Recent weeks have revealed a long-building crisis of African migration. In South Africa, xenophobic attacks against mainly African immigrants erupted across several cities prompting the South African government to deploy the military as a deterrent. Following the terrorist attack in the northeastern town of Garissa, the Kenyan government has told the United Nations to close... Continue Reading
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The outpouring of public grief in Kenya over al-Shabaab’s gruesome massacre of 152 students at a University campus in the northeastern town of Garissa turned into frustration as hundreds of students from the country’s universities participated in protests demanding improved security at higher learning institutions. The attack, which al-Shabaab said was in retaliation for Kenya’s... Continue Reading
The increase in public attention of heroin trafficking into Africa has prompted an increased law enforcement response by East African states, particularly Kenya. However, there is a dearth of reliable, first-hand, and quantitative data on the heroin trade. Narcotics networks are highly flexible and evolve to evade law enforcement strategies. Understanding drug networks means that... Continue Reading
Al-Shabaab, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and Boko Haram, while all different, each display three common characteristics that aid in understanding terrorist actors in Africa. The observation was made by Dr. Benjamin Nickels, Associate Professor of Transnational Threats and Counter-Terrorism at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, during a presentation on September 23, 2014,... Continue Reading
Clarifying mission, oversight and the relationship between soldiers and citizens can advance the professionalism eluding many African security services.
Surging demand for ivory and rhino horn, mainly in Asia, has put wild African elephants and rhinoceroses on the path to extinction. More than an environmental tragedy, however, wildlife poaching and trafficking has exacerbated other security threats and led to the co-option of certain African security units. African states need to develop a broad range of law enforcement capabilities to tackle what is effectively a transnational organized crime challenge. Asian and other international partners, meanwhile, must take action to reduce runaway demand for wildlife products.
Nearly half of all uniformed peacekeepers are African and countries like Ghana, Rwanda, Senegal, and South Africa have provided troops to UN and AU missions almost continuously over the past decade. Despite such vast experience, African peacekeepers are often reliant on international partners for training before they can deploy on these missions. Institutionalizing a capacity-building model within African defense forces is a more sustainable approach that maintains a higher level of readiness to respond to emerging crises and contingencies on the continent.
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
This article originally appeared at thebrenthurstfoundation.org. Mali’s rapid descent into instability from what seemed a promising democratic trajectory has been the cover story of African politics since a military coup there disrupted constitutional rule in early 2012. Soon thereafter, the northern half of the country fell under the control of Islamic militants. The seemingly abrupt... Continue Reading
DDR nitiatives are often under-prioritized and -conceptualized, contributing to the high rates of conflict relapse observed in Africa.
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.