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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

Fixing a Fractured State? Breaking the Cycles of Crime, Conflict and Corruption in Mali and the Sahel

Recommended research   published by Tuesday Reitano & Mark Shaw, The Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime on April 1, 2015

Militants, terrorists, and clans have taken advantage of the weak governance in Mali and the Sahel to expand and entrench criminal networks. To properly respond to this trend the international community and Mali should institute a new conceptual framework. It will need a nuanced understanding of the actors involved and their basis in community legitimacy,... Continue Reading

Supporting Peaceful Social, Political, Cultural and Economic Change in Mali

Recommended research   published by Laura Davis, International Alert on May 31, 2014

A broad swath of Malians were surveyed to help uncover the source of the country’s governance and security crisis experienced in 2012. A key takeaway was that the current system of political interaction is dysfunctional. To promote an integrated peace and development agenda, institutional reform must involve more diverse local actors, particularly women and young... Continue Reading

Illicit Trafficking and Instability in Mali

Recommended research   published by Peter Tinti, Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime on January 31, 2014

The introduction of the cocaine trade in northern Mali in the early 2000s scrambled the region’s loose, informal power dynamics. Militias became more numerous and many state institutions were soon corrupted. This illicit economy eventually contributed to the collapse of the state in 2012 and even continued during a brief occupation by Islamist militias and... Continue Reading

What Went Wrong in Mali?

Recommended research   published by Bruce Whitehouse, London Review of Books on August 5, 2012

Mali’s reputation as a relatively stable democracy was upended by a military coup launched by junior officers in March 2012, raising questions about the strength of Mali’s democratic system. In actuality, the previous regime had centralized authority and harassed some journalists while a culture of corruption and institutional sclerosis had flourished in the military, judiciary,... Continue Reading

Peacekeeping Crucial for African Stability

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on September 8, 2017

Despite their shortcomings, African peace operations have saved lives, built security sector capacity, and helped mitigate conflict—reducing pressure on international actors to become directly involved.

LtC Jean-Baptiste Matton

As senior French representative, Lieutenant Colonel Jean-Baptiste Matton serves as a liaison between the Africa Center and the French Ministry of Defense, coordinating exchanges on security-related Africa policy and scholarship. He also serves as a facilitator and speaker at Africa Center academic programs.

Africa’s Population Displacement Reaches Record Levels in 2017

Infographic   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on August 15, 2017

Africa’s humanitarian crises have continued to worsen in 2017. Twenty million Africans have been displaced from their homes and 44 million are acutely food insecure.