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Wildlife Poaching: Africa’s Surging Trafficking Threat

Africa Security Brief No. 28   published by Bradley Anderson and Johan Jooste on May 31, 2014

Surging demand for ivory and rhino horn, mainly in Asia, has put wild African elephants and rhinoceroses on the path to extinction. More than an environmental tragedy, however, wildlife poaching and trafficking has exacerbated other security threats and led to the co-option of certain African security units. African states need to develop a broad range of law enforcement capabilities to tackle what is effectively a transnational organized crime challenge. Asian and other international partners, meanwhile, must take action to reduce runaway demand for wildlife products.

Creating Sustainable Peacekeeping Capability in Africa

Africa Security Brief No. 27   published by Daniel Hampton on April 30, 2014

Nearly half of all uniformed peacekeepers are African and countries like Ghana, Rwanda, Senegal, and South Africa have provided troops to UN and AU missions almost continuously over the past decade. Despite such vast experience, African peacekeepers are often reliant on international partners for training before they can deploy on these missions. Institutionalizing a capacity-building model within African defense forces is a more sustainable approach that maintains a higher level of readiness to respond to emerging crises and contingencies on the continent.

Africa Center Co-Hosts Countering Violent Extremist Messaging Workshop in Ethiopia

Spotlight   published by Paul Nantulya on February 27, 2014

The U.S. government and African partners met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for a dialogue on strategic approaches to countering violent extremist messaging in the greater Horn of Africa region. The Feb. 23–28 workshop was co-hosted by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies and attended by approximately 60 professionals. The communication abilities of extremist groups were... 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

Ask the Expert: Dr. Hussein Solomon on Radical Islamism in Africa

Spotlight   published by Africa Center for Strategic Studies on April 19, 2013

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.

The Lessons and Limits of DDR in Africa

Africa Security Brief No. 24   published by Prosper Nzekani Zena on January 31, 2013

DDR nitiatives are often under-prioritized and -conceptualized, contributing to the high rates of conflict relapse observed in Africa.

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.

Unfinished Business: A Framework for Peace in the Great Lakes

Africa Security Brief No. 21   published by Rigobert Minani Bihuzo on July 31, 2012

Despite numerous peace agreements, Africa’s Great Lakes region has been in a persistent state of conflict for the past two decades. The contributions and shortcomings of some of the most significant previous peace initiatives, however, offer vital lessons as to how to mitigate the local level tensions, national political dynamics, and competing regional interests that have led to recurring outbreaks of violence.

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.

Optimizing Africa’s Security Force Structures

Africa Security Brief No. 13   published by Helmoed Heitman on May 31, 2011

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.