Mauritania’s security reforms, including training, enhanced mobility, Special Forces, prudent procurement, and community engagement have strengthened its capability to confront violent extremist groups.
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Increasing narcotrafficking and a more active Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb are elevating concerns over instability in the Sahel. However, the region’s threats are more complex than what is observable on the surface. Rather, security concerns are typically characterized by multiple, competing, and fluctuating interests at the local, national, and regional levels. Effectively responding to these threats requires in-depth understanding of the multiple contextual layers in which illicit actors operate.
Adapting Sahelian force structures to lighter, more mobile, and integrated units will better support the population-centric COIN practices needed to reverse the escalating trajectory of violent extremist attacks.
Professional military education institutions aim to foster capable and apolitical militaries to uphold the constitution and serve democratically elected civilian leaders. To do so, however, they must be grounded in a culture that reinforces these values.
The integration of justice initiatives within conventional security efforts can mitigate conflict, improve societal resilience, and build a stronger culture supportive of the rule of law.
A Webinar on Thursday, December 3, 2020, designed to expand understanding of the key technological and geopolitical trends driving Africa’s digital revolution of most concern to African security sector professionals; explore the main ways in which rising internet penetration, technological innovation and the diffusion of cyber capabilities are influencing Africa’s national security landscape; discuss and consider how the COVID-19 pandemic influence how the digital revolution will impact Africa’s security landscape; and identify the cyber capabilities and intentions and of key national security actors, including states, criminal networks and terrorist groups.
2020 saw COVID-19 infect over 2.7 million Africans and kill over 65,000. A surge of cases in the last quarter of the year, combined with the emergence of more contagious mutations, pose new challenges for Africa in 2021.
A growing pattern of evading term limits in Africa carries far-reaching consequences for the continent’s governance, security, and development.
China’s party-army model, whereby the army is subordinate to a single ruling party, is antithetical to the multiparty democratic systems with an apolitical military accountable to elected leaders adopted by most African countries.
Given its fragile public health systems and close ties to China, Africa is vulnerable to the spread of the coronavirus, highlighting the continent’s centrality to global health security.
The Arab Maghreb is a vitally important region that impacts the security and politics of Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, and the broader Middle East. It is also home to the conservative, literalist interpretation of Islam known as Salafism, which has emerged as a major social and political force.
A selection of Africa Center analysis of the ongoing security challenges in the Sahel, current security responses, and priorities for establishing peace and stability.