By Patrick Pierson.
Here are some stories to keep an eye on in Africa throughout 2017. Former Nigerian militants from the Niger Delta aren’t too happy with President Buhari. The frustration may be temporarily quelled, however – just this week, the government resumed the payment of cash stipends to former militants. Is al Shabab experiencing a resurgence in Somalia? A recent poll shows that many Liberians fear a return to war. Are UN peacekeeping efforts in Africa more harm than help? Gambia’s Yahya Jammeh appears to be recruiting mercenaries in an effort to retain power. Burundi’s longest running human rights organization has been banned. Questions have already begun to surface about Kenya’s upcoming election in August 2017. Here’s a roundup of some developments in the US-Africa partnership in 2016.
After waiting for over a year, Haiti finally has a president-elect. In Mexico, government deregulation has gas prices rising and some citizens have taken to the streets in protest. Last weekend, prison riots in Brazil left nearly 60 inmates dead. More riots took place on Thursday in neighboring Roraima state – 33 prisoners died during the unrest. In the midst of the deadly riots, Pope Francis called for humane treatment of prisoners and a focus on “re-education and re-integration” both in Brazil and around the world. On a positive note, recent data shows that both El Salvador and Guatemala saw a decrease in homicides in 2016. This video documents the healthcare crisis taking place in Venezuela under the watch of President Maduro. Meanwhile, the Venezuelan opposition renewed their efforts to end Maduro’s “dictatorship.”
A number of car bomb attacks killed dozens in Baghdad on Monday. A Chinese submarine docked in Malaysia this week; this comes as two Russian ships stopped over in the Philippines. Chinese authorities have confirmed that a Chinese aircraft carrier recently conducted drills in the South China Sea. And in typical controversial fashion, President Duterte of the Philippines now claims some of his relatives have joined ISIS.