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Tri-border Transit: Trafficking and Smuggling in the Burkina Faso–Côte d’Ivoire–Mali Region

Recommended research   published by Roberto Sollazzo and Matthias Nowak, Small Arms Survey on November 12, 2020

Expanded militant Islamist group activity combined with increased wealth from artisanal gold mining in the tri-border region between Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, and Burkina Faso has heightened the risks of insecurity, fueling demand for illicit small arms. This scenario may degenerate into a self-perpetuating cycle where the availability of arms sparks further insecurity, pressuring communities to seek more firepower for self-defense or retaliation. Community members frequently participate smuggling and trafficking as informants, providers of storage, and subcontractors for the repair of motorcycles, etc. Law enforcement activities must balance against the possibility of disrupting income streams to already poor border communities, or they risk pushing some actors further into the criminal economy perpetuating this cycle.

Terrorists Strike Burkina Faso: What are the Implications?

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on January 25, 2016

The terrorist attack on a luxury hotel in Ouagadougou is the second time in recent months, following the deadly assault on the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako in November 2015, that groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), largely based in northern Mali, have conducted attacks of this type outside their base area.... Continue Reading

Burkina Faso: The Challenge of Incomplete Democratization

Spotlight   published by Paul Nantulya on March 10, 2015

Struggles over the trajectory of Burkina Faso’s transition highlight four underlying issues that have fueled the crisis and which will shape the course of democratization in the country.

Unloved but unyielding: Burkina’s presidential guard could derail transition

Spotlight   published by Dr. Dorina Bekoe on February 13, 2015

The potential for widespread civil unrest in Burkina Faso could grow if the country’s Presidential Security Regiment (RSP) continues to remain a powerful and largely unanswerable force. Civil society groups and some political parties have been calling for the dissolution of the RSP, a 1,200-strong elite force dedicated to protecting president Blaise Compaoré, who stepped... Continue Reading

The Puzzle of JNIM and Militant Islamist Groups
in the Sahel

Africa Security Brief No. 38   published by Daniel Eizenga and Wendy Williams on December 1, 2020

Composed of distinct operational entities, the militant Islamist group coalition Jama’at Nusrat al Islam wal Muslimeen serves the role of obscuring the operations of its component parts in the Sahel, thereby inhibiting a more robust response.

Safeguarding Democracy in West Africa

Spotlight   published by Alan Doss on September 29, 2020

West Africa must stand up against the erosion of democracy lest the region return to the devastating conflicts from which it took so much effort and time to recover.

Circumvention of Term Limits Weakens Governance in Africa

Infographic   published by Joseph Siegle and Candace Cook on September 14, 2020

A growing pattern of evading term limits in Africa carries far-reaching consequences for the continent’s governance, security, and development.

China Promotes Its Party-Army Model in Africa

Spotlight   published by Paul Nantulya on July 28, 2020

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.

Keeping Terrorism at Bay in Mauritania

Spotlight   published by Anouar Boukhars on June 16, 2020

Mauritania’s security reforms, including training, enhanced mobility, Special Forces, prudent procurement, and community engagement have strengthened its capability to confront violent extremist groups.

Defusing the Political Crisis in Guinea

Spotlight   published by Alix Boucher on April 28, 2020

President Alpha Condé’s maneuvers to adopt a new Constitution despite popular opposition are another step toward subverting democratic checks and balances in order to secure a third term as president.

Chad’s Escalating Fight against Boko Haram

Spotlight   published by Daniel Eizenga on April 20, 2020

A rise in Boko Haram and ISWA attacks in Chad has been met with a military surge to clear the area. Enduring success will require a sustained presence and an intensified regional commitment.