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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.

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.

Militancy and the Arc of Instability: Violent Extremism in the Sahel

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on September 28, 2016

Violent extremist organizations have expanded their ambitions, capacities, and geographical reach into the Sahel and West Africa, creating an arc of instability across the region. Boko Haram, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and other militant groups present a continuing threat to the stability of the region. As they come under increasing pressure from regional and international security forces, their future evolution is uncertain, but they have proven their ability to adapt and rebound in the face of previous setbacks. The Africa Center’s Benjamin Nickels joined a panel experts at the Center for Strategic and International Studies to discuss the continuing challenges facing the Sahel.

Regional Security Cooperation in the Maghreb and Sahel: Algeria’s Pivotal Ambivalence

Africa Security Brief No. 18   published by Laurence Aïda Ammour on February 28, 2012

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.

Justice and Rule of Law Key to African Security

Spotlight   published by Catherine Lena Kelly on May 25, 2021

The integration of justice initiatives within conventional security efforts can mitigate conflict, improve societal resilience, and build a stronger culture supportive of the rule of law.

Chad’s Ongoing Instability, the Legacy of Idriss Déby

Spotlight   published by Daniel Eizenga on May 3, 2021

Idriss Déby’s death is an outcome of the ongoing instability perpetuated by his regime. The subsequent military coup d’état led by the late president’s son risks deepening political violence in this geographically strategic country.

Taking Stock of Africa’s 2021 Elections

Spotlight   published by Joseph Siegle and Candace Cook on January 12, 2021

Africa is slated to hold 13 national elections in 2021. Roughly half of these are in the Horn and the central Sahel. Reflective of the democratic backsliding observed on the continent in recent years, more than a third of these polls are little more than political theater – aimed at garnering a fig leaf of legitimacy for leaders who arguably lack a popular mandate. A fundamental question for this year’s elections, therefore, isn’t just about who will win, but how these leaders will be viewed afterward. Will the same level of legitimacy be conferred on leaders who stay in office via these stage-managed processes? Until these leaders bear a reputational cost for lowering the bar of electoral integrity, this trend can be expected to continue.