A supporter holds a placard in French reading “Long live the transition,” outside the swearing-in ceremony of the post-coup transitional president and vice president, both of whom were later deposed by a second military coup, Bamako, Mali, Sept. 25, 2020
The 1980s are usually recalled as a decade of one-party rule in Africa, and beyond that, of the receding tide of civilian-led government in the face of military takeovers in one country after another.  Having covered the phenomenon while working as a freelance journalist based in West Africa for a little more than the first half of that decade, I recall my excitement when I returned as a reporter for The New York Times at the start of the 1990s, which are often remembered for quite the opposite: the rebirth of democratic politics on the continent. This time around, I [...]
U.S. soldiers stand guard in Hasaka, northeast Syria, Jan. 27, 2022 (AP photo by Baderkhan Ahmad).
At its height half a decade ago, the Islamic State was among the most feared armed organizations in the world. The infamously brutal group had at one point captured and established governance of more than a third of Iraq and large swaths of Syria. But that shocking, sudden rise to infamy was followed by a steep, if slower, downfall. By January 2019, the Islamic State had lost nearly all of its territory in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. declared it defeated and media organizations began to pay only sporadic attention to its isolated attacks. By 2021, Google searches for the Islamic State, a [...]
A man holds a portait of Lt. Col. Paul Henri Sandaogo Damiba who has taken the reins of the country in Ouagadougou, Jan. 25, 2022 (AP photo by Sophie Garcia).
In the latest in a series of military coups in West Africa, a group of army officers in Burkina Faso has overthrown the government of President Roch Kabore. In a televised address on Burkina Faso’s state broadcaster on Monday, the group—which has dubbed itself “the Patriotic Movement for Safeguard and Restoration,” or MPSR—said that it had deposed Kabore, suspended the constitution, closed the country’s borders and dissolved the government and the legislature. The group affirmed that Kabore remains safe and in good condition.  The announcement came after two days of confusion and pandemonium in the capital, Ouagadougou, amid reports of [...]
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