The Senegalese are known for campaigning loudly, musically and enthusiastically, yet the country's reputation for democracy and stability in turbulent West Africa has taken a knock as it prepares for elections on Feb. 26.
When Senegal's top court gave its blessing last month to President Abdoulaye Wade's third-term ambitions, his opponents angrily took to the streets to demonstrate their disapproval.
Senegal was tense as police clashed with protesters demanding that the president withdraw his candidacy.
Relatives of Abdelwahab Zaydoun, a 27-year-old Moroccan who set himself on fire to protest his unemployment and died from his burns, react to his death in Casablanca last month. A year after street protests in Morocco prompted some reforms, Moroccans remain discontent with the gap between rich and poor, and the slow strides toward democracy.
A radical Islamist group in northern Nigeria has claimed responsibility for a series of deadly bombing attacks last week that left more than 200 people dead. Boko Haram's campaign of violence has left minority Christians on edge in the city of Kano.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (left) walks with the Emir of Kano Ado Bayero during a one-day visit to the city that was rocked by recent attacks.
Credit Aminu Abuabakar / AFP/Getty Images
Kano, the largest city in Nigeria's Muslim north, is an ancient, sprawling city of more than 9 million. Last Friday, the Muslim day of prayers was shattered by a series of coordinated bomb blasts.
Just down the street from one of the main market areas in the city, the street remains blocked off from a police station hit in the attacks. The radical Islamist sect Boko Haram claimed responsibility.
Sagir Ali, a security guard at a parking lot at the market, says he watched as nearby government offices were attacked.