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IS-Land: Has the Age of Southern African Terrorism Properly Begun?

Recommended research   published by Richard Poplack, Daily Maverick on May 4, 2021

While the insurgency in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado grows increasingly violent, the unpoliced coastline of Northern Mozambique allows for the trafficking of hundreds of millions of dollars of heroin. The ruling Frelimo party reportedly pockets at least of $100 million of revenue from this trade each year. Efforts to combat the insurgents, who doubt that the government’s deals for natural gas exploitation will benefit all citizens have stalled, worsened by heavy handed tactics of government forces and their allied Russian and South African mercenaries. A better understanding of the dynamics at play, along with a recognition that criminalized power structures seek to protect themselves, will be required to craft adequate responses to the violence.

West Africa’s Cocaine Corridor: Building a Subregional Response

Recommended research   published by Lucia Bird, GI-TOC on April 30, 2021

West Africa has once again become a major route for Latin American cocaine to European markets. Criminal networks leverage growing regional instability to facilitate their work. Authorities in Africa and Europe have the capacity to physically screen less than 2% of containers moving through their ports. Drug seizures therefore rely instead on intelligence. Widespread corruption and uneven regulations in West African ports creates surveillance gaps. Regional initiatives have sought to strengthen regional cooperation and intelligence sharing, but governments should first target specific, problematic trafficking routes.

The Sudanese Military’s Interests in Civilian Rule

Spotlight   published by Joseph Siegle on March 23, 2021

Proactive management of the transition to civilian rule would afford the Sudanese military more stability, budgetary support, and professional benefits.

Enhancing Security-Justice Coordination to Counter Transnational Organized Crime

Program Materials  

A virtual academic program cohosted with the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism that focuses on effective community policing as a tool for countering violent extremism. This program provides an opportunity to capture and share insights, experiences, and lessons, among countries and across regions, about both the implementation challenges in community policing and the practical experiences in bridging gaps between the security sector and the communities they are entrusted with protecting and serving

Africa’s Evolving Cyber Threats

Spotlight   published by Nathaniel Allen on January 19, 2021

African governments face a fast-evolving array of digital threats from espionage, critical infrastructure sabotage, organized crime, and combat innovation.

African Migration Trends to Watch in 2021

Infographic   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on December 18, 2020

COVID-related border closures across Africa have disrupted the normal flow of regional migration, putting migrants in greater danger. Here are some key trends to monitor in 2021.

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.

Professional Development for Countering Transnational Organized Crime

Program Materials  

A series of monthly academic webinars for alumni examining the political economy of the actors and markets involved in transnational organized crime (TOC) and analyzing how to strategically diagnose and respond to TOC in ways that strengthen citizen security for all and build resilience. The webinars will feature academic and practitioner experts, and Africa Center alumni are invited to attend, either for one or more sessions or the whole series of discussions.

Niger Chapter Examines Countering Transnational Organized Crime

Community engagement   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on July 14, 2020

The Africa Center for Strategic Studies held a joint symposium with its Niger Community Chapter of the Africa Center, established in 2013, in January 2020 on Countering Transnational Organized Crime.

IMobile money and organised crime in Africa

Recommended research   published by Interpol, ENACT on June 30, 2020

Peer-to-peer (P2P) transfers are the most used mobile payment services globally, and providers already operate in at least 45 African countries. Transnational criminal syndicates have also embraced P2P technology: to facilitate money laundering, extortion, human trafficking and smuggling, wildlife, firearms, and drug trafficking, and terrorism. They benefit from African countries’ weak individual identification systems, a lack of consumer awareness, and a lack of resources and training of law enforcement in the collection and use of technical evidence. African governments could use assistance in understanding and tackling organized crime’s use of P2P technology.

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.

From the Maskani to the Mayor: The Political Economy of Heroin Markets in East and Southern Africa

Recommended research   published by Simone Haysom, ENACT on February 13, 2020

Urbanization and governance shape the political economy of heroin trafficking in Southern and East Africa. Case studies of heroin trafficking dynamics in capital cities, port towns, interior hubs, and border communities suggest that counter-trafficking efforts should strengthen cross-border intelligence sharing, combat government corruption, consider local communities, address the role of informal transport systems in the narcotics trade, and mitigate the drug trade’s role in fueling violence.