The absence of state administration, both during the colonial period and since independence, defines this region. But when limited administration has existed, whether from the formal state or from various armed groups that operate there, it has been marked by continued competition over natural resources and land use between traditional chiefs, cross border traders, and rebel leaders. Inhabitants themselves have also played various roles in civil and proxy wars here. While a large economic development project failed to bring much needed assistance to the region, the recent discovery of gold has led both to conflicts and to newfound wealth.
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Stunted Political Development Like many post-independence African countries in the early stages of state formation, South Sudan’s military, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), plays a larger than normal role in the polity. Indeed, even though militaries have tended to recede into the background as democratic evolution gathered pace, there are countries where “military aristocracies”... Continue Reading
Violent events linked to militant Islamist groups in Africa rose by 38 percent over the past year. All major groups show an increase in activity.
Twenty countries in Africa will hold national elections in 2018. This analysis reviews countries facing unique challenges to holding peaceful elections on the continent.
The G5 Sahel is ramping up its joint security force in order to address the growing threat posed by militant Islamist groups in the Sahel. The Force is emerging as a focal point for transnational security efforts in the region.
Program materials for the Africa Center's 2017 Emerging Security Sector Leaders Seminar. Click here for syllabus, bios, readings, and slides.
Former Malian Defense Chief of Staff General Mahamane Touré reflects on lessons learned from Mali’s counter insurgency efforts in the North.
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.
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.
Proposed justice measures in South Sudan—including the Hybrid Court—can be pursued despite disruptions in the implementation of the peace agreement.
Program materials for the 2017 Africa's Contemporary Security Challenges program. Click here for readings, slides, and video of presentations.
Conflicts of interest within Africa's fisheries sector enable unsustainable exploitation by foreign fishing firms and undercut the political will needed to build more robust surveillance and prosecutorial capacity.