Part 1: Identity Part 2: Faultlines Part 3: Extremism Part 4: Boko Haram Part 5: Strategies for combating extremism Part 6: Military professionalism Part 7: Maritime security Part 8: Governance After a hard-fought and competitive election, Muhammadu Buhari became Nigeria’s 4th democratically elected president. Observers from around the world commended Nigeria for the smooth transition... Continue Reading
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The deadly terrorist attack on the Bardo museum in Tunisia on March 18 turned the global spotlight on this North African nation, which has made significant strides in consolidating democracy since its long-serving ruler, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, was ousted from power in January 2011. Noureddine Jebnoun, a professor of North Africa Studies at... Continue Reading
If an army does not believe in the cause it is called upon to fight for, and if it does not have faith in the organizations and institutions that generate its orders and directives, it will likely come apart when faced by determined and well-armed insurgents.
Tanzania is experiencing an increase in multiple distinct but interweaving threats. These threats manifest locally and regionally in growing militant Islamist sentiment, fighters returning from Somalia, disputes over the Zanzibar islands, and national elections in 2015. If these issues remain unaddressed, Tanzania could experience a similar rise in deadly terrorist activity as has occurred in... Continue Reading
The youth bulge, combined with high levels of unemployment, corruption, inequity, and disaffection with government represent an expanding recruitment pool for a wide range of extremist groups, urban gangs and other destabilizing actors. Yet, if channeled toward productive outlets such as trade schools, entrepreneurship, community leadership and reform campaigns, African youth can be a dynamic... Continue Reading
The U.S. government and African partners met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for a dialogue on strategic approaches to countering violent extremist messaging in the greater Horn of Africa region. The Feb. 23–28 workshop was co-hosted by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies and attended by approximately 60 professionals. The communication abilities of extremist groups were... Continue Reading
The multifaceted nature of militant groups in northern Nigeria such as Boko Haram, as well as a lack of clear understanding of the factors that drive regional extremism, reflects larger aspects of Nigeria’s struggle for unity, a panel of scholars told the audience at a roundtable organized by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on... Continue Reading
Mitigating radicalism, in northern Nigeria as elsewhere, requires a sustained approach targeting every stage of the radicalization spectrum.
Support for Boko Haram among some of northern Nigeria’s marginalized Muslim communities suggests that security actions alone will be insufficient to quell the instability.
Despite growing concerns across the Sahel and Maghreb over the increasing potency of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the diffusion of heavily armed mercenaries from Libya, the expanding influence of arms and drugs trafficking, and the widening lethality of Boko Haram, regional security cooperation to address these transnational threats remains fragmented. Algeria is well-positioned to play a central role in defining this cooperation, but must first reconcile the complex domestic, regional, and international considerations that shape its decision-making.
A significant development in Africa over the past decade has been the generalized lessening of violent conflict. Revitalized, expanded international peacekeeping, bolstered by a newly launched African Union determination to tackle security challenges, has reinforced this trend. But, much more cohesive interagency coordination under strong White House direction is required if the United States is to contribute to Africa’s sustained stability given the region’s persistent conditions of poverty, inequality, and weak governance.
Africa Center research offers strategic analysis of Africa’s security challenges and practical, evidence-based insights into paths forward.