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Tri-border Transit: Trafficking and Smuggling in the Burkina Faso–Côte d’Ivoire–Mali Region

Recommended research   published by Roberto Sollazzo and Matthias Nowak, Small Arms Survey on November 12, 2020

Expanded militant Islamist group activity combined with increased wealth from artisanal gold mining in the tri-border region between Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, and Burkina Faso has heightened the risks of insecurity, fueling demand for illicit small arms. This scenario may degenerate into a self-perpetuating cycle where the availability of arms sparks further insecurity, pressuring communities to seek more firepower for self-defense or retaliation. Community members frequently participate smuggling and trafficking as informants, providers of storage, and subcontractors for the repair of motorcycles, etc. Law enforcement activities must balance against the possibility of disrupting income streams to already poor border communities, or they risk pushing some actors further into the criminal economy perpetuating this cycle.

Terrorists Strike Burkina Faso: What are the Implications?

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on January 25, 2016

The terrorist attack on a luxury hotel in Ouagadougou is the second time in recent months that groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) have conducted attacks of this type outside their base area. Benjamin Nickels assesses the significance of these attacks and steps that might be taken by Burkinabé authorities and their partners to address future threats.

Burkina Faso: The Challenge of Incomplete Democratization

Spotlight   published by Paul Nantulya on March 10, 2015

Struggles over the trajectory of Burkina Faso’s transition highlight four underlying issues that have fueled the crisis and which will shape the course of democratization in the country.

Unloved but unyielding: Burkina’s presidential guard could derail transition

Spotlight   published by Dr. Dorina Bekoe on February 13, 2015

The potential for widespread civil unrest in Burkina Faso could grow if the country’s Presidential Security Regiment (RSP) continues to remain a powerful and largely unanswerable force. Civil society groups and some political parties have been calling for the dissolution of the RSP, a 1,200-strong elite force dedicated to protecting president Blaise Compaoré, who stepped... Continue Reading

Emerging Security Sector Leaders Seminar

Program Materials  

A two-week program held in June 2022 for mid-level African security sector professionals who are emerging leaders within their fields. With an emphasis on peer-to-peer exchanges, this seminar embodies the Africa Center’s mission to advance African security by expanding understanding, providing a trusted platform for dialogue, building enduring partnerships, and catalyzing strategic solutions.

Mapping Disinformation in Africa

Infographic   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on April 26, 2022

Russia has pioneered a model of disinformation to gain political influence in Africa that is now being replicated by other actors across the continent.

How Do National Oversight Institutions Influence Security Sector Governance?

Program Materials  

This webinar will provide a forum for African experts to explore the strengths and weaknesses of security sector oversight by a range of formal institutions internal to the state that are designed and committed to bolstering democratic and civilian control of the security sector.

Assessing Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM) Coalition in the Sahel

Program Materials  

A Webinar on Thursday, December 3, 2020, designed to expand understanding of the key technological and geopolitical trends driving Africa’s digital revolution of most concern to African security sector professionals; explore the main ways in which rising internet penetration, technological innovation and the diffusion of cyber capabilities are influencing Africa’s national security landscape; discuss and consider how the COVID-19 pandemic influence how the digital revolution will impact Africa’s security landscape; and identify the cyber capabilities and intentions and of key national security actors, including states, criminal networks and terrorist groups.

Professional Military Education Institutions in Africa

Infographic   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on February 25, 2022

Professional military education institutions aim to foster capable and apolitical militaries to uphold the constitution and serve democratically elected civilian leaders. To do so, however, they must be grounded in a culture that reinforces these values.

Trajectories of Violence Against Civilians by Africa’s Militant Islamist Groups

Spotlight   published by Anouar Boukhars on February 8, 2022

Extremist group violence against civilians is driven by context-specific factors—outgroup grievances, intimidation to control territory, and a response to heavy-handed security responses—that require enhanced community-level mitigation and military professionalism.