John Campbell

Africa in Transition

Campbell tracks political and security developments across sub-Saharan Africa.

Nigeria Security Tracker: Weekly Update April 11-April 17

by John Campbell Monday, April 20, 2015
The map above depicts deaths in Nigeria by state. (Source: CFR Nigeria Security Tracker; powered by Tableau) The map above depicts deaths in Nigeria by state. (Source: CFR Nigeria Security Tracker; powered by Tableau)

Below is a visualization and description of some of the most significant incidents of political violence in Nigeria from April 11, 2015 to April 17, 2015. This update also represents violence related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. These incidents will be included in the Nigeria Security Tracker.
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South Africa’s Xenophobic Violence

by John Campbell Friday, April 17, 2015
A Zimbabwean man takes refuge at the Milnerton police station after fleeing a fresh outbreak of anti-foreigner violence in Cape Town, May 22, 2008. (Courtesy Reuters/Mark Wessels) A Zimbabwean man takes refuge at the Milnerton police station after fleeing a fresh outbreak of anti-foreigner violence in Cape Town, May 22, 2008. (Courtesy Reuters/Mark Wessels)

The current wave of violence and intimidation against African immigrants in South Africa started in Durban and has spread to Johannesburg and other parts of the country. Intimidation and fear mongering appears to be widespread, generating panic among African foreigners. There have been previous waves of xenophobia in post-apartheid South Africa that also were violent. Read more »

Buhari’s Strategy for Stopping Boko Haram

by John Campbell Thursday, April 16, 2015
Nigeria's former military ruler and All Progressives Congress presidential aspirant Muhammadu Buhari attends the inauguration ceremony of Osun state governor Rauf Aregbesola in Osogbo. November 27, 2014. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters) Nigeria's former military ruler and All Progressives Congress presidential aspirant Muhammadu Buhari attends the inauguration ceremony of Osun state governor Rauf Aregbesola in Osogbo. November 27, 2014. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters)

On the one-year anniversary of the Boko Haram kidnapping of more than 200 school girls from Chibok, President-elect Muhammadu Buhari, in a New York Times op-ed, concisely laid out his approach to defeating Boko Haram. His op-ed is remarkable for its candor, realism, and its recognition of his government’s need to address the social and economic drivers of support for Boko Haram. Read more »

Is Rhodes’ Statue Removal Setting a Bad Precedent?

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell Wednesday, April 15, 2015
The statue of Cecil John Rhodes is bound by straps as it awaits removal from the University of Cape Town, April 9, 2015. (Mike Hutchings/Courtesy Reuters) The statue of Cecil John Rhodes is bound by straps as it awaits removal from the University of Cape Town, April 9, 2015. (Mike Hutchings/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by John Causey, a private equity practitioner with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa transactions.

On April 9, the University of Cape Town (UCT) removed the statue on its main campus of Cecil John Rhodes, one of the most important and contentious historical figures in Southern Africa’s history. This is not the first statue or name changing controversy in South Africa’s modern history. Read more »

Where Are Nigeria’s Chibok School Girls?

by John Campbell Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Mothers of kidnapped school girls react during a meeting with the Borno State governor in Chibok, Maiduguri, Borno State, April 22, 2014. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters) Mothers of kidnapped school girls react during a meeting with the Borno State governor in Chibok, Maiduguri, Borno State, April 22, 2014. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters)

April 14 marks the one-year anniversary of the kidnapping of more than 200 school girls waiting to take their high school final exams at Chibok in Borno state. Three weeks after the kidnapping Abubakar Shekau, the face of Boko Haram, claimed responsibility. At the time of the kidnapping and subsequently, a handful of the girls escaped. The American University of Nigeria has offered scholarships to the few that escaped. Read more »

Nigeria Security Tracker: Weekly Update April 4-April 10

by John Campbell Monday, April 13, 2015
The map above depicts deaths in Nigeria by state. (Source: CFR Nigeria Security Tracker; powered by Tableau) The map above depicts deaths in Nigeria by state. (Source: CFR Nigeria Security Tracker; powered by Tableau)

Below is a visualization and description of some of the most significant incidents of political violence in Nigeria from April 4, 2015 to April 10, 2015. This update also represents violence related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. These incidents will be included in the Nigeria Security Tracker. Read more »

An Update on African Immigration to the United States

by John Campbell Friday, April 10, 2015
A U.S. flag hangs in the grand hall of the Ellis Island immigration museum building in New York October 28, 2013. (Lucas Jackson/Courtesy Reuters) A U.S. flag hangs in the grand hall of the Ellis Island immigration museum building in New York October 28, 2013. (Lucas Jackson/Courtesy Reuters)

I have written before about African immigration to the United States and the presence of African immigrants in New York City, a new demographic trend. On April 9, the Pew Research Center issued a new report, “A Rising Share of the U.S. Black Population is Foreign Born,” which updates and adds precision to the conversation about this important topic. The conclusion from Pew is that black immigrants are doing well and making a significant contribution to American society. Read more »

South African Comedian in the United States

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell Thursday, April 9, 2015
Comedian Jon Stewart greets the audience as he tapes Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" at the University of Denver in Denver, August 26, 2008. (Eric Thayer/Courtesy Reuters) Comedian Jon Stewart greets the audience as he tapes Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" at the University of Denver in Denver, August 26, 2008. (Eric Thayer/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Allen Grane, research associate for the Council on Foreign Relations Africa Studies program.

On March 30, Comedy Central’s the Daily Show announced that 31-year old Trevor Noah will replace John Stewart as the host. As the Daily Show’s twitter handle put it: Noah is just “another guy in late night from Soweto.” The announcement of his new position has drawn a great deal of attention, both positive and negative. Read more »

Coming Clean: Was Justice Served in the Ivory Coast Trial of Simone Gbagbo?

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo and his wife Simone Ehivet Gbagbo attend a memorial ceremony at Felix Houphouet Boigny stadium in Abidjan April 1, 2009. (Luc Gnago/Courtesy Reuters) Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo and his wife Simone Ehivet Gbagbo attend a memorial ceremony at Felix Houphouet Boigny stadium in Abidjan April 1, 2009. (Luc Gnago/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Cheryl Strauss Einhorn, a journalist and adjunct professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Ivorian politics are colorful. Yet it may still surprise some that a court in the Ivory Coast sentenced former First Lady Simone Gbagbo to twenty years in prison for her role in the 2011 post-election violence even though prosecutors only requested ten years. The court convicted her of undermining state security, while the prosecution only charged her for disturbing public order. Read more »

Boko Haram Still An Imminent Threat

by John Campbell Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Police officers assist in getting a vehicle away from a burning car at the scene of a bomb explosion in Gombe, February 2, 2015. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters) Police officers assist in getting a vehicle away from a burning car at the scene of a bomb explosion in Gombe, February 2, 2015. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters)

In the wake of Nigeria’s presidential elections, horror over the massacre at Garissa in Kenya, and a general western focus on a possible Iran nuclear deal, it is easy to leave Boko Haram to one side. Some may see the election of Muhammadu Buhari as somehow “solving” Boko Haram. This misplaced inattention is reinforced by the clearance of Boko Haram militants from towns in northeast Nigeria by the Chadian, Nigerien, and Nigerian militaries fighting alongside South African and other mercenaries. Read more »