Stories by John Campbell

Expert Voices

On South Africa land reform, Trump muddies a complex debate

President Cyril Ramaphosa responds during his Question and Answer session in Parliament on March 14, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa responds to questions about land reform in Parliament on March 14, 2018, in Cape Town, South Africa. Photo: Jaco Marais/Netwerk24/Gallo Images via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Wednesday that he has directed Secretary of State Pompeo to “closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures” and the “large scale killing of farmers,” quoting Fox News host Tucker Carlson's claim that the “South African government is now seizing land from white farmers.”

Reality check: Although the widespread killing of white farmers is a favorite trope of AfriForum — an Afrikaner organization that views land reform as a threat to white South Africans — such violence is in fact at a 19-year low, by some measures.

Expert Voices

Zimbabwe's post-election crisis may follow the course of Kenya's

President Elect Emmerson Mnangagwa attends a press conference on August 3, 2018 in Harare, Zimbabwe. .
President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa attends a press conference on August 3, 2018, in Harare, Zimbabwe. Photo: Dan Kitwood via Getty Images

After winning the presidential election in Zimbabwe last week, Emmerson Mnangagwa is pursuing a campaign of violence and intimidation in opposition strongholds. His opponent, Nelson Chamisa, claims to have won the election and is challenging the results in the courts, with hints that his supporters will take to the streets if necessary.

The big picture: Zimbabwe is in for a bout of violence and intimidation that will likely result in Mnangagwa and Chamisa striking a balance of power and wealth. Civil war will be avoided, and the settlement, whatever it is, will probably be welcomed and endorsed by foreign governments and businesses. But in all likelihood, there will be little progress in Zimbabwe toward democracy and the rule of law. 

Expert Voices

Trump squeezed small win out of Nigerian president's visit

President Trump arrives with Nigerian President Buhari for a joint press conference in the Rose Garden at the White House on Monday, April 30, 2018.
President Trump and Nigerian President Buhari at the White House on April 30, 2018. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump should be very happy with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari's visit last week. Unlike recent visits by French President Macron, who criticized Trump’s policies before Congress, and German Chancellor Merkel, who has also butted heads with him, Buhari’s involved much praise for Trump in ways that should please him and his base. 

Why it matters: Buhari’s visit may have at least partly defanged criticism of Trump's racism vis-à-vis his alleged Africa comments. Trump's mention of Christian killings in Nigeria may have rallied his evangelical supporters, and seemingly won him a constituency in the Independent People of Biafra, a Nigerian separatist movement, whose spokesperson referred to Trump as a “God sent to ameliorate the suffering of Christians in Nigeria.”