Burkina Faso, west Africa’s linchpin, is losing its war on terror

THE CAPPUCCINO patisserie in the centre of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso’s capital, offers freshly baked croissants and that rare delicacy in west Africa, a decent Italian coffee. Its other features are less charming: a thick security barrier and two twitchy soldiers with assault rifles guard its patrons.

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Madagascar: Four Former Presidents Compete for Madagascar Presidency

[VOA] The island nation of Madagascar votes Wednesday, with four former heads of state vying for the top job in a pool of 36 candidates. Analysts predict this contest will go to a second round, and the nation’s persistent problems, poverty, health challenges, poor infrastructure, and human rights abuses, will continue no matter who wins.

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Nigeria:Averting Violence Around Nigeria’s 2019 Elections

[ICG] As election preparations get underway in Nigeria, conflict and insecurity in many parts of the country risk exacerbating intercommunal tensions and preventing a peaceful transfer of power. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2018 annual early-warning update for European policy makers, Crisis Group urges the EU and its members states to remain fully engaged during the election in order to curb violence and strengthen the country’s democratic institutions.

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