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  • Author: Stephanie Savell
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: United States “security assistance” exports a militarized counterterrorism model to dozens of countries through money, training, and weapons. This model comes with dangerous costs. The narrative, tactics, funding, and institutional supports of the U.S. post-9/11 wars fuel repression and corruption, and escalate cycles of violence. This paper delves into the current conflict in Burkina Faso as an illustrative case study of how the U.S. counterterrorism model has caused more, not less, instability and violence. Despite the relatively low levels of terrorism assessed in Burkina Faso at the time, the United States laid the groundwork for increased militarism in the region when it began providing security assistance to the country in 2009. Today, Burkina Faso is enveloped in a spiraling conflict involving government forces, state-sponsored militias, and militant groups, and civilians are paying the price. Militant groups have strengthened and seized territory, ethnic tensions have skyrocketed, thousands of Burkinabe have been killed and over one million displaced. A Burkina-based human rights group has warned that the government’s ethnic killings may lead to the “next Rwanda.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Counter-terrorism, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States of America, Burkina Faso
  • Author: Jason Mosley
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: The intersection of two significant trends are affecting the regional dynamics of the Horn of Africa: the political transition underway in Ethiopia since 2018 and evolving Red Sea and Gulf security dynamics. Ethiopia’s transition has affected its relations in the Horn of Africa and the broader Red Sea region. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have taken a much more assertive approach to regional security since 2015, contributing to a major diplomatic rift with Qatar since 2017. Elucidating how states in the Horn of Africa are affected by and responding to external influences largely hinges on understanding the Ethiopian transition. The implications for the future of regional integration in the Horn of Africa must also be considered.
  • Topic: Security, Conflict, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia, Indian Ocean, Horn of Africa
  • Author: Ishac Diwan, Nadim Houry, Yezid Sayigh
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: Egypt’s recent security and macro-economic stabilization has been built on weak foundations and Covid-19 has further exposed this fragility. Egypt is now back to a situation broadly similar to that before the 2011 revolution: stable on the surface, but with deep structural problems and simmering social grievances, and little buffers to mitigate them. This paper argues for a major shift in the ways the country is currently governed in favour of greater openness in politics and markets, and for the international community to seriously engage Egypt on the need to reform economically and politically.
  • Topic: Security, Arab Spring, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Egypt
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Institute for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Since the early 2010s, increased volatility in the Sahel has aroused widespread concern, spurring the establishment of regional and international groupings to deal with the many security and governance challenges that have undermined stability in the region. Among those efforts were the creation of the G5 Sahel cooperation framework (2014), the G5 Sahel Joint Force (2017), the Sahel Alliance (2017) – and more recently, in June 2020, the International Coalition for the Sahel, to tackle instability in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. Those five countries are the focus of this paper.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation, Governance, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mali, Chad, Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso
  • Author: Ratang Sedimo, Kelesego Mmolainyane
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis
  • Abstract: This study seeks to examine institutional frameworks that exist in Botswana to protect the rights of ordinary shareholders. There is no literature on the subject matter in the context of Botswana; hence this study attempts to fill in the literature gap. The study uses a variety of data collection methods, such as semi-structured interviews, the Choppies case study and lessons learnt from other jurisdictions. Findings reveal that ordinary shareholders’ rights protection involves the use of institutional frameworks. In Botswana, existing frameworks are not adequate to protect ordinary shareholders’ rights. Furthermore, the study shows that ordinary shareholders in Botswana are mainly exposed to risks of losing their investments, partially or entirely, in case of non-compliance to regulatory requirements as shown by the reduction in Choppies’ stock price from P1.20 to P0.40 between years 2012 and 2018. The study suggests that the existing institutional frameworks should be reviewed to ensure adequate protection of ordinary shareholders’ rights.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Human Rights, Investment, Macroeconomics, Land Rights, Labor Rights
  • Political Geography: Africa, Botswana
  • Author: Selman Almohamad
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper argues that the scholarship on security sector reform (SSR) tends to neglect regional politics in the formulation of its concepts and policies, and that this neglect deprives the study of SSR of a valuable analytical level. It therefore uses comparative historical analysis and the model of regional conflict formations (RCFs) to examine army reforms in Sierra Leone and Iraq from a regional angle, thereby illustrating the explanatory potential that regional politics could bring to the study of SSR and its implementation. The paper also distinguishes between convergent and divergent regional formations, whereby the relationship between SSR outcomes and regional politics is conceived of as constitutive, entangled, and holistic.
