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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.

“We Hope and We Fight”: Youth, Communities, and Violence in Mali

Recommended research   published by Mercy Corps on March 22, 2018

In-depth interviews with more than 100 youth in Northern Mali found that they join armed groups out of sense of duty or to gain respect, because they feel excluded and the government doesn’t support them, they have experienced abuse or corruption at the hands of the governments, or in hopes of joining the military. To build lasting security in the region, the Malian government, donors and NGOs should focus on violence prevention at the community level, rather than only on “at risk” youth. Improved service delivery, including mitigating the perception that security forces serve only segments of the population, and inclusive community-government decision-making would further improve local governance.

The Many Layers of the Ethiopia Crisis

Spotlight   published by Mohammed Ademo on March 20, 2018

Protests in Ethiopia are the culmination of a long-simmering series of grievances and demands for greater freedom, equity, and opportunity.

The Maghreb’s Fragile Edges

Africa Security Brief No. 34   published by Anouar Boukhars on March 19, 2018

Persistent economic and social disparities between urban centers and outlying communities present an ongoing source of instability for countries in the Maghreb.

South Africa’s Strategic Priorities for Reform and Renewal

Spotlight   published by Paul Nantulya on February 17, 2018

South Africans have high hopes that Cyril Ramaphosa will be able to deliver change to systemic state capture. However, sustained reforms in South Africa's most important national institutions are required if those hopes are to be met.

How China Fuels Deforestation In Nigeria, West Africa

Recommended research   published by Dayo Aiyetan, International Centre for Investigative Reporting on January 18, 2018

Chinese demand for Nigerian rosewood has created a lucrative, yet illegal commercial logging sector in Nigeria’s eastern states. The Nigerian government has chosen profits over environmental protection or the rule of law. Corruption that ranges from bribery of forestry guards to misrepresentation of logging shipments bound for Chinese ports has created the conditions for illegal logging to continue—at least until resources run out and loggers move to the next state. The extensive environmental impacts of illegal logging include increased flooding, erosion, and the removal of animal and plant ecosystems, which leaves certain species facing extinction. Illegal logging also denies communities a source of food and livelihoods.

Priorities for Security and Justice during Liberia’s Transition

Spotlight   published by Alix Boucher on January 2, 2018

The incoming administration of Liberian President-elect George Weah will need to address numerous pressing challenges related to the country’s security and stability. This is all the more critical as the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) is drawing down and plans to depart the country in March 2018, after 15 years in country.

Dynamics of African Economic Migration

Infographic   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on December 15, 2017

Driven by a confluence of poverty, corruption, and poor governance, African economic migration has created a lucrative market for human smuggling that is funding regional criminal networks.

The Troubled Democratic Transitions of African Liberation Movements

Spotlight   published by Paul Nantulya on December 14, 2017

Zimbabwe's recent political crisis has provided a lens into the challenges many African countries face in transitioning from their founding liberation movement political structures to genuine, participatory democracies.

Five Issues to Watch as Zimbabwe’s Transition Unfolds

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on November 16, 2017

With the resignation of President Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe enters a new political era—one without the only leader the country has known since independence in 1980. Here are five strategic considerations to follow.