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Presidential Elections in Mali: A Step toward Stabilizing a Weak State

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on July 25, 2018

Mali faces multiple security challenges that demand both strengthened legitimacy and state capacity to address. Building on credible elections, stabilization will also require reconciliation and extending the presence of the state.

Factional Dynamics within Boko Haram

Recommended research   published by Omar S Mahmood and Ndubuisi Christian Ani on July 6, 2018

In August 2016, Boko Haram split as a result of the internal divisions surrounding the succession of militant Abubakar Shekau as leader of the group, and a debate over whether Muslim civilians can be targeted.

If Victims Become Perpetrators: Factors Contributing to the Vulnerability and Resilience to Violent Extremism in the Central Sahel

Recommended research   published by Luca Raineri, International Alert on June 30, 2018

Marginalized young Fulani people in central Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger behave in different ways when faced with violent extremism. Data gathered from 36 focus groups held in four villages in each of the three countries shows that one important determinant of support for extremist groups is experience or perception that the government is corrupt and abusive. Another is whether conflict resolution mechanisms to regulate access to natural resources, in particular water for crops and land for pasture, function adequately. While jihadi justice is seen as swift, if at times inhumane, some young people who perceive complicity between the army and ethnic militias also see violent extremist groups as their only defense.

Militant Islamist Groups in Africa Show Resiliency over Past Decade

Infographic   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on June 28, 2018

A time-lapse review of violent episodes involving militant Islamist groups in African since 2010 provides insights into the evolution of these actors over the course of this decade.

World Cup Dreams Shape Africa’s National Narratives

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on June 28, 2018

Since Egypt’s appearance in the inaugural 1930 World Cup, African countries’ performance in the tournament has been a source of pride and national identity.

From Urban Fragility to Urban Stability

Africa Security Brief No. 35   published by Stephen Commins on June 12, 2018

The growing share of Africa's urban residents living in slums is creating a further source of fragility. However, integrated urban development strategies that link local government, police, the private sector, and youth are strengthening social cohesion and enhancing stability.

AMISOM’s Hard-Earned Lessons in Somalia

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on May 30, 2018

In an interview with the Africa Center, Simon Mulongo, deputy to the AU Commission in Mogadishu, says that AMISOM’s gains could never have been realized if it had continued to rely on the traditional peacekeeping template.

Blurring the Lines: Ethnicity, Governance, and Stability in South Sudan

Spotlight   published by Lauren Hutton on May 29, 2018

When South Sudan achieved independence in 2011, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/ Movement (SPLA/M) and its leader, Salva Kiir Mayardit, took control of a system of governance that transcended the lines between the formal and informal sectors, military and civilian elites, government and nongovernment actors, as well as licit and illicit sources of revenue. Instead... Continue Reading

Taming the Dominant Gun Class in South Sudan

Spotlight   published by Majak D’Agoôt on May 29, 2018

A “gun class”—the fusion of security leaders with political power, class, and ethnicity—is at the heart of the predatory governance system that has taken root in South Sudan. Changing this trajectory will require redefining the roles of political and security actors.