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Ibrahim Yahaya Ibrahim

Consulting Analyst, Sahel

Crisis Group Role

Ibrahim Yahaya Ibrahim is a Consulting Senior Sahel Analyst, based in Dakar.

Areas of Expertise

  • Sahel Region
  • Islam and Politics
  • Defence and Security
  • Political Contestations
  • International Development

Professional Background

Ibrahim gained a PhD in Political Science from the University of Florida. His dissertation focused on Islam and Political Contestation in the Sahel Region. It is a comparative study of the phenomena of protests, riots, and jihadist insurgencies in Mauritania, Niger, and Mali. He is a co-founder and research associate with the Sahel Research Group.

Ibrahim is an alumnus of the Fulbright Program and an analyst for Freedom in the World, as a Niger and Mauritania expert. He worked for four years with Islamic NGOs in Niger, including two years as the Executive Director of the Niger-office of Albasar International Foundation.

He has a background in Sociology, Islamic Jurisprudence, and Management, with degrees from the Islamic University of Say and Abdou Moumouni University of Niamey.


  • French (fluent)
  • English (fluent)
  • Arabic (fluent)
  • Hausa (native)
  • Zarma/Songhay (basic)


  • “Regions at Risk: Preventing Mass Atrocities in Mali,” co-authored with Mollie Zapata, Early Warning Project, Report No. 3, produced by The United State Holocaust Memorial Museum,
  • “The Wave of Jihadist insurgency in West Africa: Global Ideology, Local Context, Individual Motivations,” West African Papers, No. 07, OECD Publishing, Paris (July 2017)

In The News

26 Jan 2022
Considering Ecowas’ recent failures to deter coups, what happened in Mali and Burkina Faso may inspire other officers in the region. Bloomberg

Ibrahim Yahaya Ibrahim

Consulting Analyst, Sahel
27 Aug 2021
If France is to withdraw [from the Sahel] in a drastic manner as the U.S. did [from Afghanistan], the balance of power is likely to shift in favor of the jihadists. Washington Post

Ibrahim Yahaya Ibrahim

Consulting Analyst, Sahel
2 Apr 2021
[In Niger], this new dynamic to go against local communities shows the Islamic State is willing to punish communities that resist collectively. DW News

Ibrahim Yahaya Ibrahim

Consulting Analyst, Sahel
24 Mar 2021
Il faut voir ces attaques [au Niger] comme une forme de punition collective contre ces communautés où une résistance s'organise. AFP

Ibrahim Yahaya Ibrahim

Consulting Analyst, Sahel
21 Feb 2021
Niger has faced growing insecurity on many of its borders. [It] is one of the major challenges that the upcoming administration will have to face. Associated Press

Ibrahim Yahaya Ibrahim

Consulting Analyst, Sahel
14 Feb 2021
Governments and their foreign partners [have] grown disillusioned with the hope that jihadis [in the Sahel] can be defeated militarily. Financial Times

Ibrahim Yahaya Ibrahim

Consulting Analyst, Sahel

Latest Updates

Podcast / Africa

France’s Troop Withdrawal from Mali

In this episode of Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood and Naz Modirzadeh talk with Sahel experts Ibrahim Yahaya Ibrahim and Richard Moncrieff about France’s announcement it will pull troops from Mali, and what the withdrawal means for the fighting against jihadist insurgents.

How Islamist Militants Elsewhere View the Taliban’s Victory in Afghanistan

While Islamist insurgents around the world are inspired by the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan, the question of whether and how they will benefit as a result is more complicated, as Crisis Group experts explain in this 360-degree view.

Q&A / Africa

La mort du chef de l’Etat islamique au Grand Sahara : une occasion de dialogue ?

Les autorités françaises ont annoncé, le mois dernier, la mort d’Adnan Abou Walid al-Sahraoui, fondateur et chef de l’Etat islamique au Grand Sahara (EIGS). Dans ce Q&A, Ibrahim Yahaya Ibrahim et Jean-Hervé Jezequel expliquent comment sa disparition pourrait ouvrir un espace propice au dialogue entre certains commandants locaux de l’EIGS et les gouvernements sahéliens.

Also available in English
Podcast / Africa

Could Talking to Mali's Jihadists Bring Peace?

In this episode of Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood and Naz Modirzadeh talk with Ibrahim Yahaya Ibrahim, Crisis Group’s Sahel expert, about whether it is time for a new strategy in Mali as the government and its allies struggle against jihadist insurgents. 

Q&A / Africa

Burkina Faso et Niger : des élections à l’épreuve des insurrections ?

Le Burkina Faso et le Niger se dirigent tous deux vers des élections générales. Rinaldo Depagne et Ibrahim Yahaya Ibrahim décryptent leurs enjeux et insistent sur la nécessité pour leurs vainqueurs de se pencher sur l’insécurité croissante dans les régions rurales, provoquée en grande partie par la présence de groupes jihadistes.