John Campbell

Africa in Transition

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

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Showing posts for "Senegal"

New U.S. Defense Cooperation Agreement With Senegal

by John Campbell
Senegalese soldiers and European trainers return to base after training during Flintlock 2016, a U.S.-led international training exercise with African militaries in Thies, Senegal, February 11, 2016. (Reuters/Sylvain Cherkaoui) Senegalese soldiers and European trainers return to base after training during Flintlock 2016, a U.S.-led international training exercise with African militaries in Thies, Senegal, February 11, 2016. (Reuters/Sylvain Cherkaoui)

Emblematic of the growing U.S. defense presence in West Africa is a new defense cooperation agreement signed on May 2 with Senegal. According to the low-key report carried by Associated Press (AP), the agreement improves access for the U.S. military to Senegal should they need to deploy in the event of a security or humanitarian crisis. In Dakar, U.S. Ambassador James Zumwalt said, “With this agreement, the United States military and the Senegalese military can plan better together, accomplish more with joint training, and better prepare to respond in concert to risks to our shared interests.” Read more »

Nigerian Muslim Views on Suicide Bombing

by John Campbell
Smoke is seen after an suicide bomb explosion in Gombe, Nigeria on February 1, 2015. (Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde) Smoke is seen after an suicide bomb explosion in Gombe, Nigeria on February 1, 2015. (Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde)

Historically, there has been no West African tradition of martyrdom by suicide. Suicide, in fact, continues usually to be viewed as anathema. Nigeria’s first case of suicide bombing occurred only five years ago, in 2011. Since then, it has become associated with Boko Haram, the radical, Islamist movement that seeks to destroy the secular government in Nigeria. Read more »

What to Watch: Africa 2016

by John Campbell and Guest Blogger for John Campbell
Boys play on the roof of the entrance to a football stadium in Gao February 20, 2013. (Reuters/Joe Penney) Boys play on the roof of the entrance to a football stadium in Gao February 20, 2013. (Reuters/Joe Penney)

While western governments are currently transfixed on events in Iraq and Syria, it is important that they do not forget Africa. Boko Haram has become the world’s deadliest terrorist organization and Libya is increasingly becoming a base of operations for the Islamic State. Below, CFR’s Africa program outlines six African issues to watch in 2016. While they could certainly affect the lives of millions of Africans, these issues could also have serious implications for international politics. Read more »

Burkina Faso Coup End Is Good News

by John Campbell
Niger's President Mahamaduo Issoufou, Benin's President Boni Yayi, Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari, and Senegalese President and Chairman of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Macky Sall attend an ECOWAS heads of state summit on the political crisis in Burkina Faso in Abuja, Nigeria, September 22, 2015. (Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde) Niger's President Mahamaduo Issoufou, Benin's President Boni Yayi, Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari, and Senegalese President and Chairman of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Macky Sall attend an ECOWAS heads of state summit on the political crisis in Burkina Faso in Abuja, Nigeria, September 22, 2015. (Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde)

The resolution of Burkina Faso’s week-long military coup that temporarily ousted a civilian interim government is a good example of “African solutions to African problems.” The coup was rolled back by the relevant regional organization, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), under its chair, Senegalese President Mackay Sall. Directly involved in the roll back were the presidents of Ghana, Benin, Togo, Niger, and Nigeria. A lead negotiator was the former ECOWAS Director President, Mohammed Ibn Chambas, now the head of the UN office for West Africa. ECOWAS has long pursued a policy that military coups are not acceptable. Read more »

For Nigerian Girls Boko Haram Is Not the Only Threat

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
A girl displaced as a result of Boko Haram attack in the northeast region of Nigeria, rests her head on a desk at Maikohi secondary school camp for internally displaced persons (IDP) in Yola, Adamawa, January 13, 2015. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters) A girl displaced as a result of Boko Haram attack in the northeast region of Nigeria, rests her head on a desk at Maikohi secondary school camp for internally displaced persons (IDP) in Yola, Adamawa, January 13, 2015. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Latanya Mapp Frett, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Global, the international arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Read more »

