Mitigating radicalism, in northern Nigeria as elsewhere, requires a sustained approach targeting every stage of the radicalization spectrum.
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The achievements and shortcomings of peacekeeping operations offer vital lessons for optimizing this increasingly central but still evolving tool.
In this edition of Ask the Expert, Dr. Hussein Solomon, a leading expert on militant Islam and counterterrorism strategies in Africa—who lectures at the Department of Political Sciences at the University of the Free State in South Africa—assesses the state of fundamentalism on the continent.
Support for Boko Haram among some of northern Nigeria’s marginalized Muslim communities suggests that security actions alone will be insufficient to quell the instability.
Institutionalization of democratic norms in Africa’s militaries often lags behind advances made in civilian institutions and civil society.
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.
Combating irregular forces has become a common feature of the contemporary African security landscape. However, the security sector in most African countries is ill-prepared to conduct effective counter-insurgency operations. Realigning force structures to address these threats while building security sector professionalism to gain the trust of local populations is needed to do so.
Counterterrorism efforts among Sahelian governments remain uncoordinated and too narrowly focused to contain and confront AQIM’s long-term and sophisticated strategy in the region. To prevent AQIM from further consolidating its presence in the Sahel, regional policies must be harmonized and security forces refocused so as to minimize collateral impacts on local communities.
Download this Security Brief as a PDF: English | Français | Português Persistent reports of extremist activity from across Africa have deepened concern over the spread of radicalism on the continent. Extremists capitalize on political and security vacuums within Africa’s fragile states to grow their support base and consolidate their strength. Stable states that provide... Continue Reading
Download PDF: English | Français | Português Peace operations have been a principal tool used to curb conflict in Africa over the past decade, with over 40 operations deployed since 2000. This Security Brief takes stock of lessons learned from these experiences and the implications they hold for improving the effectiveness of future peace operations... Continue Reading
This program examines best practices for countering violent extremism leading to the production of a handbook for African security practitioners, derived from insights and recommendations generated from the Africa Center CVE series and from other sources.
The program examines COIN strategies within the context of African security sector institutional capacity and work to identify African-driven problem-solving approaches to address conflict, violence, and instability that are having a negative impact upon the security of the state and the populace.