By Gordon Brown
LONDON – It has been eight weeks since the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram abducted more than 200 girls from their school dormitories in Chibok, in northern Nigeria’s Borno State. The geopolitical implications are now ramifying across Africa.
Chad, Niger, and Cameroon are being drawn into the crisis, owing to growing suspicion that some of the girls are being held on their territory. And, though a recently signed memorandum of understanding offers Nigeria security assistance from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and other powers, residents of remote villages in northern Nigeria, fearful of night raids by Boko Haram and running out of food and supplies, are fleeing to mountain caves or bigger towns.
From the print edition
Once again Ethiopia is in the headlines.It is not for its dazzling double digit economic growth, nor for its once familiar tale of famine and poverty that it tries so hard to leave behind, or not even for two consecutive mega state visits by the US Secretary of State John Kerry and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang; but for its inexplicable and heavy-handed onslaught against three independent journalists and a group of six bloggers, who were detained from their homes on Friday April 25th and Saturday April 26th by plain-clothed security personnel.
ALGIERS – Despite his failing health, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika won a fourth term last month, with 81% of the vote – or so the regime claimed. In fact, far from signaling growing political stability, the 77-year-old incumbent’s sham victory underscores just how few options Algerians have to effect change from within the system.
Under Bouteflika’s leadership, Algeria’s government has failed to address the country’s most pressing economic and social challenges. And there is no reason to expect this to change. Since suffering a stroke last year, Bouteflika has barely appeared in public, whether to campaign ahead of the vote or to acknowledge his victory after it.