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Uganda’s Complicated Elections: Six Underlying Issues to Watch

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on February 21, 2016

Beyond the vote totals of Uganda’s competing presidential candidates, Uganda’s democratic progress is ultimately dependent on shoring up the institutions on which not only elections but day-to-day democratic governance relies. This review reveals a mixed record.

Democracy Vital for Security & Stability, Must Build on African Knowledge, Experts Say

Spotlight   published by Paul Nantulya on June 12, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Much of the debate about democracy in Africa focuses on the foreign, mostly Western origins of the concept and how it shapes Western, including American policies toward the continent, according to African and U.S. scholars. Little attention has been given to the concept’s African roots as well as the experiences, governance practices... Continue Reading

Overcoming Africa’s Democratic Setbacks

This article originally appeared at thebrenthurstfoundation.org. Mali’s rapid descent into instability from what seemed a promising democratic trajectory has been the cover story of African politics since a military coup there disrupted constitutional rule in early 2012. Soon thereafter, the northern half of the country fell under the control of Islamic militants. The seemingly abrupt... Continue Reading

Mitigating Radicalism in Northern Nigeria

Africa Security Brief No. 26   published by Michael Olufemi Sodipo on August 31, 2013

Mitigating radicalism, in northern Nigeria as elsewhere, requires a sustained approach targeting every stage of the radicalization spectrum.

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.

Boko Haram’s Evolving Threat

Africa Security Brief No. 20   published by J. Peter Pham on April 30, 2012

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.

Alternative Dispute Resolution in Africa: Preventing Conflict and Enhancing Stability

Africa Security Brief No. 16   published by Ernest Uwazie on November 30, 2011

Low-level disputes in Africa can spiral into violence and conflict due to the lack of effective judicial systems that can provide a credible and timely process for resolving differences. Alternative dispute resolution techniques can strengthen dispute settlement systems and bridge the gap between formal legal systems and traditional modes of African justice. They may have particular value in stabilization and statebuilding efforts when judicial institutions are weak and social tensions are high.

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.

Nigeria’s Pernicious Drivers of Ethno-Religious Conflict

Africa Security Brief No. 14   published by Chris Kwaja on July 31, 2011

Download this Brief as a PDF: English | Français | Português Summary Nigeria’s long-running “indigene-settler” conflict in and around Jos, Plateau State has escalated in recent years and may spread to other ethnically mixed regions of the country, heightening instability. Navigating such inter-communal fault lines is a common challenge for many African societies that requires... Continue Reading

Playing Ostrich: Lessons Learned from South Africa’s Response to Terrorism

Africa Security Brief No. 9   published by Hussein Solomon on January 31, 2011

While not often considered a hub in global terrorist networks, South Africa has seen a steady and growing pattern of domestic and al-Qaeda–linked terrorist activity over the past decade. Coinciding with the creeping expansion of terrorist threats in other parts of the continent, this Security Brief examines lessons learned from South Africa’s experience and their potential relevance to other African countries and their security sectors.