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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

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