John Campbell

Africa in Transition

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

Nigeria Security Tracker: Weekly Update December 20-December 26

by John Campbell Monday, December 29, 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 December 20 to December 26, 2014. These incidents will be included in the Nigeria Security Tracker. Read more »

Post-Burkina Faso: Domino or Boomerang Effect?

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell Wednesday, December 24, 2014
A man stands next to a sign bearing the name of Gaston Karambiri during a funeral service for six people killed during the popular uprising of October 30 and 31, in Ouagadougou, December 2, 2014. (Joe Penney/Courtesy Reuters) A man stands next to a sign bearing the name of Gaston Karambiri during a funeral service for six people killed during the popular uprising of October 30 and 31, in Ouagadougou, December 2, 2014. (Joe Penney/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Jean-Yves Ollivier, a French businessman who has spent over forty years involved in peace talks in Africa. He serves as CEO of the Brazzaville Foundation for Peace and Nature Conservation. Read more »

Good News From Northern Nigeria

by John Campbell Tuesday, December 23, 2014
A health worker immunises a four-year-old boy at Ilashe island, 25 km (15 miles) from the Nigerian capital Lagos, May 16, 2005. (George Esiri/Courtesy Reuters) A health worker immunises a four-year-old boy at Ilashe island, 25 km (15 miles) from the Nigerian capital Lagos, May 16, 2005. (George Esiri/Courtesy Reuters)

Sometimes, it seems like the bad news from Nigeria never stops. Tucked away in the December 23, New York Times was a brief notice that on December 22, explosions in Gombe state killed at least twenty-six and wounded seventy-nine. That carnage in northern Nigeria merited less than sixty words, so inured has the international community become. Read more »

Nigeria Security Tracker: Weekly Update December 13-December 19

by John Campbell Monday, December 22, 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 December 13 to December 19, 2014. These incidents will be included in the Nigeria Security Tracker.
 
Read more »

Corruption and “Sharing Nigeria’s Cake”

by John Campbell Friday, December 19, 2014
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 Thursday, December 18, 2014
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 »

Nigerians Impressed: the All Progressives Congress Convention

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell Wednesday, December 17, 2014
A policeman stands guard near ballot boxes at All Progressives Congress (APC) party convention, in Lagos, early December 11, 2014. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters) A policeman stands guard near ballot boxes at All Progressives Congress (APC) party convention, in Lagos, early December 11, 2014. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Jean Herskovits, research professor of African history at SUNY-Purchase. Dr. Herskovits has been watching Nigeria’s politics at first hand for decades. She visits frequently, returning last month from her most recent trip. Dr. Herskovits is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Read more »

Awaiting January’s Forum for National Reconciliation in Bangui

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Central African Republic's interim President Catherine Samba-Panza (C) addresses the 69th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York, September 27, 2014. Eduardo Munoz/Courtesy Reuters Central African Republic's interim President Catherine Samba-Panza (C) addresses the 69th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York, September 27, 2014. Eduardo Munoz/Courtesy Reuters

This is a guest post by Thomas Zuber, intern for the Council on Foreign Relations Africa Studies program. He is currently pursuing a Master’s in International Political Economy and Development at Fordham University.  Read more »

Nigeria Security Tracker: Weekly Update December 6-December 12

by John Campbell Monday, December 15, 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 December 6 to December 12, 2014. These incidents will be included in the Nigeria Security Tracker.
Read more »

Nigerian Religious Leaders Advise Political Candidates

by John Campbell Friday, December 12, 2014
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 »