Africa

The scene of an exploded truck bomb in the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Oct. 14. (Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP/Getty Images)

Can Somalia Ever Win Against al-Shabab?

From the ashes of the country’s deadliest terrorist attack, lasting peace seems a long way off.

Chadian soldiers patrol in the Nigerian border town of Gamboru on Feb. 4, 2015. (Stephane Yas/AFP/Getty Images)

America Should Beware a Chadian Military Scorned

Stung by its inclusion on the Trump administration’s travel ban, Chad is already making life harder for U.S. troops in Africa.

Marked ballot papers sit in piles at the Twalemishe school polling station in Kamalondo district of Lubumbashi on November 29, 2011.   Monitors reported widespread fraud in Democratic Republic of Congo elections and presidential rivals demanded an annulment as votes were counted Tuesday in polling marred by deadly violence. AFP PHOTO / PHIL MOORE (Photo credit should read PHIL MOORE/AFP/Getty Images)

How Ballots Are Being Used to Delay the Congolese Election

Elections cost too much, the government says. But the years-long delay is more likely a power grab.

Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf visits the Hall of Remembrance at the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, 19 November 2007. Johnson-Sirleaf is on an official visit to Israel. AFP PHOTO/MENAHEM KAHANA        (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)

The Tearing Down of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

The ghosts of Liberia’s civil war are stalking the country ahead of this week's election — and threatening the complicated legacy of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning president.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel greets US President Donald Trump  prior to the start of the first working session of the G20 meeting in Hamburg, northern Germany, on July 7.
Leaders of the world's top economies will gather from July 7 to 8, 2017 in Germany for likely the stormiest G20 summit in years, with disagreements ranging from wars to climate change and global trade. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / IAN LANGSDON        (Photo credit should read IAN LANGSDON/AFP/Getty Images)

Europe Slams Its Gates (Part Two)

Are the moral consequences of Europe’s increasingly hardline policy on African immigration outweighed by the political imperatives?

STRALSUND, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 16:  A vandalized billboard showing German Chancellor and Christian Democrat (CDU) Angela Merkel stands on September 16, 2017 Stralsund, Germany. Merkel is seeking a fourth term in federal elections scheduled for September 24. She currently holds an approximate 16-point lead over her main rival, German Social Democrat (SPD) Martin Schulz. Both the German Greens Party and the Free Democrats (FDP) are hoping to position themselves to be part of the next coalition government. The right-wing, populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) will likely finish above the 5% election votes minimum and hence win seats in the Bundestag.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The Dam Will Hold. Until It Doesn’t.

Europe has managed to slow the flow of migrants, at least for now — but is undermining its most-cherished values in the process.

U.S. Air Force's 82nd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron operating in Africa. U.S. Army photo.

Niger Ambush Highlights Growing U.S. Military Involvement in Africa

As American drone bases sprout up across the continent, special operations forces push out.

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Nearly There, but Never Further Away

Europe has outsourced the dirty work of border control to Libyan militias. In doing so, it has turned African migrants into commodities to be captured, sold, and traded like slaves.

LAMPEDUSA, ITALY - MAY 19: A man is helped off a small rubber boat by crew members from NGO Sea-Eye on May 19, 2017 in international waters off the coast of Libya.  (Photo by Christian Marquardt/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Savior’s Dilemma

Are naval search-and-rescue operations saving migrants’ lives — or just encouraging them to take greater risks?

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All for Nothing

Migrants who fail to reach Europe face humiliation, isolation, and impoverishment at home.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel greets US President Donald Trump  prior to the start of the first working session of the G20 meeting in Hamburg, northern Germany, on July 7.
Leaders of the world's top economies will gather from July 7 to 8, 2017 in Germany for likely the stormiest G20 summit in years, with disagreements ranging from wars to climate change and global trade. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / IAN LANGSDON        (Photo credit should read IAN LANGSDON/AFP/Getty Images)

Europe Slams Its Gates (Part One)

European aid intended to combat African migration may just be making the problem worse.

AGADEZ, Niger - Adji, driver. Adji has a wife a two children, and also cares for his deceased brother's eight children. He says the EU policy has made it too risky for him to continue driving as his family cannot survive if he were to be arrested. He has not found other work though, and his family is struggling to buy their daily rice.

A historical smuggling hub through which as many as 13,000 migrants passed each month in 2016, Agadez has been the site of a recent crackdown on human smugglers after the EU struck a $635 million deal with Nigerian authorities to keep a lid on migration. (Photo by Nichole Sobecki)

My Smuggler, My Savior

They’re migrants’ only chance of making it safely across the Sahara. They’re also outlaws engaged in a deadly game of cat and mouse with Niger’s military.

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Global Thinkers 2015 Issue Cover