John Campbell

Africa in Transition

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

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Showing posts for "Africa"

Namibia’s President Wins Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership

by John Campbell
Namibia President Hifikepunye Pohamba addresses the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York, September 25, 2012. (Courtesy Reuters/Ray Stubblebine) Namibia President Hifikepunye Pohamba addresses the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York, September 25, 2012. (Courtesy Reuters/Ray Stubblebine)

The 2014 Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership has been awarded to the Namibian president, Hifikepunye Pohamba. He is set to leave office later this month. Mo Ibrahim, British-Sudanese telecom billionaire, established the prize in 2006. It may be awarded annually to an elected African head of state who promoted good governance and left office in accordance with the constitution. The prize comprises of $5 million, spread over ten years, followed by $200,000 a year for life. Among other things, it is intended to free African leaders from the financial concerns that have led some of them to cling to power. Read more »

Innovative Anti-poaching in Africa

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
A Kenya Wildlife Service ranger stands guard as 15 tonnes of ivory confiscated from smugglers and poachers is burnt to mark World Wildlife Day at the Nairobi National Park, March 3, 2015. (Thomas Mukoya/Courtesy Reuters) A Kenya Wildlife Service ranger stands guard as 15 tonnes of ivory confiscated from smugglers and poachers is burnt to mark World Wildlife Day at the Nairobi National Park, March 3, 2015. (Thomas Mukoya/Courtesy Reuters)

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

Lately, conservationists and lovers of Africa’s diverse wildlife have been hard pressed for good news. From South Africa’s difficulty tackling rhino poaching to Zimbabwe’s sale of baby elephants to foreign countries, it often seems that African governments are either ill equipped to protect their animal populations or simply don’t care—or worse. However, it is important to remember that there are park rangers who are working tirelessly to protect and save Africa’s biodiversity. Read more »

Nigeria Security Tracker: Weekly Update February 21-February 27

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 February 21, 2015 to February 27, 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 »

Nigeria’s Boko Haram as a Peasants’ Revolt

by John Campbell
People from Gwoza, Borno State, displaced by the violence and unrest caused by the insurgency, are pictured at a refugee camp in Mararaba Madagali, Adamawa State, February 18, 2014. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters) People from Gwoza, Borno State, displaced by the violence and unrest caused by the insurgency, are pictured at a refugee camp in Mararaba Madagali, Adamawa State, February 18, 2014. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters)

Over the past two weeks, Nigerian military forces have driven Boko Haram out of several towns in northeast Nigeria. There have also been reports of Cameroonian, Nigerien, and Chadian successes against Boko Haram. President Goodluck Jonathan made a rare visit to the northeast, and he even stopped in Baga, the site of a notorious Boko Haram massacre. All of this seems to support Jonathan’s recent statement that even if Boko Haram is not defeated by the scheduled national elections on March 28, its scope will have been much reduced and it will be possible for elections to take place. Read more »

Buhari on Being Nigeria Military Chief of State

by John Campbell
Nigeria's former military ruler and opposition party All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari meets with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the U.S. consulate house in Lagos January 25, 2015. (Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters) Nigeria's former military ruler and opposition party All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari meets with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the U.S. consulate house in Lagos January 25, 2015. (Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters)

Muhammadu Buhari, the leading opposition candidate in Nigeria’s upcoming presidential election, delivered an address at the Royal Institute for International Affairs (Chatham House) in London on February 26. The speech appears intended for an international audience. In it, Buhari revisits his campaign themes: the importance of democracy and of credible elections, the struggle against corruption, and military reform in the face of Boko Haram. Read more »

Has the Tide Turned Against Boko Haram in Nigeria?

by John Campbell
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan gestures during an interview with Reuters at the Presidential Villa in Abuja January 26, 2012. (Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters) Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan gestures during an interview with Reuters at the Presidential Villa in Abuja January 26, 2012. (Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters)

On February 25, in the aftermath of two bombings that killed at least twenty-seven, President Goodluck Jonathan said that the tide has turned against Boko Haram. Over the past week, this has been a consistent message from senior Nigerian officials. Read more »

ISIS and Boko Haram

by John Campbell
Smoke raises behind an Islamic State flag after Iraqi security forces and Shiite fighters took control of Saadiya in Diyala province, from Islamist State militants, November 24, 2014. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters) Smoke raises behind an Islamic State flag after Iraqi security forces and Shiite fighters took control of Saadiya in Diyala province, from Islamist State militants, November 24, 2014. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters)

The relationship, if any, between Nigeria’s Boko Haram and ISIS is a question that vexes the policy community. If there is one, it would support the argument that Boko Haram is, indeed, a new front in the international war on terrorism, as Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan maintains. If a relationship does not exist, or if it is minimal, that would support the argument that Boko Haram is essentially a domestic Nigerian issue, while ISIS has more of a global agenda. Read more »

Nigeria Security Tracker: Weekly Update February 14-February 20

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 February 14, 2015 to February 20, 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 »

South Africa’s Billion Dollar Rhino Question

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
Rhinos with cut horns walk at a farm of Dawie Groenewald, who is accused of rhino poaching, in Musina, Limpopo province, May 9, 2012. (Siphiwe Sibeko/Courtesy Reuters) Rhinos with cut horns walk at a farm of Dawie Groenewald, who is accused of rhino poaching, in Musina, Limpopo province, May 9, 2012. (Siphiwe Sibeko/Courtesy Reuters)

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

On February 10, the South African government announced the formation of a committee to determine the viability of legalizing the trade of rhino horn. Read more »

Thoughts on the Chadians, Boko Haram, and Northern Nigeria

by John Campbell
Chadian soldiers participate in the opening ceremony of Flintlock 2015, an exercise organized by the U.S. military in N'Djamena February 16, 2015. Courtesy Reuters/ Emmanuel Braun) Chadian soldiers participate in the opening ceremony of Flintlock 2015, an exercise organized by the U.S. military in N'Djamena February 16, 2015. Courtesy Reuters/ Emmanuel Braun)

Adam Nossiter wrote an article featured in the February 19 issue of the New York Times titled “In Nigeria, Boko Haram Loses Ground to Chadians.” While Nossiter says that it is too early to tell, others have declared that the Chadians have somehow “turned the tide” against Boko Haram. While the Nigerian federal government has remained relatively silent about the Chadians, they too have recaptured terroritory and claimed victories over Boko Haram. Read more »