A Long Way to Fall

NEED TO KNOW A Long Way to Fall SOUTH AFRICA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/5516b8d6-0af4-46a7-8454-a3339ff1009f.png"] Since the racist apartheid regime in South Africa ended 30 years ago, the African National Congress party, whose crusaders brought down white minority rule, has won every election, with support in the high double digits. That track...

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The Fertility of Chaos

NEED TO KNOW The Fertility of Chaos SUDAN [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/224b0e8f-5be6-4e44-b799-a1b865717c98.png"] On June 15, 2023, the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and its Arab allied militias attacked a convoy of locals as it proceeded through El Geneina in West Darfur, killing civilians as they ran through the streets, trying to...

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Naming and Shaming

NEED TO KNOW Naming and Shaming UGANDA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/eae01c28-7782-4a11-9e2b-886217499c6a.png"] Barred from staging street protests, Ugandans are leveraging social media to shine a light on the misdeeds of their corrupt and incompetent leaders. The latest online protest, or “exhibition,” is trending under #UgandaParliamentExhibition on X (formerly Twitter), and it details...

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The Last, Wobbly Domino

NEED TO KNOW The Last, Wobbly Domino CHAD [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/b08925fb-4623-40c3-9563-de5bd3009fa5.png"] When polls in the landlocked central African country of Chad open on May 6, it will be the first of coup-hit states across Central and West Africa to use the ballot box to try to emerge from years of...

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The Lost and the Found

NEED TO KNOW The Lost and the Found NIGERIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/6c258edc-b123-4d47-98e3-f42e226ea64f.png"] Nigerian military forces recently found one of the 276 schoolgirls abducted 10 years ago from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok in the West African country’s Borno State. Troops rescued Lydia Simon, who was pregnant, and her three...

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Breeding Ground

NEED TO KNOW Breeding Ground MOZAMBIQUE [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/145ea551-3c3e-4af3-915f-9d349351d3b2.png"] A jihadist insurgency with links to the Islamic State terror group has plagued Mozambique’s lawless Cabo Delgado region for more than six years. Recently, however, an upsurge in violence has forced more than 70,000 people to flee the area, reported News...

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Like Father Like Son

NEED TO KNOW Like Father, Like Son TOGO [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/bb466bd7-9e9a-7c5d-0be4-ffae7064b9b9.png"] For years, Togolese citizens have been calling for the resignation of President Faure Gnassingbé. The man has held the office since 2005, but his critics say his political machine stretches beyond those 19 years – his father, Gnassingbé Eyadéma,...

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Sowing Justice

NEED TO KNOW Sowing Justice LIBERIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/9eb32998-6471-45a3-a560-2a676df24771.png"] A French court recently sentenced Kunti Kamara, a former rebel leader in Liberia, to 30 years in prison for war crimes during the West African country’s first civil war between 1989 and 1997. Kamara, now 49, committed “acts of torture and inhuman...

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A Cut of Control

NEED TO KNOW A Cut of Control GAMBIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/89b5a0c0-046d-402b-bc1b-96a8d9ab5730.png"] The Gambia banned female genital mutilation in 2015 because officials said the tradition of partially removing girls’ genitalia violated human rights. It didn’t, however, enforce it until last year. That’s when the trouble began. Now, lawmakers in the tiny West African...

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Iron Junta

NEED TO KNOW Iron Junta GUINEA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/963d6fc3-90db-4090-ad9a-da882d906f12.png"] The leader of the junta that runs Guinea, Gen. Mamadi Doumbouya, recently sacked the head of the state electricity company and his deputies. Doumbouya, who read the announcement on national television, made the decision after power cuts triggered deadly protests in the...

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Listen to the Children

NEED TO KNOW Listen to the Children SENEGAL [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/3676cf10-2f23-4295-b085-c86147830390.png"] A primary school in Dakar, the capital of Senegal, recently held elections for their student body president. A BBC video crew asked the student candidates what they would do if they were elected president of their West African country. “My...

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The Crows Gather

NEED TO KNOW The Crows Gather DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/ed507180-9c5f-4223-b88c-6f054c876a9f.png"] Rwanda’s incursion into the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has sparked violence, massive displacement and concerns about the possibility of a new war in one of the poorest, most unstable regions in the world. Irredentist Rwandan...

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Location, Location

NEED TO KNOW Location, Location DJIBOUTI [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/34a9512f-f04f-4b88-af31-1d97b2b3d59a.png"] An Iranian ship named the Behshad was docked off Djibouti near a Chinese military base for weeks, allegedly transmitting commercial shipping information to the Houthis, a Yemeni militant group that has been attacking ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of...

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Swimming With Crocodiles

NEED TO KNOW Swimming With Crocodiles ZIMBABWE [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/32d2805e-affb-4474-9ba4-8fc5eae44e98.png"] A Zimbabwean court recently gave opposition leader Job Sikhala a suspended sentence of nine months in prison for making falsehoods on social media. The charges stem from his allegation that a police officer killed a child at a bus stop. Sikhala’s...

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Failing Grade

NEED TO KNOW Failing Grade SENEGAL [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/3676cf10-2f23-4295-b085-c86147830390.png"] Senegal is traditionally a “haven of stability and democracy” in West Africa, Agence France-Presse recently wrote. But President Macky Sall’s decision to postpone the West African country’s presidential election that had been slated for Feb. 25 changed all that. Demonstrations, often violent,...

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The New Clique

NEED TO KNOW The New Clique WEST AFRICA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/8bda180e-c600-c3ec-d2fb-e8dfad709a2d.png"] Officials in the Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS) headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria have a dilemma: On the one hand, they want to ensure prosperity, democracy and security in the region. On the other, they want to keep...

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Clinging to the Snake

[announcement] NEED TO KNOW Clinging to the Snake GABON [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/8b6af594-29cd-4ef9-63c5-84ef31e981ea.png"] Hours after President Ali Bongo won reelection to a third term in Gabon in August last year, extending his family’s 56-year rule of the West African country, his military officers seized power in a bloodless coup. It was just the...

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Law & Disorder

NEED TO KNOW Law & Disorder SOUTH AFRICA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/5516b8d6-0af4-46a7-8454-a3339ff1009f.png"] Residents of Rabie Ridge, sick and tired of criminals running rampant through their township outside Johannesburg, South Africa decided to take matters into their own hands. They went house to house and rounded up six people they accused of...

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A Spoonful of Salt

NEED TO KNOW A Spoonful of Salt THE GAMBIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/89b5a0c0-046d-402b-bc1b-96a8d9ab5730.png"] Gambian Ebrima Sagnia, 44, in an emotional interview with Al Jazeera, recalled how in 2022, he gave the cough syrup to his four-year-old son to combat his high temperature. The boy became drowsy and couldn’t urinate for days....

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The Coming Storm

NEED TO KNOW The Coming Storm ETHIOPIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/bf55b5d2-7db8-404a-b87b-c88a42597d29.png"] When Eritrea won independence from Ethiopia in 1993, the latter retained access to a port on the former’s Red Sea coast. But five years later, Ethiopia lost access to this port during a war between the two countries that lasted...

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