John Campbell

Africa in Transition

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

Guest Post: Press Freedom and Development in Africa

by John Campbell Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Journalists carry placards along a street during a protest to mark World Press Freedom day in Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos, May 3, 2010. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Asch Harwood, CFR Africa program research associate. Follow him on Twitter at @aschlfod.

The National Endowment for Democracy’s Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA) and Internews hosted an excellent discussion on “Can media development make aid more effective?”, which I was able to catch part of via a live stream on the CIMA website. You can watch it here. Read more »

The Guardian on Boko Haram

by John Campbell Monday, January 30, 2012
A man walks through the ruins of a zonal police headquarters after a bomb attack in Nigeria's northern city of Kano, January 21, 2012. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters)

Distinguished London newspaper, the Guardian, published on January 27, an interview with alleged Boko Haram spokesman Abu Qaqa, conducted by Guardian Nigeria correspondent Monica Mark. In conjunction, the paper also included a careful analysis by Jason Burke that concludes the Boko Haram remains “a local phenomenon, not a global threat,” and an editorial that calls on President Goodluck Jonathan to address Nigeria’s religious divide and corruption, provide protection for all, and to redistribute state resources to accomplish those goals. Read more »

South Sudan-Kenya Oil Pipeline in the Works

by John Campbell Friday, January 27, 2012
South Sudanese express their support as President Salva Kiir (not pictured) declared a halt on all oil operations in South Sudan, in Juba January 23, 2012. (Handout/Courtesy Reuters)

An unresolved issue between Juba and Khartoum has been how to divide the revenue from oil that is essential to the finance of both South Sudan and Khartoum. According to the press, South Sudan is now producing 470,000 barrels of oil per day. But the infrastructure and principal port for its export is in Sudan. The two governments have not been able to reach agreement on fees, tolls and other payments that Juba would make. The South Sudan government alleges that Khartoum has seized up to $815 million worth of oil.  This week Juba announced that it will stop exporting oil stop exporting oil through Sudan, even as talks continue. South Sudan president Kiir and Sudan president al-Bashir are supposed to meet today. Read more »

Zambia’s Populist President

by John Campbell Thursday, January 26, 2012
Zambia's President Michael Sata (R) arrives with Mozambique's President Armando Guebuza ahead of the upcoming African National Congress (ANC) centenary celebration in Bloemfontein January 7, 2012. (Siphiwe Sibeko/Courtesy Reuters)

Zambia’s president Michael Sata gave a January 22 interview to London’s the Telegraph newspaper that is worth reading. This interview is the first Sata has given to the international media. (The Telegraph is often regarded as the more conservative of the UK’s quality newspapers with a national circulation.) Read more »

Nigeria Reads on Boko Haram and the Fuel Subsidy

by John Campbell Wednesday, January 25, 2012
A protester holds a placard on the fourth day of a nationwide strike against the removal of the petrol subsidy in Lagos January 12, 2012. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters)

There have been a few of reads on Nigeria that I wanted to call your attention to. Yesterday, Human Rights Watch, in a report, attributed 935 deaths to alleged attacks by Boko Haram since July 2009. (We have recorded 855 deaths since May 29, 2011 in our Nigeria Security Tracker but that includes deaths caused by security services in pursuit of Boko Haram.) Read it here. Read more »

ICC Delivers Decision on Kenya’s “Ocampo Six”

by John Campbell Tuesday, January 24, 2012
International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo speaks at a news conference on Kenya at the ICC in The Hague January 24, 2012. (Michael Kooren/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Asch Harwood, Africa program research associate at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Judges at the International Criminal Court delivered their long awaited decision to move forward with charges of crimes against humanity against four of the six accused Kenyan political figures implicated in the 2007/2008 post election violence. Charges will be against former minister of education William Ruto, radio host Joshua Sang, head of civil service Francis Muthaura, and deputy prime minister Uhuru Kenyatta. Read the decision here. Read more »

Boko Haram Attacks Muslim Nigeria’s Preeminent City–Why?

by John Campbell Monday, January 23, 2012
Policemen inspect a bomb site at the police headquarters in Nigeria's northern city of Kano January 22, 2012, after a bomb attack on Friday. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters)

The horrific Boko Haram attacks over the weekend in Kano have left over two hundred dead. The attacks were on police stations and the immigration office. Read more »

South Africa Seeks African Union Leadership

by John Campbell Thursday, January 19, 2012
South Africa's Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma speaks during an interview in Moscow May 23, 2008. (Denis Sinyakov/Courtesy Reuters)

President Jacob Zuma’s administration has mounted a full-court diplomatic press for Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s candidacy for the chairperson of the African Union Commission.  The commission, in effect, is the administrative arm of the African Union.  It implements AU policies and coordinates activities and meetings.  There are ten commissioners, and a chairperson is elected to a four year term.  The chairman does much to set the tone for the AU and has significant behind-the-scenes influence. Each member state has one vote, and election requires a two-thirds majority. Balloting will take place at the end of this month. The current chairman is Jean Ping from Gabon.  His predecessors were from Mali and Ivory Coast. Read more »

Nigeria: Beyond the Fuel Subsidy

by John Campbell Wednesday, January 18, 2012
People protest on a street in Nigeria's northern city of Kano before the suspension of a nationwide strike by labour unions, January 16, 2012. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters)

In the shameless promotion category, I did an article, “The End of Nigeria’s Strike May Not Calm Oil Markets,” that appeared Monday in the electronic version of Foreign Affairs. It looks at the demonstrations and strikes last week that shut down Nigeria’s economy. Read it here. Read more »