulugeta Ayene).

The visit of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to Washington later this month presents President Donald Trump with a chance to make his first meaningful diplomatic contribution in Africa, a continent that appears to rank dead last in his global priorities. Trump can seize the opportunity by extending a White House invitation to his counterpart, who is in the United States for meetings with diaspora groups. By doing so, he would lend the weight of his office to a recent peace deal ending the war between Ethiopia and its neighbor Eritrea. The conflict lasted from 1998-2000 and cost tens of […]

A woman holds hands with her daughter at the Zamzam camp for internally displaced people in North Darfur, Sudan, June 11, 2014 (Photo by Albert Gonzalez Farran for UNAMID via AP).

Ten years ago, stories about endemic violence in the Darfur region of Sudan often made headlines in the West. The conflict there continues sporadically but is all but forgotten today. This month, the Security Council agreed to slash the number of peacekeepers in the joint United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur, or UNAMID, by almost half, with a view to closing the mission entirely in 2020. The decision created barely a ripple beyond the council. Nonetheless, the drawdown of UNAMID potentially marks a turning point for U.N. peacekeeping operations. As I have previously noted, the mission is one of five […]

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 Senior Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. Not for the first time, those hoping that a public appearance by Congolese President Joseph Kabila would shed light on his political future were left disappointed this week. On Thursday, Kabila delivered his state-of-the-nation address to lawmakers, vowing to stick to the current timeline of holding long-delayed elections in December. But he did not say whether he would be a presidential candidate, opting instead to keep the country in suspense. “It’s what the Congolese people have come to expect […]

Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the president of Equatorial Guinea, addresses the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, New York, Sept. 21, 2017 (AP photo by Frank Franklin II).

On Monday, Equatorial Guinea opened a five-day National Dialogue that was first announced in June by longtime President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. Earlier this month, Obiang also promised a total amnesty for jailed political prisoners and opposition figures who have been banned from politics, although one recently banned party, Citizens for Innovation, declared that he did not follow through. In an email interview, Mark Blaisse, a freelance journalist and expert on Equatorial Guinea, discusses Obiang’s motives in declaring the amnesty and calling for the dialogue, and the prospects for it leading to meaningful change. World Politics Review: The current National […]

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa and Lindiwe Sisulu, the foreign affairs minister, during the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement, Kigali, Rwanda, March 21, 2018 (AP photo).

Last week, during a press conference in Abuja, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said he would “soon sign” the agreement creating the African Continental Free Trade Area, or ACFTA. His vow came nearly four months after the agreement was unveiled, and Buhari offered an unusual explanation for the delay. “I am a slow reader, maybe because I was an ex-soldier,” he said. “I didn’t read it fast enough before my officials saw that it was all right for signature.” That may well be true. But it’s also true that Buhari had come under pressure from the man standing next to him […]

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari arrives at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Nigeria, Aug. 19, 2017 (Photo by Sunday Aghaeze for the Nigerian State House via AP).

Last week, Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress, split, with several parliamentarians and former allies of President Muhammadu Buhari breaking away to form the Reformed-All Progressives Congress, or R-APC. “The APC has run a rudderless, inept and incompetent government that has failed to deliver good governance to the Nigerian people,” the national chairman of the new rival faction, Buba Galadima, a former Buhari confidant, declared. In a sense, the schism merely formalized tensions within the APC that go back years. On one level, it reflects some northern Nigerian politicians’ impatience with waiting their turn for the presidency and with […]

Members of the public listen as the High Court in Kenya begins hearing arguments in a case challenging parts of the penal code that target LGBT people, Nairobi, Kenya, Feb. 22, 2018 (AP photo by Ben Curtis).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and managing editor, Frederick Deknatel, discuss the NATO summit and the implications of U.S. President Donald Trump’s disruptive approach to the alliance. For the Report, Nanjala Nyabola talks with WPR’s senior editor, Robbie Corey-Boulet, about Kenyan filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu’s struggle to get her internationally acclaimed film, “Rafiki”—a love story between two women—screened in her native country, and the social and legal implications for Kenya’s film industry and creative community. If you like what you hear on Trend Lines and what you’ve read on WPR, you can sign up for our […]

An activist opposed to the removal of the presidential age limit is arrested, Kampala, Uganda, Sept. 21, 2017 (AP photo by Ronald Kabuubi).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Senior Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. In recent years, the leaders of a number of African countries have tried to curtail the influence of social media by imposing internet blackouts, especially during elections and other times of heightened tension. This year, Uganda has been pushing something different: a tax on the use of social media, which would have the added benefit of raising revenue while muffling criticism of President Yoweri Museveni’s government. The BBC reported that, under the new measure, users of social media sites […]

Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe, center, stands with other African leaders during a group photo at a summit in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Nov. 29, 2017 (AP photo by Geert Vanden Wijngaert).

During his trip to Nigeria last week, in between doling out advice to young entrepreneurs and dancing at the New Afrika Shrine in Lagos, French President Emmanuel Macron took a few moments to address the political crisis in Togo, which has dragged on for nearly a year. Yet those hoping for a substantive intervention from the leader of Togo’s former colonial power were no doubt left disappointed, as Macron kept things brief and perhaps deliberately vague. His message: “The status quo is no longer possible.” Predictably, loyalists of President Faure Gnassingbe, whose family has run Togo for half a century, […]

Wanuri Kahiu, the director of the film “Rafiki,” stands by an art installation in Nairobi, Kenya, April 27, 2018 (AP photo by Ben Curtis).

NAIROBI—In late April, Wanuri Kahiu, the Kenyan filmmaker, was busy preparing to walk down the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival in France. With just a week to spare, she needed to finalize arrangements with the fashion designers and stylists who would provide the various looks for the media whirlwind, as well as prepare for a barrage of meetings with other directors, producers and potential funders. For an independent filmmaker, Cannes has always been the premiere event for those hoping to get a film seen and sold. As the first Kenyan ever invited to screen a film there, Kahiu […]

French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech during a press conference ahead of a meeting of G5 Sahel heads of state, Nouakchott, Mauritania, July 2, 2018 (AP photo by Ludovic Marin).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Senior Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent.It’s been a rough few weeks for the G5 Sahel Joint Force, a counterterrorism initiative involving five West African countries that launched its first deployments last November. A series of recent setbacks have exposed indiscipline within the force’s ranks, the severity of the security challenges it faces and a lack of political will to ensure it succeeds. First, the U.N. mission in Mali, where the G5 Sahel is headquartered, reported last week that Malian members of the force “summarily and/or […]