People share rations of beans at a World Food Program distribution site in Congo’s troubled Kasai region, March 13, 2018 (DPA photo by Kate Bartlett via AP Images).

The United Nations is sounding the alarm over the large-scale and ongoing expulsion of migrants and refugees from Angola, which has triggered a humanitarian crisis along its border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. So far this month, nearly 330,000 people have been forcibly deported from Angola into the Congolese border regions of Kasai, Kasai Central and Kwango. On Friday, Michelle Bachelet, the U.N.’s high commissioner for human rights, warned that the migrants face an “extremely precarious situation” and raised the prospect of renewed communal violence in an unstable region. Six people have already been confirmed dead, reportedly at the […]

Nigerian soldiers man a checkpoint in Gwoza, Nigeria, April 8, 2018 (AP photo by Lekan Oyekanmi).

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria—Lirfa Dashe, a lieutenant in the Nigerian army, was due to get married this month. Instead he is buried in the cemetery of Mai Malari barracks, alongside other soldiers killed in the seemingly endless conflict against the jihadist insurgency of Boko Haram. At the entrance to the cemetery, located in this city in northeastern Nigeria, is a cenotaph with the names of the fallen inscribed on plaques. There are 1,307 names etched so far, stretching back to 2013. Mai Malari, the home of the army’s Seventh Division, is just one of several sites where soldiers killed in the northeastern […]

Journalists protest against brutality in the course of doing their job after photo journalist Benedict Uwalaka was beaten up in Lagos, Nigeria, Aug. 16, 2012 (AP photo by Sunday Alamba).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing series about press freedom and safety in various countries around the world. As Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari prepares his re-election bid for February 2019, he is positioning himself as a leader who prizes good governance, accountability and human rights. But watchdogs point out that his record on press freedom tells a different story, as journalists in Nigeria face an uptick in repression under his watch. In an interview with WPR, Angela Quintal, the Africa program coordinator at the Committee to Protect Journalists, discusses the threatening environment for reporters in Africa’s most […]

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, center, and Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen, second right, attend the Future Investment Initiative conference, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 23, 2018 (AP photo by Amr Nabil).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Senior Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. Criticism of Saudi Arabia is easy to come by these days. As the kingdom has struggled to get its story straight on the killing earlier this month of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Riyadh has encountered a chorus of condemnation from Berlin, Brussels, London, Ottawa and many voices in Washington. Even U.S. President Donald Trump seemed to turn on his Saudi allies this week, referring to their shifting statements on the murder as “the worst cover-up ever.” From Africa, however, the […]

A health worker sprays disinfectant on his colleague after working at an Ebola treatment center in Beni, eastern Congo, Sept. 9, 2018 (AP photo by Al-hadji Kudra Maliro).

In many ways, there is no country better prepared to respond to an Ebola outbreak than the Democratic Republic of Congo. Back in 1976, when Mobutu Sese Seko was in power and the country was known as Zaire, the disease was first discovered in the northern village of Yambuku, near the Ebola River, for which it is named. That initial outbreak resulted in 318 cases that killed 280 people—a fatality rate of nearly 90 percent. Since then, Congolese and international health workers have responded to, and eradicated, eight other outbreaks, more than any other country. And they’ve often succeeded in […]

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa arrives at St. George’s Cathedral in Cape Town, South Africa, Feb. 11, 2018 (AP photo).

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to put his authority behind not just the cause of land reform in South Africa, but the expropriation of land without compensation, is political risk-taking of the highest order. If it works, he may succeed in building support for the ruling African National Congress ahead of the 2019 general election, as well as neutralizing his populist opponents inside and outside the ANC. But it also has considerable potential for blowback, with Ramaphosa ultimately pleasing no one and alienating important constituencies at home and abroad. This inevitably raises some broader questions. Why has a president with a […]

Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki, second left, and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, center, wave at the crowds in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, July 15, 2018 (AP photo by Mulugeta Ayene).

The leaders of Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia gathered in the Eritrean capital of Asmara last month for a surprise three-way meeting. The summit, which took place against the backdrop of a rapid thaw in Ethiopian-Eritrean relations, has raised hopes among observers for more frequent and durable cooperation in the Horn of Africa region. But its implications are uncertain for fractured Somalia. In an interview with WPR, Awet Weldemichael, a professor of African history and politics at Queen’s University in Canada, discusses the potential extent of a trilateral rapprochement between the historically troubled neighbors. World Politics Review: What were the conditions […]

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).

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, when Joao Lourenco took over as Angola’s president, tensions between his country and the Democratic Republic of Congo were already unusually high. In a Q&A with WPR at the time, Alex Vines, head of the Africa program at Chatham House, described how Luanda’s patience with Congolese President Joseph Kabila had been exhausted by Kabila’s handling of Congo’s political crisis. The situation has changed somewhat since then. Today, Congo is much closer to holding long-awaited elections—they are […]

Migrants wait to be transported to a police station after being rescued in the Strait of Gibraltar, Algeciras, Spain, June 26, 2018 (AP photo by Emilio Morenatti).

