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Late to the Party: Russia’s Return to Africa

Recommended research   published by Paul Stronski, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on October 16, 2019

Russia is pursuing engagement with African states at an intensity not seen since the fall of the Soviet Union. Through diplomatic overtures, arms sales and security cooperation, and energy development, Russia seeks to reassert itself as an economic and military partner. While Russia has made progress in attaining these goals, it also faces weaknesses that limit its ability to wield influence on the continent. Russia sees Africa as key to its goal of a more multipolar world. An even-handed U.S. approach toward Russian engagement in Africa that exposes malign influence without inflating Russian capabilities is necessary.

Recommended US Response to Russian Activities in Africa

This article originally appeared as a chapter in “Russia Strategic Intentions White Paper,” Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) publication series, NSI, May 2019. Abstract Russia has significantly expanded its engagements in Africa in recent years in response to perceived opportunities to access natural resources, expand weapons sales, and elevate its geopolitical posture in a region with... Continue Reading

Nontraditional Actors: China and Russia in African Peace Operations

Recommended research   published by Elor Nkereuwem, The Stimson Center on March 31, 2017

China and Russia (the P2), both permanent members of the UN Security Council, are playing increasing roles in the design and conduct of UN peace operations in Africa. This analysis of the P2’s voting patterns in the Security Council, reflects a shift from a pattern of abstentions to voting for the resolution. The analysis also shows a shift in China’s personnel contributions to these missions, the country has moved from not contributing personnel, to being the largest contributor of troops among the permanent members of the Council. Nonetheless, while the P2 provide strong rhetorical support for African voices to be heard, this does not translate to systematic on the ground support. China’s troop contributions are largely confined to South Sudan. Moreover, support for the resolutions highlights successful P2 efforts to limit the scope of the mandates in question. P2 interests on the continent will continue to align and be reflected in mission mandates and resources.

Assessing Africa’s 2020 Elections

Spotlight   published by Joseph Siegle and Candace Cook on January 28, 2020

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.

ECOWAS’s Efforts at Resolving Guinea-Bissau’s Protracted Political Crisis, 2015-2019

Recommended research   published by ACCORD on September 2, 2019

A power struggle between former President José Mário Vaz and Guinea-Bissau’s ruling Party for the Independence for Guinea and Cape Verde plunged the country into a series of political and institutional crises following the dismissal of Prime Minister Domingos Simões Pereira in August 2015. From the beginning ECOWAS took an active role in resolving the impasse, embarking on several rounds of mediation missions led by former and current regional heads of state, as well as a delegation of regional ministers. The culmination of these efforts resulted in the October 2016 Conakry Accord, a 10-point roadmap for resolution designed to foster political stability and cooperation among the country’s governing members. ECOWAS’s sustained engagement in Guinea-Bissau provides a blueprint for future political and institutional crises in the region.

Africa’s Contemporary Security Challenges

Program Materials  

September 10-12, 2019 Washington, D.C. Syllabus | Program Schedule Overview of the Africa Center Presented by: Dr. Raymond Gilpin (slides) Required Reading: Website: www.africacenter.org Plenary 1: Conflict Trends in Africa Presented by: Dr. Paul D. Williams (slides) Dr. Catherine Lena Kelly (slides | video) Recommended readings: Ingrid Vik Bakken and Siri Aas Rustad, “Conflict Trends in Africa,... Continue Reading

Guinea at a Crossroads

Spotlight   published by Alix Boucher on August 15, 2019

After breaking away from decades of autocratic rule, democratic progress in Guinea is now at risk as President Alpha Condé maneuvers to revise the constitution and stay in power for a third term.

The Testing of Benin’s Democracy

Spotlight   published by Mark Duerksen on May 29, 2019

Benin’s recent no-contest legislative elections are an attempt to consolidate executive power at the expense of democratic gains.

Five Things to Watch in Sudan’s Transition

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on April 12, 2019

Transforming the protests into genuine democratic change in Sudan will require maintaining an organized reform coalition and reaching an understanding with military leaders.

Trends in African Maritime Security

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on March 15, 2019

Africa's rapidly evolving maritime security environment has prompted innovations in Africa's maritime security architecture, leading to greater regional coordination.