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Hannah Armstrong

Senior Consulting Analyst, Sahel
Dakar, Senegal

Crisis Group Role

Hannah came to International Crisis Group in 2014 as a consultant for Algeria. She is now the Senior Consulting Analyst for Sahel. She is based in Dakar.

Areas of Expertise

  • North Africa
  • Sahel
  • Western Sahara
  • Political Economy
  • International Security

Professional Background

Hannah has worked across North Africa and the Sahel as a writer and researcher for various publications and organisations since 2006. She has held fellowships from the Institute of Current World Affairs and the Fulbright Program and has a master’s in International Studies and Diplomacy from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies.


  • English (native)
  • French (fluent)
  • Arabic (conversant) 


In The News

18 Jun 2021
Deploying counterterror forces [in the Sahel region] has wiped out some leaders but failed to defeat or contain the threat. Instead, there has been a rise in authoritarian rule, a spread in instability and much higher risk to civilians. Washington Post

Hannah Armstrong

Senior Consulting Analyst, Sahel
1 Apr 2021
Putting a bounty on militant leaders’ heads, these types of policy moves, make negotiations and outreach [in Burkina Faso] quite a bit harder. Foreign Policy

Hannah Armstrong

Senior Consulting Analyst, Sahel
30 Mar 2021
What needs to be done right now is not wiping out terrorists, it needs to be building links between central states and rural communities [in Burkina Faso] Politico Europe

Hannah Armstrong

Senior Consulting Analyst, Sahel
11 Apr 2020
The problem, in Niger’s case, is that policies aimed at disrupting trafficking in the north could inadvertently end up fueling instability. Washington Post

Hannah Armstrong

Senior Consulting Analyst, Sahel
29 Mar 2020
[...] French counterterrorism mimics U.S. counterterrorism of 15 years ago. In the Sahel, the Americans have already realized this is a losing battle. New York Times

Hannah Armstrong

Senior Consulting Analyst, Sahel
4 Nov 2019
The main fault-line for conflict in the Mali-Niger border has shifted. A year ago, it was drawn between communities. Now it lies between militants loosely fighting under an IS banner and state forces. Twitter

Hannah Armstrong

Senior Consulting Analyst, Sahel

Latest Updates

Commentary / Africa

Turkey in the Sahel

Ankara is strengthening ties with Sahelian capitals, building mosques and hospitals and opening up export markets. Its defence pact with Niamey has led rivals to suspect its intentions. Turkey and other outside powers should do what they can to avoid unnecessary additional competition in the region.

Also available in Français
Op-Ed / Africa

« Au Niger, l’option militaire face à l’Etat islamique doit s’accompagner d’un projet politique »

L’analyste Hannah Armstrong regrette que Niamey délaisse le dialogue avec les communautés frontalières de la région de Tillabéri, notamment les nomades peuls.

Originally published in Le Monde

Q&A / Africa

Behind the Jihadist Attack in Niger's Inates

A shocking attack by an Islamic State affiliate has killed more than 70 Nigerien soldiers, the most ever in a single incident. Crisis Group expert Hannah Armstrong explains that the jihadists’ strength is rooted in decades-old communal grievances in the Mali-Niger border zone.

Also available in Français

The Youth Movement in Sahrawi Refugee Camps

Refugee camps in Tindouf, Algeria, have long been run by the Polisario movement, which seeks an independent state in Western Sahara, also claimed by Morocco. But a new generation of Sahrawi refugees is growing fractious as aid dwindles and diplomatic efforts fail to deliver a settlement.