Polish President Andrzej Duda speaks during a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, Warsaw, April 19, 2018 (AP photo by Czarek Sokolowski).

In a special end-of-summer episode this week, we look back at three of our most popular Report interviews so far this year: the veil of secrecy over the U.S. military’s growing presence in West Africa; Bolivia’s controversial coca policy, which has been called both a solution to drug trafficking and part of the problem; and the role historical memory plays in Poland’s contentious politics. 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 […]

Ugandan pop star Robert Kyagulanyi, better known as Bobi Wine, center, wearing a beret, is hugged by a supporter as he gets into an ambulance after leaving a courthouse in Gulu, Uganda, Aug. 27, 2018 (AP photo).

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni knows how to take down a rival. The wreckage of various careers are scattered across his 33-year rule—politicians and military officers, unwilling to bend to his will or accept his largesse, who were derailed by well-timed scandals, arrests or worse. But with the detention and apparent torture this month of 36-year-old pop star-turned-politician Robert Kyagulanyi, better known to Ugandans as Bobi Wine, has Museveni finally overreached? Over more than three decades, Museveni has faced only one legitimate political challenger. Kizza Besigye was part of Museveni’s National Resistance Movement, or NRM, during the Bush War that brought […]

U.S. President Donald Trump poses with African leaders, including Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, at the Group of Seven summit, Taormina, Italy, May 27, 2017 (AP photo by Andrew Medichini).

In his first year in office, U.S. President Donald Trump’s attitude toward Africa was a mix of scorn, neglect and mercantilism. He reportedly called several African nations “shithole countries” and said they were places his friends went “trying to get rich.” When then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made his maiden voyage to the continent in March, he went home early and was promptly fired. Africans noticed the snub. But in Trump’s second year, there are indications his administration may be taking a new, more traditional tack, even as Trump himself continues to create crises. Late Wednesday night, Trump tweeted unexpectedly […]

A selection of books are on display in a bookstore in Cape Town, South Africa, Jan. 23, 2018 (AP photo by Christopher Torchia).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s managing editor, Frederick Deknatel, and senior editor, Robbie Corey-Boulet, discuss the real story around land expropriation in South Africa, after President Donald Trump’s promotion of a white-nationalist conspiracy theory about white South African farmers. They also look at overshadowed headline news from the week, including the international implications of Trump’s rollback of the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which had set national carbon pollution limits on coal-fired power plants. 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 […]

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa looks on during the BRICS summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, July 26, 2018 (AP photo by Themba Hadebe).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Senior Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. “South Africa totally rejects this narrow perception which only seeks to divide our nation and reminds us of our colonial past.” That was the government of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, responding to a surprise provocation from U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday night. After apparently watching an “investigation” by Fox News’ Tucker Carlson into South Africa’s plans for land reform, Trump announced on Twitter that he had ordered Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “to closely study the South […]

Russian President Vladimir Putin with Central African Republic President Faustin-Archange Touadera, St. Petersburg, Russia, May 23, 2018 (Photo by Mikhail Klimentyev for Sputnik via AP Images).

Investigating the Russian government has historically been a dangerous business, and yet the circumstances surrounding the deaths of journalists Alexander Rastorguyev, Kirill Radchenk and Orkhan Dzhemal in the Central African Republic late last month still managed to raise eyebrows. Part of the reason the tragedy has continued to attract international attention weeks later is because it highlights a story that had flown under the radar for months: the unexpected presence of Russian mercenaries in one of the most obscure parts of the world. Russia’s presence in the Central African Republic is a relatively new phenomenon. While Soviet activity there was […]

Ugandan lawmakers are taken away in a prison truck after appearing in a court in Gulu, northern Uganda, Aug. 16, 2018 (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. Since being elected to Uganda’s parliament last year, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssenatamu has become a major thorn in the side of President Yoweri Museveni. Instantly recognizable in his red beret, Kyagulanyi, an independent politician who first gained fame as a pop star and refers to himself as the “ghetto president,” emerged as the leader of a protest movement in late 2017 against a constitutional amendment to lift Uganda’s presidential age limit. The amendment was apparently designed to enable Museveni, who’s […]

Simone Gbagbo, wife of Laurent Gbagbo, during a pro-Gbagbo rally at the Palace of Culture in the Treichville neighborhood of Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, Jan. 15, 2011 (AP photo by Rebecca Blackwell).

In the immediate aftermath of Cote d’Ivoire’s 2011 post-election conflict, as soldiers were still trying to impose order and Red Cross workers were clearing dead bodies from the streets of Abidjan, President Alassane Ouattara vowed to hold those responsible for the violence to account. “There can be no reconciliation without justice,” he said. “All Ivorians are equal before the law. We will fight impunity.” It was a message he would return to again and again—including four years later, when he was preparing to run for a second term. “Everyone responsible for atrocities will be tried,” he said in April 2015. […]

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, right, sits with Vice President Constantino Chiwenga during a Heroes’ Day event in Harare, Aug. 13, 2018 (AP photo by Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi).

