Africa’s security challenges vary greatly by – and often within – country. In an effort to advance understanding of the underlying drivers and possible responses to these threats, ACSS compiles and updates a short list of perceptive analyses of selected security contexts for readers’ reference. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not represent an endorsement by ACSS or the Department of Defense. Please click on a link below to learn more.
By Amadou Sy, Brookings Institution | November 2013
Violence and instability continues to worsen in the Central African Republic where a network of militias overthrew the government in March 2013 but a largely incapable transitional government has taken its place. United Nations experts have warned of a possible genocide and religiously motivated violence has surged despite a long-history of harmonious Muslim-Christian relations. A desperate need for enhanced protection of civilians is raising questions about the “responsibility to protect” principle and whether regional governments and international actors should expand their intervention in the country.
By United Nations Security Council | November 2012
Mali’s crisis has improved following the removal of Islamist militias from most major cities in the north by a French-led and African supported operation, which is being replaced by a new UN peacekeeping mission. However, while the of holding national elections has achieved some short-term political stability, social polarization, intercommunal tensions, and antagonism between political actors remain high and could escalate into further conflict if unresolved. Moreover, the mandate of the UN peacekeeping in Mali to protect civilians and deter violence will require robust capabilities that are not typical of most UN missions.
Traditional Conflict Medicine? Lessons for Putting Mali and Other African Countries on the Road to Peace
By Peter J. Schraeder, Nordic Journal of African Studies | July 2012
In 2012, a northern rebellion led to the loss of state control of half of Mali’s territory. Northern groups fear the suppression of their nomadic culture and dominance by southern political leaders. Peace approaches used during prior uprisings, including efforts to strengthen interdependent economic relationships between meat- and dairy-supplying pastoralists and livestock-feed producing southern agriculturalists may reverse growing north-south rifts. Likewise, consensus building can be fostered through northern traditions such as the right to voice opinions in open fora and collective community-based decisionmaking. Such approaches can promote dialogue and address some of the roots of northern Mali’s secession.