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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, following the deadly assault on the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako in November 2015, that groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), largely based in northern Mali, have conducted attacks of this type outside their base area.... Continue Reading

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

Chad’s Ongoing Instability, the Legacy of Idriss Déby

Spotlight   published by Daniel Eizenga on May 3, 2021

Idriss Déby’s death is an outcome of the ongoing instability perpetuated by his regime. The subsequent military coup d’état led by the late president’s son risks deepening political violence in this geographically strategic country.

National Security Strategy Development Process: Lessons Learned

Program Materials  

A virtual academic program on the development and implementation of national security strategy in Africa. This program will provide a forum for a multidisciplinary group of senior officials to explore National Security Strategy Development (NSSD) concepts and processes.

Reimagining the Security Sector in Sudan

Program Materials  

The Africa Center for Strategic Studies and the US Institute of Peace (USIP) will convene an academic webinar series that explores the lessons learned of the roles of the security sector and national security strategy development during times of transition from military to civilian rule. The webinar series will provide an opportunity to share evidence-based insights and experiences and their implications for Sudan during its challenging transition to a civilian-led, democratic government.

Food Insecurity Crisis Mounting in Africa

Infographic   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on February 16, 2021

Acute food insecurity in Africa has increased by over 60 percent in the past year and threatens to widen further as the effects of COVID-19 exacerbate other drivers such as conflict and political mismanagement.

Taking Stock of Africa’s 2021 Elections

Spotlight   published by Joseph Siegle and Candace Cook on January 12, 2021

Africa is slated to hold 13 national elections in 2021. Roughly half of these are in the Horn and the central Sahel. Reflective of the democratic backsliding observed on the continent in recent years, more than a third of these polls are little more than political theater – aimed at garnering a fig leaf of legitimacy for leaders who arguably lack a popular mandate. A fundamental question for this year’s elections, therefore, isn’t just about who will win, but how these leaders will be viewed afterward. Will the same level of legitimacy be conferred on leaders who stay in office via these stage-managed processes? Until these leaders bear a reputational cost for lowering the bar of electoral integrity, this trend can be expected to continue.

National Security Strategy Development and Implementation

Program Materials  

A virtual academic program on the development and implementation of national security strategy in Africa. This program will provide a forum for a multidisciplinary group of senior officials to explore National Security Strategy Development (NSSD) concepts and processes.