The solution in many European countries — to stop using seemingly riskier vaccines in younger people, who are at lower risk from Covid-19 — would be unworkable in Africa, where the median age in many countries is below 20.
And any further restrictions would compound the hurdles facing Covax, among them a paucity of funding for every part of inoculation programs beyond the touchdown of doses at airports.
Mali, in western Africa, has administered 7 percent of the AstraZeneca doses that Covax has delivered. Sudan, in eastern Africa, has given 8 percent of the doses it has received.
Skittishness over the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, analysts fear, could stoke demand for Russian- and Chinese-made shots about which far less is known. As it is, some global health officials have turned their attention to the Novavax vaccine, which is not yet authorized but makes up a third of Covax’s portfolio.
“Even at this stage of the pandemic, we have our fingers crossed that some vaccine will work to help vaccinate developing countries, instead of ramping up production of vaccines we know work,” said Zain Rizvi, an expert on medicines access at Public Citizen, an advocacy group.
In Kenya, where enthusiasm for vaccines is high in cities but perilously low in rural areas, “the story about blood clots from Europe could not have come at a worse time,” said Catherine Kyobutungi, the director of the African Population and Health Research Center there. “Even those who were perhaps on the fence, and leaning toward getting vaccinated, all of a sudden had second thoughts,” she said.
The American pause on Johnson & Johnson shots promised a second media furor.
“When the F.D.A. suspends, it makes headlines for days,” she said. “When it lifts the suspension, it doesn’t make as many headlines.”
Mady Camara contributed reporting from Dakar, Senegal.
Government-sponsored massacres became less frequent too. But a wave in the 1990s were mostly in countries that, like Myanmar, had histories of civil war, weak institutions, high poverty rates and politically powerful militaries — Sudan, Rwanda, Nigeria, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, among others.
Though they largely failing to stop those killings as they happened, world leaders and institutions like the United Nations built systems to encourage democracy and avert future atrocities.
Myanmar, a pariah state that had sealed itself off from the world until reopening in 2011, didn’t much benefit from those efforts.
The country also missed out on a global change in how dictatorship works.
A growing number of countries have shifted toward systems where a strongman rises democratically but then consolidates power. These countries still hold elections and call themselves democracies, but heavily restrict freedoms and political rivals. Think Russia, Turkey or Venezuela.
“Repression in the last couple of years has actually gotten worse in dictatorships,” Dr. Frantz said. But large-scale crackdowns are rarer, she added, in part because “today’s dictators are getting savvier in how they oppress.”
Only 20 years ago, 70 percent of protest movements demanding democracy or systemic change succeeded. But that number has since plummeted to a historic low of 30 percent, according to a study by Erica Chenoweth of Harvard University.
Much of the change, Dr. Chenoweth wrote, came through something called “authoritarian learning.”
New-style dictators were wary of calling in the military, which might turn against them. And mass violence would shatter their democratic pretensions. So they developed practices to frustrate or fracture citizen movements: jailing protest leaders, stirring up nationalism, flooding social media with disinformation.
JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel presents himself as a global leader who is in a different league than his rivals — one who can keep Israel safe and promote its interests on the world stage. But strains in his relations with two important Arab allies, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, have dented that image in the fraught run-up to Israel’s do-over election.
Mr. Netanyahu’s personal ties with King Abdullah II of Jordan have long been frosty, even though their countries have had diplomatic relations for decades, and recently took a turn for the worse. And the Israeli leader’s efforts to capitalize on his new partnership with the United Arab Emirates ahead of the close-fought election on Tuesday have injected a sour note into the budding relationship between the two countries.
Senior Emirati officials sent clear signals over the past week that the Persian Gulf country would not be drawn into Mr. Netanyahu’s campaign for re-election, a rebuke that dented his much-vaunted foreign policy credentials.
Mr. Netanyahu, Israel’s longest serving prime minister, has always portrayed himself as the only candidate who can protect Israel’s security and ensure its survival in what has mostly been a hostile region. He has touted peaceful relations with moderate Arab states, including Jordan and the Emirates, as crucial to defend Israel’s borders and as a buttress against Iranian ambitions in the region.
on trial on corruption charges.
The first signs of trouble came after plans for Mr. Netanyahu’s first open visit to the Emirates were canceled. Israel and the United Arab Emirates reached a landmark agreement last August to normalize their relations, the first step in a broader regional process that came to be known as the Abraham Accords and which was a signature foreign policy achievement of the Trump administration.
