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United States Putting ‘Advisers’ On The Front Lines In Nigeria’s War Against Boko Haram


The U.S. is poised to send troops to the front lines of yet another war we have no reason to be involved in.

Boutros Boutros-Ghali Dead at 93

Boutros Boutros-Ghali (Egypt) 1992-1996

The godfather of the Responsibility to Protect doctrine has passed.

Boko Haram Update


Via the LAT:  Boko Haram has grown stronger, more lethal and even less compromising Boko Haram was blamed for recent twin suicide bombings in Kano: one carried out by an 11-year-old girl, and a market bombing in Yola that killed 34. The extremist group was responsible for 6,644 deaths in 2014, a 300% increase from the […]

Up To 170 Taken Hostage In Hotel In Capital Of Mali


An apparent ongoing terrorist attack in Central Africa.

In Case you Want to See What Hyperinflation Looks Like…


…take a look over at the BBC:  Zimbabwe dollars phased out. Zimbabwe is phasing out its local currency, the central bank says, formalising a multi-currency system introduced during hyper-inflation. Foreign currencies like the US dollar and South African rand have been used for most transactions since 2009. Local dollars are not used except high-denomination notes […]

From the “You Can’t Make this Stuff up File” (Chinese Constitution Day Edition)


Via Foreign Policy:  On First Annual Constitution Day, China’s Most Censored Word Was ‘Constitution’ On Dec. 4, China’s first annual Constitution Day, Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Dailyposted the complete text of the Chineseconstitution to its Weibo microblogging account, accompanied by the upbeathashtag: “Let’s all read the Constitution!” The easy-to-read attachment included each constitutional article — including […]

Worldwide Ebola Cases Top 16,000 With 7,000 Dead, But There Is Some Good News

Ebola Virus And Caduceus

The numbers on the Ebola outbreak are bad, but they aren’t as bad as had been feared.

Ebola Continues To Be A Big Problem In Sierra Leone

Ebola Virus

While it has largely disappeared from the headlines in the United States, the Ebola crisis continues in Sierra Leone: While health officials say they are making headway against the Ebola epidemic in neighboring Liberia, the disease is still raging inSierra Leone, despite the big international push. In November alone, the World Health Organization has reported […]

Spread Of Ebola In Liberia Appears To Be Slowing

Ebola Virus

There appears to be some good news on one of the main fronts in the fight against Ebola: WASHINGTON — The international response to West Africa’s Ebolaepidemic, coupled with more effective action by local communities, has stopped the exponential spread of the disease in one of the hardest-hit countries, Liberia, the director of the Centers […]

Zimbabwe’s Vice-President Implicated In Plot To Kill Robert Mugabe


The Vice-President of Zimbabwe has been implicated in a plot to kill Robert Mugabe, the authoritarian ruler of that nation since the minority white government of what used to be Rhodesia gave up power: The deputy president of Zimbabwe has been linked to a plot to assassinate the country’s premier Robert Mugabe, according to a […]

Suicide Bomber Kills At Least 50 At Nigerian School


A suicide bomber has killed at least 50 at a Nigerian school: A suicide bomber dressed as a student infiltrated the morning assembly at a high school in northern Nigeria on Monday and detonated explosives in a backpack, killing almost 50 students and teachers, according to news reports. Although there was no immediate claim of […]

Africa Ebola Map


This “handy Ebola guide” is a must for anyone considering traveling to Africa:

Boko Haram Leader Says All Nigerian Schoolgirls Converted To Islam, Married Off

Boko Haram Nigerian Schoolgirls

The leader of Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram says that all of the schoolgirls it kidnapped earlier this year are married off, presumably to much older men: MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — With a malevolent laugh, the leader of Nigeria’s Islamic extremists tells the world that more than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls have all been converted to […]

Coup in Burkina Faso


Via the BBC: Army backs new Burkina Faso leader Isaac Zida Burkina Faso army chiefs have backed a military officer as transitional president. In a statement, the army said Lieutenant Colonel Isaac Zida was “chosen unanimously to lead the transition period”. This appears to end confusion over who has succeeded President Blaise Compaore, who stood […]

Two Claim To Lead Burkina Faso After Coup


Two different leaders are claiming to be the leader of Burkina Faso after a military coup: Two military leaders have made competing claims that they’re in charge of Burkina Faso after unrest that led to the resignation of the West African nation’s longtime president. Both the nation’s top military chief, Gen. Honore Nabere Traore, and […]

Violent Protests in Burkina Faso


Via the BBC:  Burkina Faso parliament set ablaze. The conflict is over an attempt to amend the constitution to allow the long-standing president to run for re-election: Protesters angry at plans to allow Burkina Faso’s President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year-rule have set fire to parliament. […] Mr Compaore first took power in a […]

Chart Of The Day: Ebola In West Africa Edition

Ebola Virus

While politicians in the United States worry about a grand total of one active Ebola cases in the United States, this chart from German Lopez at Vox shows that the disease continues on the march in western Africa: There are some indications that, at the very least, the worst case scenarios that W.H.O. and other […]

