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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.

Lessons from a Decade of South Sudanese Statehood

Spotlight   published by Luka Biong Deng Kuol on June 29, 2021

The catastrophic levels of instability that have engulfed South Sudan since 2013 demand a restructuring of governance and security institutions to alter the tragic trajectory of Africa’s youngest state.

Russia’s Strategic Goals in Africa

(This article originally appeared as a chapter in "Russia Strategic Intentions White Paper," Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) publication series, NSI, May 2019.)
Russia has significantly expanded its engagements in Africa in recent years. These engagements often take the form of propping up embattled and isolated autocratic leaders of countries that are rich in natural resources. The United States can draw a distinction with Russia’s destabilizing role by pursuing a positive engagement strategy in Africa. The United States must avoid the Cold War trap of competing with Russia for the affections of corrupt, autocratic leaders in Africa, however, as such a policy would be disastrous for Africa while not advancing US interests.

African Youth Engaging in Peace and Security

Spotlight   published by Peter Biar Ajak on April 29, 2021

Despite challenges of unemployment, corruption, entrenched political leadership, and political violence, many African youth have found constructive avenues to promote peace, effective governance, and reform.

Nigeria’s Diverse Security Threats

Spotlight   published by Mark Duerksen on March 30, 2021

Nigeria faces an array of security challenges beyond Boko Haram. Distinguishing these threats and understanding their socio-geographic contours is essential for adapting customized solutions.

Confronting Nigeria’s Kaduna Crisis

Spotlight   published by Olajumoke (Jumo) Ayandele on February 2, 2021

Escalating violence in Nigeria’s North West region requires applying lessons from the fight against Boko Haram, including the need for community outreach and adapting the use of the Joint Military Task Force to unique local threats.

Power Shift in the DRC Cracks open a Door to Reform

Spotlight   published by Paul Nantulya on January 22, 2021

A shift in the balance of power within the National Assembly enhances the influence of President Felix Tshisekedi and represents a step toward long-delayed democratic reforms.

Taking Stock of Africa’s 2021 Elections

Spotlight   published by Joseph Siegle and Candace Cook on January 12, 2021

A wide spectrum of credibility marks the 13 African elections slated for 2021. This has direct implications for the legitimacy of the leaders that emerge and their ability to navigate the security challenges they face.

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.

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.

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.

Post-Nkurunziza Burundi: The Rise of the Generals

Spotlight   published by Paul Nantulya on June 22, 2020

In Burundi, President Pierre Nkurunziza's sudden death has exposed power struggles within the ruling party and the ascendancy of the military.