Mr. Netanyahu was supposed to fly to the Emirates’ capital, Abu Dhabi, on March 11 for a whirlwind meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, the country’s de facto ruler. But the plan went awry amid a separate diplomatic spat with Jordan, one of the first Arab countries to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1994.
The day before the scheduled trip, a rare visit by the Jordanian crown prince to the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem — one of Islam’s holiest sites — was scuttled because of a disagreement between Jordan and Israel over security arrangements for the prince.
wrote on Twitter.
“The UAE will not be a part in any internal electioneering in Israel, now or ever,” he added.
flooded into Dubai, one of the seven emirates that make up the country, despite pandemic restrictions. Now, analysts said, the honeymoon is over even though there has been no indication the normalization deal is in danger of collapse.
The relationship is essentially “on hold,” said Oded Eran, a senior research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv and a former Israeli ambassador to the European Union and Jordan.
Beyond Mr. Netanyahu’s electioneering, Mr. Eran said, the Emiratis were upset because as part of the normalization deal, Israel dropped its opposition to the Emiratis’ buying F-35 fighter jets and other advanced weaponry from the United States, but that transaction is now stalled and under review by the Biden administration.
In addition, he said, the Emirati leaders were concerned about what might happen after the election in Israel. Mr. Netanyahu has said his goal is to form a right-wing coalition with parties that put a priority on annexing West Bank territory in one way or another.
“They are not canceling the deal, but they don’t want more at this point,” Mr. Eran said of the Emiratis. “They want to see what the agenda of the new government will be.”
Mr. Netanyahu’s political opponents have seized upon the diplomatic debacle.
“Unfortunately, Netanyahu’s conduct in recent years has done significant damage to our relations with Jordan, causing Israel to lose considerable defensive, diplomatic and economic assets,” said Benny Gantz, the Israeli defense minister and a centrist political rival.
“I will personally work alongside the entire Israeli defense establishment to continue strengthening our relationship with Jordan,” he added, “while also deepening ties with other countries in the region.”
Mr. Netanyahu has said that four more countries are waiting to sign normalization agreements with Israel, without specifying which ones.
The site was nearly deserted. A few locals were tidying up after recent restoration work, and young camel drivers were out looking for clients. In the midday heat, the bright glow of the desert helped focus my attention on the pyramids themselves.
Situated on the east bank of the Nile, some 150 miles by car northeast of Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, the Meroe pyramids — around 200 in total, many of them in ruins — seemed to be in perfect harmony with the surrounding landscape, as if the wind had smoothed their edges to accommodate them among the dunes.
30-year dictatorship of Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who led Sudan through a long series of wars and famines, the pyramids of Meroe saw few international visitors and remained relatively unknown.
Mr. al-Bashir’s ouster in 2019 — along with the removal of Sudan in 2020 from the United States’ list of state sponsors of terrorism — was the hope that the country’s archaeological sites might receive broader attention and protections, not simply from researchers and international visitors but also from Sudanese citizens themselves.
ended subsidies on fuel and wheat, leading to a surge in prices. The reaction of the people, exhausted by economic crises, was not long in coming.
A wave of demonstrations filled the streets of several towns, far beyond the capital Khartoum. These were Sudanese of all ethnicities, classes and generations — but above all students and young professionals.
Ancient Nubia, the name of the region that stretches between Egypt and northern Sudan, I discovered that the majority of Sudanese had never had the opportunity to visit these sites — including the doctors themselves.
UNESCO World Heritage site since 2011 — is a four-hour drive from Khartoum, northeast along the Nile River. The pyramids here, built between 2,700 and 2,300 years ago, stand as a testament to the grandeur of the Kingdom of Kush, a major power from the eighth century B.C. to the fourth century A.D.
Compared to the monumental pyramids in Giza, Egypt, the structures at Meroe are significantly smaller — from around 30 to 100 feet tall, against the 455-foot-tall Great Pyramid — and their slopes steeper. As in Egypt, though, the pyramids serve as royal burial sites.
rising floodwaters, as well as the continuing effects of wind and sand erosion.
Plans for new hydroelectric dams also threaten certain archaeological sites in Sudan — as they have in the past, when the construction of the Merowe Dam displaced tens of thousands of residents and led to a frenzied archaeological hunt for artifacts before they were submerged by the dam’s reservoir.
destroyed several of the pyramids in a ruthless search for ancient artifacts.
Alessio Mamo is an Italian photojournalist based in Catania, Sicily, who focuses on refugee displacement and humanitarian crises in the Middle East and the Balkans. You can follow his work on Instagram and Twitter.