John Campbell

Africa in Transition

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

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Nigeria Security Tracker: Weekly Update December 13-December 19

by John Campbell
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 December 13 to December 19, 2014. These incidents will be included in the Nigeria Security Tracker.
 
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Corruption and “Sharing Nigeria’s Cake”

by John Campbell
People stand outside Wuse Market in Abuja December 9, 2014. Nigeria is suffering from a plummeting currency, steep budget cuts, corruption scandals and diving oil prices; yet all this is unlikely to decide a tight race for the presidency. When the central bank devalued the naira last month to save foreign reserves, the impact was felt instantly on the streets. Nigeria imports 80 percent of what it consumes. Picture taken December 9, 2014. Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters) People stand outside Wuse Market in Abuja December 9, 2014. Nigeria is suffering from a plummeting currency, steep budget cuts, corruption scandals and diving oil prices; yet all this is unlikely to decide a tight race for the presidency. When the central bank devalued the naira last month to save foreign reserves, the impact was felt instantly on the streets. Nigeria imports 80 percent of what it consumes. Picture taken December 9, 2014. Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters)

In the BBC News Letter from Africa series, Nigerian writer and novelist Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani analyzes a nexus between politics, culture, and corruption. She shows that political office confers “a knife with which to cut the national cake.” But, an office holder in Nigeria is under obligation to share his good fortune with his kith and kin—“preferably through contracts, appointments, and jobs.” Read more »

Another Boko Haram Mass Kidnapping in Northeast Nigeria

by John Campbell
Three girls, who escaped after they were abducted in the remote village of Chibok, are covered in white sheets as they attend a news conference in Lagos, June 5, 2014. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters) Three girls, who escaped after they were abducted in the remote village of Chibok, are covered in white sheets as they attend a news conference in Lagos, June 5, 2014. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters)

Four days after the atrocity occurred, there is news that up to two hundred women, girls, and boys were kidnapped from the small village of Gumsuri near Chibok. At least thirty-five were killed, though the sketchy news reports do not indicate whether they were from a particular group – school boys, for example – or whether they were random casualties. Following a typical pattern, the raiders killed the village headman, destroyed a clinic, and burned at least half of the town. It is also likely that the village was thoroughly looted. Read more »

Nigeria Security Tracker: Weekly Update December 6-December 12

by John Campbell
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 December 6 to December 12, 2014. These incidents will be included in the Nigeria Security Tracker.
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Nigerian Religious Leaders Advise Political Candidates

by John Campbell
Presidential aspirant and former Nigerian military ruler Muhammadu Buhari reacts before presenting his manifesto at All Progressives Congress (APC) party convention in Lagos, December 11, 2014. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters) Presidential aspirant and former Nigerian military ruler Muhammadu Buhari reacts before presenting his manifesto at All Progressives Congress (APC) party convention in Lagos, December 11, 2014. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Emily Mellgard. Emily is a researcher for the Tony Blair Faith Foundation working on their Religion & Geopolitics resource (religionandgeopolitics.org) in London, England, and a former research associate for the CFR Africa program. Read more »

Who Is Responsible For The Upsurge in Terrorism in Kano, Nigeria?

by John Campbell
People gather at the scene of a double suicide bomb attack at the Kantin Kwari textile market in Kano, December 10, 2014. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters) People gather at the scene of a double suicide bomb attack at the Kantin Kwari textile market in Kano, December 10, 2014. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters)

Since mid-November there has been a flurry of terrorist attacks in Kano, Nigeria’s second largest city, the metropolis of the northern half of the country, and an ancient center of Islamic culture.

Suicide bombers have carried out attacks on a gas station and a military facility. Casualties in each episode appear to have been about half a dozen. On November 28, there was a major attack on the Central Mosque in Kano, immediately adjacent to the Emir of Kano’s palace. Casualties were much higher, perhaps approaching two hundred, according to the Transition Monitoring Group, a highly respected Nigerian democracy advocacy group that accuses the government of minimizing the number of victims. The mosque attack has been condemned by prominent personalities ranging from Pope Francis to the Sultan of Sokoto, the most senior Islamic traditional ruler in Nigeria, to President Goodluck Jonathan. On December 10, two female suicide bombers killed at least six people (including themselves) at a market. Read more »

Nelson Mandela and the Land Question in South Africa

by John Campbell
Community members visit a memorial on the anniversary of the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela at the site of his arrest in Howick, 5 December, 2014. South Africa marked the first anniversary of former President Nelson Mandela's death on Friday with tributes to his struggle against white-minority rule and sober reflections on the country's failure to capitalise on the freedom he fought for. (Rogan Ward/Courtesy Reuters) Community members visit a memorial on the anniversary of the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela at the site of his arrest in Howick, 5 December, 2014. South Africa marked the first anniversary of former President Nelson Mandela's death on Friday with tributes to his struggle against white-minority rule and sober reflections on the country's failure to capitalise on the freedom he fought for. (Rogan Ward/Courtesy Reuters)

A year after the death of Nelson Mandela, his reputation for reconciliation is undiminished. However, a more rounded evaluation of his career is emerging, one that takes into account the difficult choices that he had to make. I was part of that process in an article I wrote for Foreign Policy and my Council on Foreign Relations Expert Brief. Bernadette Atuahene, the author of the compelling We Want What’s Ours: Learning from South Africa’s Land Restitution Program, in a thoughtful Los Angeles Times Op-ed looks specifically at Mandela’s compromises over the land question at the time of South Africa’s transition to “non-racial” democracy. She concludes that Mandela left a legacy of both reconciliation and inequality. Read more »

Restrained South African Reaction to the Murder of Pierre Korkie

by John Campbell
A police trooper gestures as suspected al-Qaeda militants arrive in an armoured vehicle at the state security court in Sanaa, December 2, 2014. (Khaled Abdullah/Courtesy Reuters) A police trooper gestures as suspected al-Qaeda militants arrive in an armoured vehicle at the state security court in Sanaa, December 2, 2014. (Khaled Abdullah/Courtesy Reuters)

Pierre Korkie was a South African teacher working in Yemen, where his wife, Yolande, did hospital relief work. They were kidnapped by al-Qaeda operatives in May 2013. Yolande Korkie was released without ransom payment in January 2014. Pierre Korkie, however, was held for a $3 million ransom. On December 5, he was murdered by his kidnappers during the course of the failed U.S. effort to free American journalist Luke Somers, who was also killed. Read more »

Nigeria Security Tracker: Weekly Update November 29-December 4

by John Campbell
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 November 29 to December 4, 2014. These incidents will be included in the Nigeria Security Tracker.
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Nigeria Security Tracker: Weekly Update November 22-November 28

by John Campbell
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 November 22 to November 28, 2014. These incidents will be included in the Nigeria Security Tracker.
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