President Obama in Africa: Senegal

by John Campbell
U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and Senegal President Macky Sall shake hands after their joint news conference at the Presidential Palace June 27, 2013. (Gary Cameron/Courtesy Reuters) U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and Senegal President Macky Sall shake hands after their joint news conference at the Presidential Palace June 27, 2013. (Gary Cameron/Courtesy Reuters)

Senegal has never had a military coup, and the opposition won last year’s presidential election. It is also a predominately Muslim nation. President Obama arrived in Senegal the evening of June 26. At a joint press conference with Senegal’s president, Macky Sall, President Obama praised the country’s democracy and the rule of law. The president also publicly affirmed his support for gay rights; Senegal’s president responded that his country is not yet ready to decriminalize homosexuality. Obama also highlighted food security at a meeting with private sector and regional agricultural leaders. Read more »

The United States and Drug Trafficking in Guinea-Bissau

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
Cocaine is displayed to journalists after being seized by Guinea-Bissau's judicial police in the capital Bissau March 21, 2012. (Joe Penney.Courtesy Reuters) Cocaine is displayed to journalists after being seized by Guinea-Bissau's judicial police in the capital Bissau March 21, 2012. (Joe Penney.Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Kyle Benjamin Schneps; a dual master’s degree candidate at Columbia University and junior fellow at the Institute for Strategic Studies in Dakar, Senegal.

On 2 April 2013, Jose Americo Bubo Na Tchuto was arrested by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in international waters off the coast of West Africa. He was arrested for his role in a transatlantic narco-trafficking operation in which he agreed to receive, store, and ship thousands of kilos of cocaine in exchange for millions of dollars and a cut of the product. Moreover, he agreed to this arrangement with DEA informants who were posing as members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC), a guerilla organization classified as terrorists by the U.S. government. Mr. Na Tchuto is the former chief of the Guinea-Bissau Navy and a lauded veteran of his nation’s war of independence against Portugal. Read more »

Senegal’s Elections are Good News

by John Campbell
Supporters of Senegalese opposition presidential candidate Macky Sall celebrate in the capital Dakar March 25, 2012. (Joe Penney/Courtesy Reuters) Supporters of Senegalese opposition presidential candidate Macky Sall celebrate in the capital Dakar March 25, 2012. (Joe Penney/Courtesy Reuters)

A week following the dark news of a military coup in Mali, Senegal’s presidential runoff is profoundly encouraging for African democrats. Incumbent president Abdoulaye Wade has conceded to, and congratulated, opposition candidate Macky Sall following the March 25 presidential runoff. The press reports that the elections were calm. Though election observers have yet to comment, based on press reports their findings are likely to be favorable. Read more »

Will Wade Be Humiliated in the Senegal Presidential Run-off?

by John Campbell
Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade speaks to journalists at a news conference in Dakar, February 27, 2012. (Joe Penney/Courtesy Reuters) Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade speaks to journalists at a news conference in Dakar, February 27, 2012. (Joe Penney/Courtesy Reuters)

Senegal’s constitution requires that a presidential candidate receive fifty percent of the total votes or face a run-off. Incumbent president Abdoulaye Wade received only thirty-five percent of the vote in the February 26 presidential election, while his chief opposition, Macky Sall, received twenty-six percent. (There were numerous other candidates.) Only about half of the electorate voted, compared with more than seventy percent in the 2007 elections. There will be a run-off between Wade and Sall on March 18. Unlike the case of Cote d’Ivoire’s Laurent Gbagbo, Wade’s people have said that he will accept the results of the run-off. He probably will; Senegal is not as internally divided as Cote d’Ivoire, where rival presidential candidates represented profound ethnic, social and economic divisions. Senegal’s democratic institutions, while by no means perfect, are also among the strongest in sub-Saharan Africa. Read more »