The Islamic State in the Greater Sahara has pursued breadth rather than depth of engagement in its rapid rise along the Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso borders.
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Dr. Raymond Gilpin discusses how Boko Haram has evolved since it pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in March 2015.
The growing competition between the Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda for influence on Africa’s terrorist groups was the theme of a recent panel presentation by Drs. Benjamin Nickels and Joseph Siegle from the Africa Center for Strategic Studies. “The advent of the so-called Islamic State has catalyzed something of a re-alignment in African terrorist groups”... Continue Reading
Mali faces multiple security challenges that demand both strengthened legitimacy and state capacity to address. Building on credible elections, stabilization will also require reconciliation and extending the presence of the state.
The rise in Islamic militancy in the Sahel, northern Nigeria, and the Horn of Africa has elevated attention to this evolving security concern. Hopes that Africa’s historically moderate interpretations of Islam would suffice to filter extremist views from gaining meaningful traction seem increasingly misplaced. More generally, understanding of this unconventional security challenge is often based more on speculation than informed assessment. Responses must avoid conflating distinct Islamist actors while addressing local level perceptions of disaffection and under-representation that underpin support for militants.
Download this Security Brief as a PDF: English | Français | Português The increasingly internal nature of Africa’s security threats is placing ever greater pressures on Africa’s police forces. Yet severe resource and capacity limitations, combined with high levels of public distrust, leave most African police forces incapable of effectively addressing these expanding urban-based threats in... Continue Reading
Download this Security Brief as a PDF: English | Français | Português Persistent reports of extremist activity from across Africa have deepened concern over the spread of radicalism on the continent. Extremists capitalize on political and security vacuums within Africa’s fragile states to grow their support base and consolidate their strength. Stable states that provide... Continue Reading
African elections in 2020 will be a test against efforts to erode presidential term limits and other democratic checks and balances, with direct consequences for stability on the continent.
Militant Islamist groups in Africa set a record pace of activity in 2019, reflecting a doubling of militant Islamist activity from 2013. Expanded activity in the Sahel and Lake Chad Basin underscores diversification of threat from Somalia.
Reversing the escalating violence of militant Islamist groups in the Sahel will require an enhanced security presence coupled with more sustained outreach to local communities.
Burkina Faso’s first militant Islamist group, Ansaroul Islam, has faced setbacks, pointing to the weaknesses of violent extremist organizations lacking deep local support and facing sustained pressure.