John Campbell

Africa in Transition

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

Ebola and Marburg

by John Campbell Tuesday, October 21, 2014
A news vendor displays newspapers for sale along a street in the Ugandan capital Kampala, October 6, 2014. A news vendor displays newspapers for sale along a street in the Ugandan capital Kampala, October 6, 2014.

Ebola and Marburg are both hemorrhagic fevers and belong to the same family of viruses. The hosts for both are identified as animals, especially fruit bats—both diseases cross over from animals to humans. Incubation periods are around twenty-one days. The two diseases have similar symptoms and similarly high mortality rates. Both diseases spread through contact with bodily fluids, making family members and health care workers especially vulnerable. There is no pharmaceutical that cures either disease, and patients are treated in much the same way. The ill are isolated and medically supported until they recover or die. Efforts must be made to trace all those who came into contact with the ill. Read more »

Nigeria Security Tracker: Weekly Update October 11-October 17

by John Campbell Monday, October 20, 2014
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 October 11 to October 17, 2014. These incidents will be included in the Nigeria Security Tracker.
Read more »

Delaying President Kenyatta’s Justice

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell Friday, October 17, 2014
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta smiles as he appears before the International Criminal Court in The Hague October 8, 2014. (Peter Dejong/Pool/Courtesy Reuters) Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta smiles as he appears before the International Criminal Court in The Hague October 8, 2014. (Peter Dejong/Pool/Courtesy Reuters)

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

Last week, two “firsts” occurred in Africa: Read more »

Cameroon Kidnap Victims Freed

by John Campbell Thursday, October 16, 2014
Women attend a protest to mark the 100th day of the abductions of more than 200 school girls by the Boko Haram in Lagos, July 23, 2014. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters) Women attend a protest to mark the 100th day of the abductions of more than 200 school girls by the Boko Haram in Lagos, July 23, 2014. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters)

Paul Biya, the president of Cameroon, announced on October 12 that twenty-seven kidnap victims have been freed and turned over to the Cameroonian authorities. The victims were kidnapped on May 16 and July 27. They included ten Chinese workers, the wife of Cameroon’s vice-prime minister, and the Lamido of Kolofata, a traditional Cameroonian ruler. Read more »

Ebola Threatens ‘Africa Rising’ and Strains Relations Across the Continent: A Look at the Southern Africa Example

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell Wednesday, October 15, 2014
A boy stands near posters displaying a government message against Ebola at Duwala market in Monrovia August 17, 2014. (2Tango/Courtesy Reuters) A boy stands near posters displaying a government message against Ebola at Duwala market in Monrovia August 17, 2014. (2Tango/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Brooks Marmon, Accountability Architect at the Accountability Lab.  Brooks was previously based in the Lab’s Liberia office and recently completely an extended assignment in Zimbabwe and South Africa. Read more »

Nigeria’s Chibok School Girl Kidnapping Six Months Later

by John Campbell Tuesday, October 14, 2014
A member of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign group holds a placard under a bridge on the 140th day of the abduction of 219 schoolgirls from Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State, while they were sitting for their final exams, during a protest in Abuja, September 1, 2014. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters) A member of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign group holds a placard under a bridge on the 140th day of the abduction of 219 schoolgirls from Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State, while they were sitting for their final exams, during a protest in Abuja, September 1, 2014. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters)

On the night of April 14-15, 2014 up to three hundred girls from different schools in northeastern Nigeria gathered for their final examinations in the town of Chibok. Instead of taking their tests, they were kidnapped. Three weeks later, on May 5, Boko Haram’s Abubakar Shekau claimed responsibility for the kidnapping. Some victims managed to escape, and the numbers still held in captivity are soft. The figure most often cited by the media is 276. Read more »

Nigeria Security Tracker: Weekly Update October 4-October 10

by John Campbell Monday, October 13, 2014
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 October 4 to October 10, 2014. These incidents will be included in the Nigeria Security Tracker.
Read more »

Pathetic International Response to Ebola Thus Far

by John Campbell Friday, October 10, 2014
Supplies, including 100 tons of emergency medical aid, are seen before being loaded on to a 747 aircraft at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport September 20, 2014. (Carlo Allegri /Courtesy Reuters) Supplies, including 100 tons of emergency medical aid, are seen before being loaded on to a 747 aircraft at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport September 20, 2014. (Carlo Allegri /Courtesy Reuters)

Ebola is not showing the international community at its best. Even as Ebola panic seems to be spreading internationally, with possible new cases in Macedonia and the Czech Republic and Ebola deaths in Spain and the United States. Drew Hinshaw and Betsy McKay in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) provide a run-down of which countries are doing what. It is discouraging. Read more »

Africa on the UN Security Council

by John Campbell Thursday, October 9, 2014
The United Nations Security Council votes on a resolution on the sidelines of the 69th United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York September 24, 2014. (Adrees Latif/Courtesy Reuters) The United Nations Security Council votes on a resolution on the sidelines of the 69th United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York September 24, 2014. (Adrees Latif/Courtesy Reuters)

First, a primer. The UN Security Council consists of fifteen members. Five are permanent and have the power to veto all resolutions. These member states are China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In addition, there are ten non-permanent members that are elected for two-year terms by the UN membership in the General Assembly. Read more »

The Boko Haram War Machine

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Pictured above is a T-55 Main Battle Tank similar to the one captured by the Nigerian Military on September 27, 2014. Pictured above is a T-55 Main Battle Tank similar to the one captured by the Nigerian Military on September 27, 2014.

This is a guest post by Allen Grane, research associate for the Council on Foreign Relations Africa Studies program. Allen is an officer in the U.S. Army National Guard.

In early September there were reports that the Nigerian military captured a “quad barreled ZSU-23-4 Shilka” anti-aircraft gun that was mounted on a Toyota technical truck, from Boko Haram. Sahara Reporters later confirmed that the Nigerian military captured heavy weapons systems from Boko Haram such as a T-55 tank and a Panhard ERC-90 “Sagaie.” Now that we know the kind of weaponry in Boko Haram’s possession, we are left with two major questions. Read more »