March 26, 2020Guinea
Last weekend, as Americans pondered how our election cycle will proceed in the midst of the constraints and disruption necessitated by the coronavirus, the people of Guinea found themselves deciding whether or not to venture out and vote in both a highly controversial referendum and legislative elections.
January 9, 2020West Africa
In a follow up to his remarks in December, Mohamed Iban, Chambas, the UN special representative sand head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) sounded the alarm on growing militant and jihadi violence. In his January 8 briefing to the UN Security Council, he said the “devastating surge” in terrorism has “shaken public confidence.” He focused on Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, where casualties from terrorism have increased fivefold since 2016, with 4,000 deaths in 2019 compared to 770 in 2016.
January 28, 2020West Africa
Since the last defense review more than a year ago, there has been a shift in U.S. defense priorities from countering terrorism to great power competition. Since then, the Department of Defense has been considering a drawdown of U.S. military assets in Africa, especially West Africa, presumably for redeployment to arenas of great power competition. That would be a mistake.
December 26, 2019West Africa
On Monday, December 16, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, special representative and head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) delivered a grim message to the UN Security Council. He characterized West Africa as “shaken by unprecedented violence,” involving terrorism, organized crime, and intercommunal violence.
September 4, 2019Terrorism and Counterterrorism
West Africa is facing a growing threat from Islamist extremist groups. Many of these groups originated in Mali but have since spilled over its borders, with jihadis establishing themselves in the north and east of Burkina Faso. The country has become a desirable haven for many groups because of the security vacuum that has defined the country following the deposition of longtime strongman Blaise Compaore.
May 24, 2019Islamic State
The Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) claimed a May 16 attack near Tongo Tongo, Niger, killing more than 20 soldiers not far from the Malian border. In March it issued a photo of its members in Burkina Faso and in April it claimed an attack on a militia in Mali. But, it is not clear that the ISWA group based primarily in Nigeria is behind those attacks.
July 11, 2019West Africa
Oxfam and Development Finance International (DFI) have developed the Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index (CRI). The index ranks 157 countries by their commitment to reducing inequality through increased spending on health and education, taxing the rich more than the poor, and paying a living wage.
April 3, 2020Coronavirus
As the COVID-19 outbreak begins to spread in earnest in Africa, we can expect so-called jihadi groups on the continent to try to take advantage of the crisis to unleash violence and recruit members. We are already seeing indications that this has started happening. Governments, development workers, and aid agencies need to be made aware of this threat and take steps to deny these brutal militias more room to operate.
July 9, 2019Zimbabwe
Four years ago, on July 2, 2015, a Minneapolis Dentists killed a well-known Lion, Cecil, in a Zimbabwe trophy hunt with a bow and arrow. Cecil was something of a star in the developed world.