World Health Organization: Ebola Cases In Africa Top 10,000

Ebola Virus

The World Health Organization has upped the number of people known to be infected with Ebola in Africa to over 10,000: GENEVA — The number of people infected with Ebola in three West African countries has exceeded 10,000, the World Health Organization reported Saturday. A total of 10,141 people had contracted the disease worldwide, the […]

More Good Ebola News


Via the BBC we find that : 1)  Nigeria has been declared Ebola free Nigeria has been declared officially free of Ebola after six weeks with no new cases, the World Health Organization (WHO) says. WHO representative Rui Gama Vaz, speaking in the capital Abuja, said it was a "spectacular success story". Nigeria won praise […]

Nigerian Government Hopeful That Kidnapped Schoolgirls Will Be Freed Next Week

Boko Haram Nigerian Schoolgirls

The Nigerian Government says it is hopeful that the schoolgirls who were kidnapped earlier this year by Boko Haram will be free early next week: Campaigners calling for the release of over 200 Nigerian schoolgirls have said they are “cautiously optimistic” about a reported ceasefire between the government and al-Qaeda-linked militants that would include the […]

Senegal Declared Free Of Ebola

Ebola Virus

Following in the footsteps of Nigeria, Senegal is the latest nation in Africa to beat back the spread of Ebola from the “hot zone” countries in the western part of the continent: GENEVA — The World Health Organization declared the West African nation of Senegal to be free of Ebola on Friday, a rare success […]

Sierra Leone Admits ‘Defeat’ In Ebola Fight, Allows Home Care Of The Infected

Ebola Virus

Public health officials in Sierra Leone are admitting that the Ebola epidemic in that country is spreading faster than they are able to respond to it: FREETOWN, Sierra Leone — Acknowledging a major “defeat” in the fight against Ebola, international health officials battling the epidemic in Sierra Leone approved plans on Friday to help families […]

Liberia Suspends Elections In Wake Of Ebola Epidemic

Ebola Virus

With various reports describing the nation in near collapse, Liberia is canceling its national elections as Ebola continues to ravage the nation: Monrovia (AFP) – Ebola-hit Liberia has suspended nationwide elections in the latest measure to combat an epidemic which has shut down society in three west African nations, restricting travel and forcing the cancellation […]

Mind-Blowing Maps


Trending on Twitter this morning is a collection of infographics compiled by Ezra Klein under the heading “22 maps and charts that will surprise you.”

CDC: Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million By January

Ebola Virus

The Centers For Disease Control has a particularly grim forecast for Africa’s ongoing Ebola epidemic: Yet another set of ominous projections about the Ebola epidemic in West Africa was released Tuesday, in a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that gave worst- and best-case estimates for Liberia and Sierra Leone based on […]

Entire Nation Of Sierra Leone On Lockdown Due To Ebola Epidemic

Ebola Virus

The entire nation of Sierra Leone is essentially on lockdown due to the ongoing Ebola epidemic: FREETOWN, Sierra Leone — The most ambitious and aggressive government campaign against the Ebola epidemic gripping parts of West Africa began on Friday when Sierra Leone ordered everyone in the country to remain indoors for three days, suspending commerce, […]

Ebola Death Toll In West Africa Hits 1,200

Ebola Virus

The Ebola epidemic in western Africa continues to spread: LONDON — As West African nations grapple with the worst-ever outbreak of the Ebola virus, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday that the death toll had exceeded 1,200 and announced increased efforts to forestall hunger in areas isolated by quarantine measures. The figure offered a […]

Muslim Brotherhood’s Political Party Banned


Via the BBC:  Egypt court bans Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing Dissolving the Freedom and justice Party (FJP) was expected. The political wing of the banned Muslim Brotherhood movement can no longer compete in the next parliamentary elections, expected to be held before the end of this year. Its members can run either as individual candidates […]

Africa’s Ebola Crisis Hits 1,300 Cases

Ebola Virus

With one of the Americans infected with the Ebola virus headed for Emory University’s hospital as we speak, we have reached the first time that a disease that has ravaged Africa in the past is being knowingly brought to North America. By all accounts, the steps that medical professionals are taking to ensure that the […]

Ugandan Anti-Gay Law Struck Down By Court


A court in Uganda has declared that country’s controversial law against homosexuality, which has drawn widespread international condemnation, is unconstitutional: Uganda’s Constitutional Court has annulled tough anti-gay legislation signed into law in February. It ruled that the bill was passed by MPs in December without the requisite quorum and was therefore illegal. Homosexual acts were already […]

Nigerians Claim To Have Located Missing Schoolgirls, But Can’t (Won’t?) Rescue Them

Boko Haram Nigerian Schoolgirls

Some odd developments in Nigeria

Nigeria Delaying Search For Missing Schoolgirls

Boko Haram Nigerian Schoolgirls

The search for more than 200 missing Nigerian schoolgirls is not going well, and part of the blame lies with the Nigerian government.

