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Tri-border Transit: Trafficking and Smuggling in the Burkina Faso–Côte d’Ivoire–Mali Region

Recommended research   published by Roberto Sollazzo and Matthias Nowak, Small Arms Survey on November 12, 2020

Expanded militant Islamist group activity combined with increased wealth from artisanal gold mining in the tri-border region between Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, and Burkina Faso has heightened the risks of insecurity, fueling demand for illicit small arms. This scenario may degenerate into a self-perpetuating cycle where the availability of arms sparks further insecurity, pressuring communities to seek more firepower for self-defense or retaliation. Community members frequently participate smuggling and trafficking as informants, providers of storage, and subcontractors for the repair of motorcycles, etc. Law enforcement activities must balance against the possibility of disrupting income streams to already poor border communities, or they risk pushing some actors further into the criminal economy perpetuating this cycle.

Reforming the Security Sector in Sudan: The Need for a Framework

Spotlight   published by Luka Biong D. Kuol on November 2, 2020

Sudan needs a national security strategy to guide the reforms of its security sector from a tool of repression to sustain the old regime to a professional force that protects citizens under a democratic system.

State of Prey: Proxies, Predators, and Profiteers in the Central African Republic

Recommended research   published by Nathalia Dukhan, The Sentry Briefing on October 31, 2020

France and Russia continue to use armed proxies to maintain their influence in CAR. President Touadera has used his position, and the country’s vast diamond and gold resources, to sustain criminalized patronage networks rather than provide citizens, half of whom survive on emergency foreign aid, with security and economic development opportunities. As presidential elections approached in December 2020, the regime sought to maintain power, using the pandemic as an excuse to attempt to delay the vote. The Khartoum agreement has been rendered useless, serving only to entrench a criminalized regime. The UN and EU should implement concrete measures to combat this war economy.

Six Issues Shaping Côte d’Ivoire’s Presidential Election

Spotlight   published by Alix Boucher on October 20, 2020

Despite commendable progress over the past decade, continued social and political polarization in Côte d’Ivoire could lead to another bout of instability in a country long known as an anchor in West Africa.

Dr. Peter Biar Ajak

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Visiting Fellow. Areas of Expertise: Development, Economics, Managing Security Resources, National Security Strategy Development, Peace and Reconciliation, Political Economy, South Sudan

Professional Development for Countering Transnational Organized Crime

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.

Geostrategic Dimensions of Libya’s Civil War

Africa Security Brief No. 37   published by Tarek Megerisi on May 18, 2020

Libya's civil war has become an increasingly competitive geostrategic struggle. A UN-brokered settlement supported by non-aligned states is the most viable means for a stable de-escalation, enabling Libya to regain its sovereignty.

Lessons from the 1918-1919 Spanish Flu Pandemic in Africa

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on May 13, 2020

Despite important differences, colonial Africa’s experience confronting the Spanish flu a century ago provides historical lessons for the COVID-19 response today.

African Adaptations to the COVID-19 Response

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on April 15, 2020

Presidential task forces, staggered mobility, support for the most vulnerable, and local innovations mark Africa’s adaptive response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

ECOWAS Risks Its Hard-Won Reputation

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on March 6, 2020

ECOWAS’ reputation for upholding democratic norms is facing strain as a growing number of West African leaders alter rules to consolidate power and resist stepping down at the end of their mandated terms.