Roughly 300 people will wade into the shallow water off the coast of Libya today, moving under the cover of night and according to the shouted instructions of their smugglers. Most will have come from sub-Saharan nations like Nigeria and Eritrea, having traveled for months along a route plagued by armed gangs and predatory police for the opportunity to climb into a rubber raft and float toward a future in Europe and beyond. In 2016 and 2017, nearly 8,000 migrants drowned while attempting this dangerous Mediterranean crossing. In his address to the United Nations General Assembly late last month, U.S. […]

Angolan President Joao Lourenco speaks during the plenary session of the European Parliament, Strasbourg, France, July 4, 2018 (AP photo by Jean-Francois Badias).

Joao Lourenco marked his first anniversary as Angola’s president with his address at the United Nations General Assembly in New York late last month, promoting a “new Angola.” He was riding high, having just consolidated his power base at the party congress for his People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola, or MPLA, in Luanda, where he stood unopposed and secured 98 percent of the votes, formally replacing Jose Eduardo dos Santos as party leader. Dos Santos’ nearly four-decade presidency came to an end last year when he didn’t stand for re-election, stepping aside in favor of his chosen successor. […]

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., greets South Sudanese officials on her arrival in Juba, South Sudan, Oct.25, 2017 (AP photo. )

Will the next American ambassador to the United Nations know anything about Africa? The U.N. is embroiled in crises from the Middle East to North Korea. But roughly half of the Security Council’s resolutions and statements focus on African issues, and 80 percent of U.N. peacekeepers are deployed on the continent. Any ambassador to the U.N. should, therefore, have at least a passing interest in Africa. Both of the Obama administration’s representatives in New York, Susan Rice and Samantha Power, were established authorities on African affairs. Rice devoted a good part of her time at the U.N. to facilitating South […]

Protestors in Addis Ababa demand justice from the Ethiopian government following a spate of ethnic violence, Sept. 17, 2018 (AP photo by Mulugeta Ayene).

Violence erupted outside the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa last month, leaving at least 23 dead as ethnic Oromo nationalists targeted members of minority groups. The perpetrators were reportedly emboldened by the return of the previously exiled Oromo Liberation Front, after it was granted amnesty by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The clashes are a setback to Abiy’s new administration, as he charts a conciliatory path in the ethnically divided country. In an interview with WPR, Terrence Lyons, a professor of conflict resolution at George Mason University, discusses last month’s violence and the prospects for Abiy’s reform efforts. World Politics Review: […]

A woman walks past empty bread shelves in a shop in Harare, Zimbabwe, Oct. 9, 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. When he became Zimbabwe’s interim president following Robert Mugabe’s ouster last year, Emmerson Mnangagwa immediately tried to focus the world’s attention on his ambitious economic agenda. He repeatedly declared that, following years of isolation under Mugabe, the new Zimbabwe would be “open for business.” After being named the winner of July’s presidential election, he spent part of his inauguration address urging citizens “to unite as a nation and grow our economy,” offering a vision of Zimbabwe as a middle-income […]

Liberia’s President George Weah addresses the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit in the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Sept. 24, 2018 (AP photo by Richard Drew).

In Liberia, one of the surest signs that a news story has captured the attention of the general public is when someone starts singing about it on the radio. In August 2014, the Auto-Tune-heavy hit “Ebola in Town,” by Samuel “Shadow” Morgan and Edwin “D-12” Tweh, caught fire right around the time the World Health Organization began describing the West African epidemic as an international emergency. During the most recent presidential campaigns, in 2011 and 2017, the candidates’ catchiest theme songs saturated the airwaves as Election Day approached. Recently, to the consternation of President George Weah, a new topical jam […]

A mural depicting Paul Biya at the palace of a traditional chief, Ngaoundere, Cameroon, September 2013 (Photo by Emmanuel Freudenthal).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and managing editor, Frederick Deknatel, discuss rising tensions and the risk of conflict between the U.S. and China. For the Report, Emmanuel Freudenthal talks with WPR’s senior editor, Robbie Corey-Boulet, about why the situation in Cameroon’s Anglophone region is a greater threat to President Paul Biya’s grip on power than the country’s presidential election this Sunday. 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 […]

Cameroonian President Paul Biya waves after casting his vote during the last presidential election, Yaounde, Cameroon, Oct. 9, 2011 (AP photo by Sunday Alamba).

Cameroonian President Paul Biya is expected to coast to re-election on Oct. 7. But two ongoing conflicts have undermined what he has long pitched as his greatest strength: his ability to maintain peace in an otherwise unstable region. The coming years could be among the most challenging of his decades-long reign. In the grainy cellphone footage, Cameroonian soldiers march two women down a sandy road. One of the women wears a pink t-shirt, large silver earrings and a bright blue headwrap. Her head upright, she carries a baby on her back. The other woman has an outfit of green patterned […]

A Malawian migrant smokes marijuana on the rooftop of an abandoned building in downtown Johannesburg, South Africa, March 29, 2018 (AP photo by Bram Janssen).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing series about national drug policies in various countries around the world. Last month, South Africa’s Constitutional Court surprised many observers by upholding a lower court decision striking down the country’s prohibition on the consumption and cultivation of cannabis for personal use. The ruling was widely cheered by advocates, but lawmakers in Cape Town and officials in Pretoria must now decide how best to implement this sudden legal shift. In an interview with WPR, Anine Kriegler, a doctoral candidate in criminology at the University of Cape Town, explains why hammering out the […]