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Mitigating Farmer-Herder Violence in Mali

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on August 8, 2019

The confluence between farmer-herder violence, ethnicity, and extremist groups requires a multitiered response emphasizing a people-centric approach.

Speaking with the “Bad Guys”: Toward Dialogue with Central Mali’s Jihadists

Recommended research   published by International Crisis Group on May 28, 2019

The level of violence in Central Mali is higher than anywhere else in the country. Thousands of civilians have been killed since 2015. The conflict between the state and the Katiba Macina has reached a stalemate but intercommunal violence is also increasing, at times as a proxy to other conflicts. The Malian government should work with religious leaders to pursue ceasefires and talks with militants and local communities. New lines of communication with Katiba Macina leaders and sympathizers would facilitate communication about the unaddressed grievances that cause conflict in the region.

Transitioning to National Forces in Somalia: More Than an Exit for AMISOM

Recommended research   published by Fiona Blyth, International Peace Institute on April 22, 2019

Somali and international efforts have shifted to planning for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to transition directly Somali security forces without an interim UN mission. The implementation of the Transition Plan will require new institutions, processes, and commitment to good governance, changing the Somali state and providing lessons for security sector reform. AMISOM’s eventual exit will influence how the AU and the UN mandate and authorize future missions.

Confronting Central Mali’s Extremist Threat

Spotlight   published by Pauline Le Roux on February 22, 2019

The Macina Liberation Front has opportunistically played on perceptions of ethnic, economic, religious, and political marginalization to become one of the most active militant Islamist groups in Mali.

Taking Stock of Somalia’s Security Landscape

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on October 17, 2018

In this Africa Center roundtable, Somalia's National Security Advisor shares his vision for establishing a stable Somalia. Priority reforms include strengthening oversight of the security sector and improving security support to rural communities most vulnerable to Al Shabaab.

Presidential Elections in Mali: A Step toward Stabilizing a Weak State

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on July 25, 2018

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.

Q&A: Somalia Charts Security Transition

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on July 17, 2018

Somalia’s National Security Advisor Abdisaid Ali talks about political will, security reforms in Somalia’s Transition Plan, and the commitment to domestic and international coalition building to sustain the country’s progress.

AMISOM’s Hard-Earned Lessons in Somalia

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on May 30, 2018

In an interview with the Africa Center, Simon Mulongo, deputy to the AU Commission in Mogadishu, says that AMISOM’s gains could never have been realized if it had continued to rely on the traditional peacekeeping template.

“We Hope and We Fight”: Youth, Communities, and Violence in Mali

Recommended research   published by Mercy Corps on March 22, 2018

In-depth interviews with more than 100 youth in Northern Mali found that they join armed groups out of sense of duty or to gain respect, because they feel excluded and the government doesn’t support them, they have experienced abuse or corruption at the hands of the governments, or in hopes of joining the military. To build lasting security in the region, the Malian government, donors and NGOs should focus on violence prevention at the community level, rather than only on “at risk” youth. Improved service delivery, including mitigating the perception that security forces serve only segments of the population, and inclusive community-government decision-making would further improve local governance.

Non-State Security Providers and Political Formation in Somalia

Recommended research   published by Ken Menkhaus, Centre for Security Governance on April 1, 2016

Non-state security providers (NSSPs) in Somalia, often entrenched in clan identity politics and the pursuit of profit, are ubiquitous. Their prevalence undermines efforts by the Somali government to provide legitimate governance and security. Yet they are often the only reliable source of protection and so are used by neighborhoods, businesses, international organizations, and even politicians.... Continue Reading