The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has a formidable record in its efforts to promote peace in a particularly turbulent region. Still, reform is essential to give the organisation new impetus, and is ever more urgent as insecurity worsens throughout the Sahel and Lake Chad regions.
01 April 2016
Following President Museveni’s controversial Feb re-election, police and govt supporters clashed with opposition supporters early to mid-March: soldiers 10-11 March killed at least seven allegedl ...
Ahead of Chad’s presidential election on 10 April popular discontent is rising amid a major economic crisis, growing intra-religious tensions and deadly Boko Haram attacks. The regime that portrays itself as spearheading the fight against regional jihadism could see all sorts of violent actors gain influence at home if it pursues exclusionary politics and denies its people a viable social contract.
Sudan's government is in survival mode. As it drifts away from its former radical Islamist ideology toward a new foreign policy pragmatism, Western powers should encourage Khartoum to solve the internal wars that have done so much damage to the country and blocked the normalisation of external relations with this increasingly active player in the Middle East.
Zimbabwe has not escaped its chronic crisis. Infighting over who will succeed the ailing 92-year-old President Robert Mugabe is stifling efforts to tackle insolvency, low rule of law, rampant unemployment and food insecurity. Zimbabwe needs international help to recover, but what it needs most is a leadership willing to act on much-needed reforms.
Ethiopia’s struggle with domestic religious radicalisation has shifted toward top-down intervention, a policy that has contained violence but is generating new risks. Political accommodation and compromise are vital to defuse faith-based radicals’ opposition to what they perceive as overly secular rule by the dominant party.
Hesitant steps toward peace in Mali have been helped by the recent pacts signed in Anefis by pro-government armed groups and by rebel representatives. While not sufficient or without risks, they are rooted in local initiatives and tackle issues left out of June’s Bamako accord. This offers a serious opportunity to put the peace process back on track.
Clan politics, poor services, growing corruption and disarray in the security forces are undermining Kenya’s newly formed north-eastern counties, allowing the violently extremist Al-Shabaab movement to infiltrate over the border from Somalia. To build security and capitalise on devolution’s potential, national government and county elites alike must become more pragmatic and inclusive.
West Africa is still paying the price for its poor response to the Ebola epidemic. Where an early response could have prevented the worst, failures on all levels allowed Ebola to spread, exposing a deep rift between the population and political class of the countries affected. Unless all actors learn from the crisis, a similar disaster may be just a matter of time.
Somaliland’s clan-based democracy has consolidated a state-like
authority, kept the peace and attracted donors. But the territory now
needs to reform its political bodies, judicial institutions and
international engagements to protect itself from continued fragility in
neighbouring Somalia – which rejects Somaliland’s independence claims –
and civil war in nearby Yemen.
Extremism in Africa
14 April 2015: In this podcast, Crisis Group’s Africa program discusses radical extremist groups in Africa, from Boko Haram in Nigeria, to Al Shabaab in Somalia.
Statement on Ebola and Conflict in West Africa
23 Sept 2014
Military personnel from Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Nigeria, Republic of Congo and the U.S. conducting multinational maritime interdiction training. Photo: U.S. Navy/Gary Keen
From the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), African states are joining together to collectively reinforce and give life to their peace and security architecture. Please see below for a full collection of our reports covering African regional security issues.
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