After Zimbabwe’s elections late last month, the first without Robert Mugabe on the ballot, it seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Despite pre-poll speculation that the vote might usher in an era of change and renewal after 38 years under the ruling ZANU-PF party—and two decades of steep political and economic decline—a new dawn stubbornly failed to arrive. Zimbabwe has a largely unchanged political landscape, still dominated by ZANU-PF. Emmerson Mnangagwa retained the presidency with 50.8 percent of the vote over Nelson Chamisa of the opposition MDC Alliance, who got 44.3 percent. ZANU-PF has […]

Nigerian special forces, Chadian troops and U.S. advisers participate in the Flintlock exercise, Mao, Chad, March 7, 2015 (AP photo by Jerome Delay).

Reports out of Washington suggest that the Pentagon is considering cutting U.S. counterterrorism operations in West and Central Africa, redirecting the special operations forces there to instead prepare for big wars. In one sense, this is perfectly normal—the Department of Defense constantly adjusts its posture and procedures as security threats evolve. But in this case, downsizing America’s military commitment to Africa may signal something bigger, indicating that President Donald Trump believes it is time to take his administration’s foot off the gas in the global conflict with violent jihadism. Following the 9/11 attacks, President George W. Bush committed the United […]

Three men head north toward Algeria after crossing the Assamaka border post in northern Niger, June 3, 2018 (AP photo by Jerome Delay).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and managing editor, Frederick Deknatel, discuss the implications of renewed U.S. sanctions against Iran and a new round of tariffs against Chinese imports. For the Report, Leila Beratto talks with WPR’s senior editor, Robbie Corey-Boulet, about Algeria’s campaign of mass expulsions targeting migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, and why it has rights activists and neighboring countries up in arms. 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 […]

Congolese President Joseph Kabila speaks during the state of the nation address to lawmakers, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, July 19, 2018 (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. After keeping his country in suspense for well over three years, Congolese President Joseph Kabila finally made clear this week that he does not intend to run for a third term. Government spokesman Lambert Mende announced the decision on Wednesday, the last day for candidates to file papers with the election commission. Kabila’s term officially ended in December 2016. But well before that, beginning in January 2015, Congo had been hit with periodic protests organized by government critics who […]

Migrants climb into a truck to head north into Algeria at the Assamaka border post in northern Niger, June 3, 2018 (AP photo by Jerome Delay).

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. ORAN, Algeria—Early one morning last April, Etienne, a 36-year-old migrant from Cameroon, was asleep in the hotel room he rented by the month in this port city on the northwestern coast of Algeria. His plan, like most days, was to wake up at 6 a.m. and head to the private residence where he worked as a gardener. On this particular morning, however, he was roused ahead of schedule. At 4 a.m., a […]

An indigenous man lies on top of a Brazilian flag representing indigenous people who were killed fighting for their land, Brasilia, Brazil, April 26, 2018 (AP photo by Eraldo Peres).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and senior editor, Robbie Corey-Boulet, discuss the outcome and aftermath of Zimbabwe’s presidential election and the prospects for international engagement with the country. For the Report, Ciara Long talks with Robbie about the devastating impact of Brazilian President Michel Temer’s two years in office on the country’s indigenous groups. 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 free preview article every […]

An opposition party supporter throws a rock aimed at a campaign poster for Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Harare, Zimbabwe, Aug. 1, 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. Ahead of this week’s elections in Zimbabwe, Simon Allison noted in an in-depth report for WPR that the ruling party, ZANU-PF, has been “pitching itself as the party of change” despite having run the country since it attained independence in 1980. In the immediate aftermath of the vote, it appears the world will get to see what exactly the party means by “change,” though the events of recent days offer several reasons to be pessimistic. On Friday morning, officials […]

Supporters of Karim Wade, a former Senegalese government minister jailed for corruption, stage a protest near the residence of former President Abdoulaye Wade, Dakar, Senegal, March 23, 2015 (Sipa photo via AP Images).

One of the highest-profile cases in Senegalese President Macky Sall’s anti-corruption drive has turned into a stain on his record. And the events of recent weeks suggest the story won’t be going away anytime soon. In March of last year, authorities arrested Khalifa Sall, the mayor of Dakar, Senegal’s capital, on suspicion of fraud and misuse of public funds. A year later, a court convicted Khalifa Sall, who is not related to the president, and sentenced him to five years in prison. But long before the judgment against Khalifa Sall was handed down, the legitimacy of the case had been […]