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.
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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.
Download this Brief as a PDF: English | Français | Português Summary Nigeria’s long-running “indigene-settler” conflict in and around Jos, Plateau State has escalated in recent years and may spread to other ethnically mixed regions of the country, heightening instability. Navigating such inter-communal fault lines is a common challenge for many African societies that requires... Continue Reading
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
A growing body of evidence demonstrates that when the concept of security and the security providing groups are broad enough to include gender perspectives, communities are more secure. This program addresses the changing nature of violent extremist tactics and strategies, practical implications, and benefits of adopting a gender perspective to counter violent extremism.
The Multinational Joint Task Force’s (MNJTF) effectiveness has been hampered by the troop contributing countries’ refusal to establish a unified chain of command, confused priorities, and funding and procurement delay. But successfully defeating the insurgency in the Lake Chad basin will require improved planning, intelligence sharing, accountability, and working across the civil-military divide. This will enable building citizen trust in government, delivering services to populations, and eventually finding a path for militants to demobilize.
The ADF, one of the least understood militant groups in the Great Lakes, has endured for over 20 years by instrumentalizing Islamist, ethnic, and secessionist ideologies to recruit and forge new alliances.