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Military Affairs, Reform
  • Political Geography: Africa, Iraq, Middle East, Sierra Leone
  • Author: Neil J. Melvin
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: The Horn of Africa is undergoing far-reaching changes in its external security environment. A wide variety of international security actors—from Europe, the United States, the Middle East, the Gulf and Asia—are currently operating in the region. As a result, the Horn of Africa has experienced a proliferation of foreign military bases and a build-up of naval forces. The external militarization of the Horn poses major questions for the future security and stability of the region. This SIPRI Background Paper is the first of three papers devoted to the new external security politics of the Horn of Africa. The paper maps the growth of foreign military forces in and around the Horn over the past two decades. The other two papers in this series are ‘The New External Security Politics of the Horn of Africa Region’ (SIPRI Insights on Peace and Security, April 2019) and ‘Managing the New External Security Politics of the Horn of Africa Region’ (SIPRI Policy Brief, April 2019).
  • Topic: Security, Geopolitics, Conflict, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa, Indian Ocean, Horn of Africa
  • Author: Karolina Eklöw, Florian Krampe
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Climate-related security risks are transforming the security landscape in which multilateral peacebuilding efforts take place. This policy paper offers a glimpse into the future of peacebuilding in the time of climate change by providing an in-depth assessment of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM). Climate-related change in Somalia has reduced livelihood options and caused migration. It has also left significant parts of the population in a vulnerable condition. These climate-related security risks contribute to grievances and increase inequality and fragility, which in turn pose challenges to the implementation of UNSOM’s mandate. The impacts of climate change have hindered UNSOM in its work to provide peace and security in Somalia and in its efforts to establish functioning governance and judicial systems. UNSOM has responded to the growing impact of climate-related change. It has learned lessons from previous failed responses—notably the 2011 drought—and has created innovative initiatives that have been effective. While there is still room for improvement, UNSOM’s new initiatives may help to deliver a set of responses that meet the short-term need for a rapid humanitarian response and the long-term objective of achieving a sustainable and resilient society. The challenges faced by UNSOM and its responses to them have wider implications. They suggest that there is a need for synergetic policy responses that can turn the responses to climate-related security risks into opportunities for UN efforts to sustain peace.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Migration, Governance, Risk, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Pauline Le Roux
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The Sahel has experienced the most rapid increase in militant Islamist group activity of any region in Africa in recent years. Violent events involving extremist groups in the region have doubled every year since 2015. In 2019, there have been more than 700 such violent episodes (see Figure 1). Fatalities linked to these events have increased from 225 to 2,000 during the same period. This surge in violence has uprooted more than 900,000 people, including 500,000 in Burkina Faso in 2019 alone. Three groups, the Macina Liberation Front (FLM),1 the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS),2 and Ansaroul Islam,3 are responsible for roughly two-thirds of the extremist violence in the central Sahel.4 Their attacks are largely concentrated in central Mali, northern and eastern Burkina Faso, and western Niger (see Figure 2). Multiple security and development responses have been deployed to address this crisis. While some progress has been realized, the continued escalation of extremist violence underscores that more needs to be done.
  • Topic: Security, Islam, Regional Cooperation, Violent Extremism
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mali, Sahel, Niger, Burkina Faso
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Increased attacks from militant Islamist groups in the Sahel coupled with cross-border challenges such as trafficking, migration, and displacement have prompted a series of regional and international security responses.
  • Topic: Security, Migration, Regional Cooperation, Trafficking , Displacement
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mali, Chad, Mauritania, Sahel, Niger