The security situation in Africa's Sahel region is worsening. The number of attacks attributed to jihadi groups and self-defence militias peaked in 2020, and so did the number of casualties. Violent extremism intersects community-based conflicts and inter-ethnic tensions in rural areas. Meanwhile, human rights violations and governance failures contribute to fuelling local insurgencies. The region has to cope with a strong international military presence too, led by France’s military operation. Yet an option for political dialogue with the insurgents is gaining traction on the ground.
What are the main features of the ongoing Sahel crisis? What role does the European Union play? And what could be a possible way out of instability?