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
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Burundi’s SSD program proactively addresses the politics of reform at the policy and operational levels, and can inform other African SSR initiatives.
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
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.
An Africa Center academic outreach visit to Liberia included in-depth presentations on the frequently distrustful relationship between the news media and security institutions, as well as the media’s role in security sector reform.
Combating irregular forces has become a common feature of the contemporary African security landscape. However, the security sector in most African countries is ill-prepared to conduct effective counter-insurgency operations. Realigning force structures to address these threats while building security sector professionalism to gain the trust of local populations is needed to do so.
The Africa Center conducts an annual three-week program for mid-level African security sector professionals. This program addresses the roles and responsibilities of professional military and other security sector officers in democratic societies, and enhances leadership skills to more effectively address current and future security challenges.