John Campbell

Africa in Transition

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

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Showing posts for "Terrorism"

The Future of Islamic State Operations in Africa

by John Campbell
A fighter of Libyan forces allied with the U.N.-backed government aims his weapon as he takes up position inside a ruined house at the front line of fighting with Islamic State militants in Ghiza Bahriya district in Sirte, Libya, November 9, 2016. (Reuters/Ismail Zitouny)

As the self-proclaimed Islamic State loses ground in Syria and Iraq, there is increasing concern that it will gradually shift its operations to Africa. Indeed, in late 2016, Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Bagdhadi claimed that the group had shifted elements of command, media, and wealth to Islamic State “provinces in north Africa and west Africa.” However, in a useful article Joseph Siegle of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies convincingly argues that the Islamic State is not well established in those areas of Sub-Saharan Africa where extremist Islamist groups operate. The two most violent groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabaab, predate the formation of the Islamic State and are not dependent on it for operational or tactical support. Furthermore, it is the Wahhabism of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states that is the major ideological foundation of radical, Jihadi Islam in sub-Saharan Africa, rather than the Islamic State. Read more »

Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: February 18 – February 24

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 18 to February 24, 2017. 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 Claims $4.7 billion Lost Due to Oil Attacks

by John Campbell
Smoke and flames rise from a pipe-line fire in Ebute-Oko near Lagos November 30, 2000. The fire at the leaking oil pipeline, believed to have been started by a nearby cooking fire, has killed more than 60 people, many of them fishermen in wooden canoes that were engulfed by the flaming liquid. More than a dozen burned bodies littered a beachhead at the village of Ebute-Oko which faces the central business district of Lagos across a lagoon.

Maikanti Baru, the group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company stated on December 14 that the company’s subsidiary Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) lost 1.5 trillion naira (about $4.9 billion) from militant and criminal attacks on its oil production facilities to date in 2016. Baru went on to say that NPDC recorded fifty-nine separate security incidents that resulted in crude production being shut down or deferred. Read more »

Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: December 3 – December 9

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 3, 2016 to December 9, 2016. 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 Security Tracker Weekly Update: November 5 – November 11

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 October 29, 2016 to November 3, 2016. 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 Security Tracker Weekly Update: October 8 – October 14

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 October 1, 2016 to October 7, 2016. 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 »

Popular support of Nigeria’s Boko Haram

by John Campbell
Undated picture released May 18, 2016 by Nigeria army of rescued Chibok schoolgirl and her baby in Maiduguri, Nigeria. She was kidnapped by Boko Haram from her school in Chibok more than two years ago. (Reuters/ Nigeria Military Handout )

How much popular support Boko Haram enjoys in northern Nigeria is a “riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” After all, in the war between Boko Haram and the Nigerian security forces some 20,000 people have died, and up to 2.5 million are internally displaced or are refugees. (All such numbers are at best estimates.) Yet the fact that Boko Haram has persisted since 2009, carries out operations, and continues to hold the high-profile Chibok school girls in captivity indicates an infrastructure and some degree of popular support. Read more »

Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: September 17 – September 23

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 September 17, 2016 to September 23, 2016. 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 »

United States Foreign Policy Priorities in West Africa

by John Campbell
Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari (R) greets U.S. President Barack Obama before the start of the second plenary session of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, April 1, 2016. (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

The below remarks come from a speech delivered on August 16, at an Area Studies Seminar at the George P. Shultz National Foreign Affairs Training Center, Foreign Service Institute, Arlington, Virginia.

I would like to open with thanks to the Foreign Service Institute for the opportunity to talk about U.S. foreign policy priorities in the Sahel and West Africa. I would hope that these formal remarks will help to frame our subsequent discussion. Read more »

Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: August 6 – August 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 August 6, 2016 to August 12, 2016. 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 »