Western Sahel represents one of the most unstable areas in sub-Saharan Africa. Seven years after the outbreak of the conflict in Mali, violent extremism has spread across the region, together with community conflicts over the access to natural resources and inter-ethnic violence. Trans-border activities of non-state armed actors – insurgents, jihadist groups and ethnic-based militias – as well as illicit trafficking networks feed the regional insecurity.
Despite the presence of multiple military actors in West Africa’s Sahel region, a steady growth in jihadi activity seems to thrive in the presence of foreign military operations. With their focus on fighting cross-border terrorism and reconstructing ‘failed states’, while failing to adequately address local grievances, these military operations risk producing the danger they aim to abate.
On June 22, 2019, Mauritania organized its latest president election, which led to the unsurprising replacement of a (retired) military officer, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, by another comrade-in-arm, Mohamed Ould Ghazouani. This election provides a good opportunity to evaluate the country’s current challenges, in a regional context where a number of neighbors are spiralling into cycles of violence.
Between 3 and 6 February this year French air force jets attacked a convoy of trucks carrying rebels in north-east Chad, who were advancing on the capital N’Djamena with the aim of overthrowing the regime of President Idriss Deby. Since the Nineties, France has repeatedly promised to reduce its interference in internal African politics without wider consultation, yet this was a unilateral French strike, ordered by Paris, that harked back to the days when France regularly intervened in the internal politics of its former colonies.
Security in Burkina Faso has steadily deteriorated since 2015. Seeking to address the spiraling violence, the Burkinabé government enacted a state of emergency in nearly one third of all provinces in the country by the end of 2018. Yet, so far, 2019 in Burkina Faso is on track to be the most violent and deadliest year on record, according to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED).
In the past five years there has been an increase in border controls and foreign military presence in Niger; paradoxically this has only diversified and professionalised the criminal networks operating there. In fact, this development was to be expected. Sustained law enforcement against smugglers removes the weaker players while allowing those with greater means and connexions to adapt, evolve and in some cases even monopolise criminal markets.
During the most acute phase of the conflict that erupted in 2012, most of the international observers agreed on the fact that Mali was facing a two-faced and probably unprecedented crisis.
A volte sì, come racconta in questo video Davide Marasco che dopo aver trascorso poche settimane in Tanzania come volontario ha abbandonato i panni del giovane report e si è buttato a capo fitto nella cooperazione internazionale. La passione e la curiosità iniziali hanno portato Davide a frequentare il Master in International Cooperation per acquisire una solida base teorica e adeguate conoscenze specifiche.
Studies - ISPI
Al termine di un assalto finale all’ultima coda di resistenza dei ribelli dell’M23, circa trecento uomini rimasti arroccati sulle colline di Tchanzu e Runyonyi, nei pressi di Rutshuru, Lambert Mende, ministro della Comunicazione e portavoce del governo, ha annunciato la vittoria totale della Repubblica democratica del Congo sul Mouvement du 23 Mars, i cui membri si sono dati alla fuga. Lo stesso movimento ha poi emesso un comunicato in cui ha dichiarato ufficialmente la fine della sua ribellione.