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  • Still No African Leader Worthy of the Ibrahim Award

    For the fourth time in five years the Mo Ibrahim Foundation has failed to find a suitable candidate for the world’s most valuable individual award ($5 million over 10 years, then $200,000 per year for life): the Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. Africa is home to some of the world’s … More

    Obstacles to Peace in South Sudan

    Even as an independent country, peace remains elusive for South Sudan. Decades of civil war, genocide, complex ethnic relations, and deep-seated distrust continue to plague its relationship with Sudan. Despite a peace agreement in 2005 that failed to adequately deliver “diversity in unity” and eventually led to the creation of … More

    20 Years After Black Hawk Down

    Today marks the 20th anniversary of the Battle of Mogadishu, also known as Black Hawk Down. The tragic events of October 3, 1993, when two Black Hawk helicopters were shot down and 18 U.S. servicemen were killed in the Battle of Mogadishu, forever changed the way Americans thought about “boots … More

    An Opportunity for Greater U.S.-Nigeria Ties

    President Obama will meet with the Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan tonight on the margins of the U.N General Assembly in New York. Counterterrorism and energy security should be at the top of the meeting’s discussion agenda, along with Nigeria’s greater economic integration within West Africa and the continent. The recent … More

    Q&A on Kenya Terrorist Attack and Al-Shabaab

    Who is al-Shabaab? Al-Shabaab is an al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group operating in the Horn of Africa. The group emerged in 2006 as a radical youth wing of the Islamic Courts government in Somalia. Al-Shabaab has been very successful in attracting foreign recruits to Somalia to join al-Shabaab. The group is notorious … More

    Kenya Attack: Al-Shabaab Seeks Retribution in Nairobi

    A high-end Mall in the Westlands suburb of Nairobi was attacked by armed gunmen on Saturday afternoon. Al-Shabaab, the al-Qaeda linked group based in Somalia, is claiming responsibility for the attack at the Westgate Shopping Centre, a popular expatriate hangout. More than 30 people are reported to have been killed … More

    Security Remains Elusive in Somalia

    Al-Shabaab, the al-Qaeda-linked group operating out of Somalia, has reportedly lost one of its most visible fighters, Omar Hammani, an American born and raised in Daphne, Alabama. Hammani is believed to have been killed on September 12. He moved to Somalia in 2006 to fight for al-Shabaab and was added … More

    Obama’s Ad Lib Syria Policy Puts Putin in Driver’s Seat

    Moscow has quickly exploited Secretary of State John Kerry’s off-the-cuff remark on Monday about how Syria could avoid a U.S. military attack by giving up its chemical weapons. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov swiftly launched a Russian initiative, which Syria immediately welcomed. Now the Obama Administration has been drawn into … More

    Who Are the Rebels in Syria?

    No one knows for certain the number of organized opposition groups in Syria and opposition militia forces fighting in the Syrian civil war. These irregular guerrilla forces fighting primarily against the Syrian army range from secular groups to Salafi Islamist militants. The Islamist factions are reportedly split between groups that … More

    Iran Warns of Retaliation over Syrian Crisis

    If the Obama Administration follows through with its planned “shot across the bow” of Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime, it should be prepared to deal with the unintended consequences of such action. Some of the most troubling repercussions could come from Iran, Assad’s chief ally. Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, … More