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Advice for U.S. government personnel assigned to duties relating to Africa: The sheer diversity of the continent, approximately three times larger than the United States in both land mass and population, makes it impossible to apply a fixed set of indicators to explain its social, economic, political and security dynamics and challenges. Furthermore, if the... Continue Reading
The achievements and shortcomings of peacekeeping operations offer vital lessons for optimizing this increasingly central but still evolving tool.
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.
Airlift assets provide vital capabilities and multiply the effectiveness of Africa’s resource-limited militaries and collective peace operations.
Institutionalization of democratic norms in Africa’s militaries often lags behind advances made in civilian institutions and civil society.
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.
Download this Security Brief as a PDF: English | Français | Português Persistent reports of extremist activity from across Africa have deepened concern over the spread of radicalism on the continent. Extremists capitalize on political and security vacuums within Africa’s fragile states to grow their support base and consolidate their strength. Stable states that provide... Continue Reading