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  • Author: Mathurin C. Houngnikpo
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: A spate of military coups from 2008 to 2010 in Mauritania, Guinea, Niger, and Madagascar raised the specter of a return to military rule in Africa. While the subsequent resumption of civilian government in Guinea and Niger has reduced these concerns, evidence of military influence in politics remains widespread across the continent. This is prominently in view in Egypt where, in the midst of political transition, the military is attempting to maintain a privileged role for itself despite the widespread demands for genuine democratic reform.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Politics, Armed Forces
  • Political Geography: Africa, Egypt, Guinea, Mauritania
  • Author: Damien Helly
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: On 19 November, the Council of the EU welcomed the Crisis Management Concept for a possible EU training mission for Mali, paving the way for the launch of a CSDP operation replicating the work done in Uganda with Somali troops. And many in Brussels have started to speak of EUTM Mali, as if EUTM and more generally the EU approach to the crisis in Somalia was a relevant model for action in Mali.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Terrorism, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Afghanistan, Africa, Europe, Somalia, Mali, Mauritania
  • Author: Cédric Jourde
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Until recently, the Sahel (as-Sahil), literally the “shore” of the Saharan “sea,” rarely made headlines. Nevertheless, the expanding nexus of illicit trafficking and transnational Islamist terrorism—and the increasingly serious risk this poses to stability in the region and to international security—is attracting growing attention. These concerns will likely mount as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) attempts to use the window of opportunity presented by the Arab Spring to reestablish itself in North Africa while transitional governments there devote much of their energy to rebuilding state institutions. In turn, an unstable North Africa, especially Libya, could further exacerbate insecurity in the Sahel as unsecured weapons and trained mercenaries filter their way into the region.
  • Topic: Security, Crime, Narcotics Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya, Arabia, Mauritania
  • Author: Paul Romita
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: At a recent conference on conflict prevention attended by over fifty UN member states, a UN official remarked, “we are living in a conflict prevention moment.” In recent years, there has been a surge of interest and activity related to conflict prevention in the UN system, at the regional level and among member states. While the UN has made great strides in refining peacekeeping doctrine and strategy, it has also made significant progress in its political response and preventive activities in recent times. In 2007, the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) established a mediation support unit “to plan and support mediation efforts in the field.” In late 2008, DPA also secured member-state support to create forty-nine additional posts; it now has approximately 270 staff members. While this was less than half of the number of new posts requested by the department, it did help desk officers to more substantially engage on conflict prevention and good-offices work in their portfolio countries. The UN Office in West Africa (UNOWA) has played a critical preventive role in recent crises in Mauritania and Guinea. A UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) was also established in March 2011 to “assist member States and sub-regional organizations in consolidating peace and preventing future conflicts.” In recent years, the African Union (AU) has been an influential mediator in high-profile cases, notably in Kenya (2008) and Sudan (2010–2011). Among the UN membership, especially among African member states, statements calling for the need to strengthen conflict-prevention tools are now consistently voiced. The Security Council, which now holds monthly “horizon scanning” sessions to discuss emerging and ongoing crises, appears to be a part of this trend.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Political Violence, Diplomacy, Peace Studies, United Nations, War
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Guinea, Mauritania