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West Africa

The Central Sahel: A Perfect Sandstorm

Africa Report N°227, 25 June 2015

Migrants sit on the open cargo of pick-up trucks, holding wooden sticks tied to the vehicle to avoid falling from it, as they leave the outskirts of Agadez for Libya, from where they will try to reach Europe, 1 June 2015. AFP/Issouf Sanogo

The Sahel’s trajectory is worrying; poverty and population growth, combined with growing jihadi extremism, contraband and human trafficking constitute the perfect storm of actual and potential instability. Without holistic, sustained efforts against entrenched criminal networks, misrule and underdevelopment, radicalisation and migration are likely to spread and exacerbate.

Recent Reports

The Central Sahel: A Perfect Sandstorm, Africa Report N°227, 25 Jun 2015

The Sahel’s trajectory is worrying; poverty and population growth, combined with growing jihadi extremism, contraband and human trafficking constitute the perfect storm of actual and potential instability. Without holistic, sustained efforts against entrenched criminal networks, misrule and underdevelopment, radicalisation and migration are likely to spread and exacerbate.

Burkina Faso: Meeting the October Target, Africa Briefing N°112, 24 Jun 2015

Burkina Faso’s faltering transition faces elections in less than four months amid political tensions and social agitation. A controversial electoral code could inject the poison of exclusion into a country that is attached to multiparty politics. It is time for political and civil society actors to begin a formal dialogue to reduce the risks.

Mali: An Imposed Peace?, Africa Report N°226, 22 May 2015

Fighting recently resumed in Mali, while a peace accord remains a façade. Both sides, with help from international mediators, need to re-open negotiations. They must go beyond prioritising security to include all belligerents and improve access to basic social services, jobs and justice.

Security Sector Reform in Guinea-Bissau: An Opportunity Not to Be Missed, Africa Briefing N°109, 19 Mar 2015

A legitimate civilian government, economic improvement and an army that has lost credibility are an opportunity for Guinea-Bissau. Regional and international partners meeting in Brussels on 25 March should commit to finance security sector reform to help the small state move beyond its history of military coups.

Burkina Faso: Nine Months to Complete the Transition, Africa Report N°222, 28 Jan 2015

Three months after Blaise Compaoré’s departure, Burkina Faso’s transition is moving forward in an uncertain context. The provisional government, with the help of its international partners, should initiate urgent reforms and ensure the October 2015 elections allow for peaceful, democratic change.

Guinea’s Other Emergency: Organising Elections, Africa Briefing N°106, 15 Dec 2014

Guinea approaches the second free presidential election in its history under difficult circumstances. Unless the government convenes a serious dialogue with the opposition, it risks electoral violence and exacerbating ethnic divisions.

Nigeria’s Dangerous 2015 Elections: Limiting the Violence, Africa Report N°220, 21 Nov 2014

Nigeria’s politics is sliding dangerously towards violence before, during and after the February 2015 elections. With only three months to the polls, mitigating bloodshed requires urgent improvements in security and electoral arrangements, as well as in political mind-sets.

Mali: Last Chance in Algiers, Africa Briefing N°104, 18 Nov 2014

As the last phase of negotiations resumes on 20 November, the Algeria-led talks between the Malian government and the armed groups in the north should not be rushed as they offer a unique opportunity for a sustainable peace agreement.

Guinea-Bissau: Elections, But Then What?, Africa Briefing N°98, 8 Apr 2014

Guinea-Bissau’s elections are an important first step, but to address its economic and political fragility, the country needs strong international help, as well as political and military will for reform.

Curbing Violence in Nigeria (II): The Boko Haram Insurgency, Africa Report N°216, 3 Apr 2014

In an environment of poverty, injustice and lack of political will for reform, Boko Haram is increasingly putting local and regional stability at risk. 中文
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