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Five Zones of Militant Islamist Violence in the Sahel

Infographic   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on September 26, 2022

The deterioration of the security environment in the western Sahel is marked by an array of differing actors, drivers, and motivations, calling for contextualized responses.

Strengthening Sahelian Counterinsurgency Strategy

Africa Security Brief No. 41   published by Michael Shurkin on July 25, 2022

Adapting Sahelian force structures to lighter, more mobile, and integrated units will better support the population-centric COIN practices needed to reverse the escalating trajectory of violent extremist attacks.

Assessing Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM) Coalition in the Sahel

Program Materials  

A Webinar on Thursday, December 3, 2020, designed to expand understanding of the key technological and geopolitical trends driving Africa’s digital revolution of most concern to African security sector professionals; explore the main ways in which rising internet penetration, technological innovation and the diffusion of cyber capabilities are influencing Africa’s national security landscape; discuss and consider how the COVID-19 pandemic influence how the digital revolution will impact Africa’s security landscape; and identify the cyber capabilities and intentions and of key national security actors, including states, criminal networks and terrorist groups.

The Puzzle of JNIM and Militant Islamist Groups
in the Sahel

Africa Security Brief No. 38   published by Daniel Eizenga and Wendy Williams on December 1, 2020

Composed of distinct operational entities, the militant Islamist group coalition Jama’at Nusrat al Islam wal Muslimeen serves the role of obscuring the operations of its component parts in the Sahel, thereby inhibiting a more robust response.

France’s War in the Sahel and the Evolution of Counter-Insurgency Doctrine

Recommended research   published by Michael Shurkin, Texas National Security Review on November 3, 2020

France has long conducted military operations in the Sahel, from its colonial wars to its present Operation Barkhane, which deploys around 5,000 soldiers across the region. Examining the evolution of French doctrine for such missions highlights how the focus of these operations has changed from a population-centric approach meant to increase the post-colonial administration’s legitimacy, to one that focuses on security. This adaptation recognizes the limited objectives that such operations can achieve but it also presents new challenges since it relies on others for the inherently political work such operations entail.

Understanding Fulani Perspectives on the Sahel Crisis

Spotlight   published by Modibo Ghaly Cissé on April 22, 2020

The disproportionate representation of Fulani in militant Islamist groups in the Sahel has led to the stigmatization of the entire Fulani community. Reversing this will require renewed outreach and trust-building between Fulani leaders, government authorities, and neighboring communities.

Responding to the Rise in Violent Extremism in the Sahel

Africa Security Brief No. 36   published by Pauline Le Roux on December 2, 2019

Reversing the escalating violence of militant Islamist groups in the Sahel will require an enhanced security presence coupled with more sustained outreach to local communities.