J. Peter Pham

  • Nigerian Information Minster Discusses US-Nigeria relations, Boko Haram

    On Thursday, July 19, the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center hosted a roundtable discussion with the Minister of Information and Culture of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, H.E. Alhaji Lai Mohammed

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  • Reflecting on Mandela’s Centenary

    In the predawn hours of July 18, 1918, not far from the medieval cathedral town of Soissons in northeastern France, twenty-four French divisions, including two segregated American infantry divisions (the storied 92nd “Buffalo Soldiers” and the 93rd) under French command, supported by other Allied units—including eight other US divisions of the American Expeditionary Force led by Gen. John J. “Black Jack” Pershing for whom the day would bring one of their first combat operations—crossed the Marne River, launching the massive counterattack that, one hundred days and just over 271,000 casualties later, would lead to the armistice ending the “Great War,” the most brutal conflict known to humankind up to that point.

    That very same day, some 9,000 kilometers to the south, in the small village of Umtata, in the remote eastern part of the Cape Province of what was then the Union of South Africa, a baby boy was born among the local Thembu people. The child was given the name Rolihlahla, which in the Xhosa colloquial meant “troublemaker”; in later years, the man would be affectionally known by his clan name, Madiba (it was only when he was seven and sent to a nearby Methodist mission school that his teachers would have him christened with the English name of “Nelson” and register the name of his grandfather as his surname). Who would have predicted that the child would not just survive, but, overcoming his rather modest beginnings (his father died when he was not even ten years old, leaving behind four wives, four sons, and nine daughters) as well as the many vicissitudes of his long life, cause a great deal of “trouble” for some of the great and powerful of this world—all without recourse to arms?

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  • South African Trade Minister Advocates for Africa’s Greater Role in the Global Economy

    On Friday, July 13, the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center hosted a conversation with Minster of Trade and Industry of the Republic of South Africa the Hon. Rob Davies.

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  • The Reckoning South Sudan Needs

    The seventh anniversary of South Sudan’s independence on July 11 is, at best, a bittersweet occasion. Seldom has a country come into being with such promise and good will. Dozens of heads of state, including Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, came to Juba to witness the birth of the world’s newest state. Messages poured in from leaders who could not make it, including US President Barack Obama, who granted South Sudan immediate diplomatic recognition, declaring: “Today is a reminder that after the darkness of war, the light of a new dawn is possible.”

    Amid the celebratory choruses, I sounded a note of caution that day: “While the United States and other partners of South Sudan have helped to win freedom for the peoples of South Sudan, the challenge now is for them to consider what can be done to assure that political independence is not followed by state failure and/or conflict, but rather that there be a real chance for the improved human security and geopolitical stability, the promise of which justified the international community’s recognition of the breakup of a sovereign state in the first place.”

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  • The Global Innovation Sweepstakes: A Quest to Win the Future

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    The Global Innovation Sweepstakes: A Quest to Win the Future examines how emerging technologies will remake the global order and explores strategies for how the United States can retain its innovative edge. Tech-based innovation—in fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, green energy, and biotechnology—will reshape the future of human civilization. Those nations that can create and adapt to cutting-edge technologies will realize enormous economic and geostrategic benefits in the decades to come. It is with this realization that the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, in partnership with Qualcomm, embarked on a global tour of technology hubs to find out which ones are at the cutting edges of innovation and which are at risk of falling behind.

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  • Discussion on Communal Violence, Security Threats, and Elections in Mali

    On Friday, June 8, the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center, in collaboration with the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), hosted a discussion on USHMM’s new report: Regions at Risk: Preventing Mass Atrocities in Mali. The event featured the report’s authors, Mr. Ibrahim Yahaya Ibrahim, early warning fellow with USHMM, and Ms. Mollie Zapata, research associate with the Simon-Skjodt Center at the USHMM, with The Honorable Karim Keïta, chairman of the National Commission for Defense, Security, and Civil Protection of the National Assembly of the Republic of Mali, responding to their presentation.

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  • Pham Quoted in Task and Purpose on the U.S. Military Ebola Response

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  • Congolese Opposition Leaders Join Forces

    Two prominent Congolese presidential hopefuls, speaking at the Atlantic Council in Washington on May 23, announced that they were joining forces against the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s longtime president Joseph Kabila.

    Moïse Katumbi, who is tipped to win the election—if one is held and if he is allowed to participate—and Félix Tshisekedi, the president of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress, the DRC’s oldest and largest opposition party, said opposition parties are discussing the possibility of fielding a single unity candidate in elections scheduled for December 23.

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  • RDC: l'avenir Politique Selon Moïse Katumbi & Félix Tshisekedi

    Quel avenir pour l'opposition en République démocratique du Congo ? Moïse Katumbi, candidat à la présidentielle du parti Ensemble pour le changement, et son compatriote Félix Tshisekedi du parti l'Union pour la démocratie et le progrès social, s'interrogent sur la situation politique en RDC et l'importance de l'appui international afin que les élections du 23 décembre 2018 se déroulent de façon crédible et dans la transparence.

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  • The United States Gets Tough With South Sudan

    US President Donald J. Trump’s administration, expressing displeasure with the government in South Sudan, has started a comprehensive review of its aid programs to that country.

    In a sternly worded statement, the White House said that the leaders of South Sudan had “squandered this partnership [with the United States], pilfered the wealth of South Sudan, killed their own people, and repeatedly demonstrated their inability and unwillingness to live up to their commitments to end the country’s civil war. The result is one of Africa’s worst humanitarian disasters.”

    Announcing its aid review, the White House said: “While we are committed to saving lives, we must also ensure our assistance does not contribute to or prolong the conflict, or facilitate predatory or corrupt behavior.”

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