U.S. Sends Marines To Chad To Aid In Search For Nigerian Schoolgirls

Chad Nigeria Map

Late yesterday, we learned that a contingent of about 80 marines is headed to Chad to aid in the ongoing search for more than 230 Nigerian schoolgirls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram nearly six weeks ago: WASHINGTON — The United States has sent 80 troops to Chad in Central Africa to support a growing […]

Nigerian Islamist Terror Group Boko Haram Claims Responsibility For Kidnapping Of Schoolgirls


Last week, I noted that we had reached the two week point since the kidnapping of 234 Nigerian schoolgirls and there had been little or no reporting on the story in the American media. Since that point, I have been happy to see the story receiving coverage on CNN and other networks, as well as […]

Nigeria’s GDP Largest in Africa


Via the BBC:  Nigeria becomes Africa’s biggest economy Nigeria has "rebased" its gross domestic product (GDP) data, which has pushed it above South Africa as the continent’s biggest economy. Nigerian GDP now includes previously uncounted industries like telecoms, information technology, music, online sales, airlines, and film production. GDP for 2013 totalled 80.3 trillion naira (£307.6bn: […]

Ugandan President Signs Anti-Gay Bill That U.S. Evangelicals Helped Write Into Law


The President of Uganda has signed into law a bill that places severe criminal penalties on homosexuals: LONDON — Brushing aside Western threats and outrage, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda significantly strengthened Africa’s antigay movement on Monday, signing into law a bill imposing harsh sentences for homosexual acts, including life imprisonment in some cases, according […]

Egyptian Referendum Results


Via the BBC:  Egypt referendum: ‘98% back new constitution’ Egypt’s referendum on a new constitution has been backed by 98.1% of people who voted, officials say. Turnout was 38.6% of the more than 50-million eligible voters, the election committee said. I must confess, I am a tad skeptical about any result that takes days to […]

Egyptian Vote on New Constitution


Via the BBC:  Egypt referendum: Vote under way amid tight security. The post-Mubarak era continues to muddle through to establish a new consolidated set of rules under which to govern, with the military continuing to be the central player in Egyptian politics. I have not reviewed the proposed new charter, although press accounts indicate that […]

Return to the Events in Benghazi


More details.

And The Winner Of The African Good Governance Award For 2013 Is……. Nobody


Once again, an award meant to highlight good governance on the continent of Africa goes to nobody: LONDON — For the fourth time in five years, a prestigious multimillion-dollar prize offered to African leaders for good governance went unawarded on Monday, renewing questions about the stringency of its rules, the paucity of contenders and the […]

Africa’s Size


This map and comparison (via io9) is pretty awesome, because it really provides a better view of the size of the African continent than go most maps, which due to the nature of standard projections makes the northern hemisphere look larger than it is (and conversely makes the southern hemisphere look too small).  I seen […]

Nelson Mandela Released from Hospital


Reports of Nelson Mandela’s death were premature.

US and UK Concerned about Zimbabwe’s Elections


Via the BBC:  US and UK concern over Zimbabwe election results The US and UK have expressed concern after official results from Zimbabwe’s elections gave President Robert Mugabe a seventh term in office amid claims of electoral fraud. US Secretary of State John Kerry said the results did not "represent a credible expression of the […]

Least Surprising Headline of the Day


Via the BBC:  Zimbabwe election was ‘huge farce’ – Morgan Tsvangirai. Mr Tsvangirai spoke shortly after the monitors from the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) said the poll was "seriously compromised". In a statement, the ZESN said that potential voters were turned away from 82% of polling stations in urban areas, where support for Mr […]

More Protests in Egypt


Via the BBC:  Egypt prepares for rival Ramadan protests Supporters and opponents of the ousted Egyptian Islamist President Mohammed Morsi are preparing to stage large rallies in Cairo on the first Friday of the fasting month of Ramadan. Mr Morsi’s supporters are gathering in their thousands in the east of the city to call for […]

More on Defining Coups


Jonathan M. Powell of Nazarbayev University has some thoughts on Egypt’s Coup which includes a quick survey of political science literature on the subject of coups.  He includes this rather straightforward definition that is pretty much in alignment with the one I offered earlier today: Different scholars might be interested in different research questions, and […]

Some Basic Political Science Regarding Egypt

Mideast Egypt

Some thoughts on the ongoing situation in Egypt.

U. S. Aid to Egypt Is Complicated

US Egyptian Flags

The complicated issues surrounding U.S. aid to Egypt.

Egypt’s Grim Economics


Whatever the news media may be reporting I believe that the anger at Mohamed Morsi that lead to Egypt’s military ousting him was primarily due to economic factors. Egypt has a trade deficit of about $30 billion per year, about 14% of Egypt’s economy. Egypt’s primary sources of foreign exchange are, in descending order, remittances […]

The Tiger or the Tiger: What’s Ahead for Egypt?


There is either a military government or an Islamist one in Egypt’s future.

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