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Islamic Militancy in Africa

Africa Security Brief No. 23   published by Terje Østebø on November 30, 2012

The rise in Islamic militancy in the Sahel, northern Nigeria, and the Horn of Africa has elevated attention to this evolving security concern. Hopes that Africa’s historically moderate interpretations of Islam would suffice to filter extremist views from gaining meaningful traction seem increasingly misplaced. More generally, understanding of this unconventional security challenge is often based more on speculation than informed assessment. Responses must avoid conflating distinct Islamist actors while addressing local level perceptions of disaffection and under-representation that underpin support for militants.

Addressing Côte d’Ivoire’s Deeper Crisis

Africa Security Brief No. 19   published by Thierno Mouctar Bah on March 31, 2012

Legacies of Côte d’Ivoire’s national identity crisis left this strategic West African country vulnerable to further instability.

Regional Security Cooperation in the Maghreb and Sahel: Algeria’s Pivotal Ambivalence

Africa Security Brief No. 18   published by Laurence Aïda Ammour on February 28, 2012

Despite growing security concerns across the Sahel and Maghreb, regional security cooperation to address these transnational threats remains fragmented. Algeria is well-positioned to play a central role in defining this cooperation, but must first reconcile the complex domestic, regional, and international considerations that shape its decision-making.

Sifting Through the Layers of Insecurity in the Sahel: The Case of Mauritania

Africa Security Brief No. 15   published by Cédric Jourde on September 30, 2011

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.

Urban Fragility and Security in Africa

Africa Security Brief No. 12   published by Stephen Commins on April 30, 2011

Estimates are that more than half of all Africans will live in cities by 2025. This rapid pace of urbanization is creating a new locus of fragility in many African states—as evidenced by the burgeoning slums around many of the continent’s urban areas—and the accompanying rise in violence, organized crime, and the potential for instability. These evolving threats, in turn, have profound implications for Africa’s security sector.

West Africa’s Growing Terrorist Threat: Confronting AQIM’s Sahelian Strategy

Africa Security Brief No. 11   published by Modibo Goïta on February 28, 2011

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.

Investing in Science and Technology to Meet Africa’s Maritime Security Challenges

Africa Security Brief No. 10   published by Augustus Vogel on February 28, 2011

A growing number of Africa’s security challenges—narcotics trafficking, piracy, illegal fishing, and armed robberies, among others—take place at sea. Illicit actors exploit Africa’s maritime space given its expansiveness and the limited number of vessels African governments can field to interdict this activity. Technology can dramatically improve Africa’s maritime security coverage. However, to do so will require engaging Africa’s scientists who can guide and sustain these efforts. This will yield not only security but environmental and meteorological benefits for the continent.

Cocaine and Instability in Africa: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean

Africa Security Brief No. 5   published by Davin O'Regan on July 31, 2010

Download this Security Brief as a PDF: English | Français | Português Africa is facing an increasingly menacing threat of cocaine trafficking that risks undermining its security structures, nascent democratic institutions, and development progress. Latin America has long faced similar challenges and its experience provides important lessons that can be applied before this expanding threat... Continue Reading

Countering Transnational Organized Crime

This program explores the TOC-security-governance nexus to generate strategic recommendations that can be practically implemented by participants and their peers within African institutions.