Migration management policies must be comprehensive and take into account the effects they will have, not just on the country of origin but also the countries of transit and destination. Trying to stop migration from and along impoverished and weakly governed countries risks negatively impacting the stability of the countries they target. Aid to authoritarian governments to help stem irregular migration, for example, has ended up supporting their repressive rule. Moreover, militias who have been simultaneously involved in smuggling and anti-smuggling have been empowered, presenting thereby further weakening the states along those routes.
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Driven by a confluence of poverty, corruption, and poor governance, African economic migration has created a lucrative market for human smuggling that is funding regional criminal networks.
Legal labor migration and study visas, in parallel with resettlement and asylum channels, would positively connect the security needs of both refugees and host countries and make the task of integrating new arrivals easier. Refugees could meet labor needs or fill university places which have support systems in place. The specific needs of refugees as well as program flexibility to address temporary or long-term needs must be carefully considered. But making even small changes to existing programs to be more accessible to refugees could be politically feasible.
Those crossing the Mediterranean from Libya have been described as either refugees or economic migrants. The reality is somewhere in between. The drivers of migration are complex and often interrelated. The most common driver is insecurity which, according to interviewees of this report, came from armed nonstate actors, land disputes, political persecution, or localized situations of civil unrest. Interviewees spoke of violence due to their political affiliation, the threat of imprisonment, and facing corrupt or unfair legal processes, all of which not only put their lives in jeopardy, but also impeded their ability to provide for their families
The phenomenon of migrants traversing the hostile terrain of northern Africa to Europe is not new—not the routes or the dangers. A decade ago, experts estimated that about 2,000 migrants drowned each year attempting to cross the Mediterranean and untold numbers perished in the desert. But after the collapse of the Gaddafi regime in 2011,... Continue Reading
Recent weeks have revealed a long-building crisis of African migration. In South Africa, xenophobic attacks against mainly African immigrants erupted across several cities prompting the South African government to deploy the military as a deterrent. Following the terrorist attack in the northeastern town of Garissa, the Kenyan government has told the United Nations to close... Continue Reading
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.
Program materials for the Africa Center's 2019 program, “National Security Strategy Development Workshop: Central and Southern Africa.” Click here for syllabus, readings, and presentation slides.
EU Special Representative to the Sahel Angel Losada Fernandez discusses Europe's security strategy in the region, which focuses on integrating development, security, and governance in coordination with African actors on the ground, in this interview with the Africa Center.
From Boko Haram to farmer-herder conflicts, ethno-religious tensions, separatist movements, urban crime, and national identity, Nigeria experts size up the security priorities facing the Buhari government in its second term.
External actors have sought to expand their security partnerships in Africa in recent years. The Africa Center spoke with Judd Devermont, Director of the CSIS Africa Program, about the trends and complexities of these relationships.
Assistant Research Fellow
Areas of Expertise: Peace operations, stability operations, security sector reform, UN sanctions, UN expert panels, countering violent extremism, counterterrorism, West Africa, Central Africa, and the Sahel Africa.