Africa

  • Attack on Peacekeepers in DRC Indicates Increasing Extremist Activity

    The attack on United Nations peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) by lesser-known violent extremists called the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) indicates that the group poses a more serious threat than previously believed as it continues to ratchet up its activity in region, capitalizing on the persistent political instability in the DRC, according to an Atlantic Council analyst.

    “If this attack was indeed carried out by the so-called Allied Democratic Forces, it is signals an escalation in the group’s violence that is not surprising given that it has, over the course of the last year or two, been ratcheting up its activity, fueled not only by possible links with other jihadist organizations, but also the failure of governance in the Congo,” said J. Peter Pham, vice president for regional initiatives and director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center.

    Read More
  • Africa’s political fault-lines: As Cameroon’s Anglophone crisis trends toward intensifying rhetoric and violence, how long can the movement last?

    Cameroon’s crisis, which pits a marginalized group of English-speakers against the Francophone majority, has taken a dangerous turn. The conflict has its roots in the colonial era, when British and French territories were awkwardly combined to form modern-day Cameroon. Anglophones have wanted autonomy for decades, but in the past year, they have mounted a full-throated secessionist campaign. In October, Anglophone protests marred the country’s 65th anniversary of unification, triggering a violent crackdown by the state. Protestors have since begun attacking the security forces, and their demands for the creation of an independent nation, which they call “Ambazonia,” have become increasingly violent.

    Read More
  • Freeze Assets to Halt the War in Libya

    In yet another attempt to resolve Libya’s war, on September 20, the United Nations presented a new Action Plan for Libya, supposedly to form a legitimate, functioning, and unified government. But this Action Plan will also fall short of what is needed to end this crisis because it misses a key point: it focuses on producing a government all belligerent parties can agree on, without understanding the financial situation behind the crisis. The UN and the international community should not be narrowly focused on producing a legitimate government that satisfies all the rival groups, but rather should focus on supporting the government’s ability to exercise its power to improve the people’s lives. The crisis in Libya is not a government legitimacy problem, it is a government effectiveness problem. And how can a government be effective when it does not even control its own finances?

    Read More
  • The Re-Emergence of Jund al-Islam: A New Chapter in the Conflict Between al-Qaeda and ISIS

    After a more than four-year absence, Jund al-Islam (JAI) has returned to the forefront in Sinai, marking a new chapter in the fierce conflict between al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (Daesh, ISIL, ISIS). The group published an audio recording in which it took credit for an attack targeting ISIS affiliates in Sinai known as Wilayat Sinai (WS). Jund al-Islam deemed them Kharitjitesor those that defected from the group, and demanded that WS leaders turn themselves in. This attack raises many questions related to the sudden timing of Jund al-Islam’s emergence, its relationship with al-Qaeda, and the likely impact of the renewal of old hostilities between Wilayat Sinai and Jund al-Islam.

    Read More
  • Factbox: The Western Sahara and its Path Towards a Referendum

    The Western Sahara is a region controlled by the Moroccan government for the past thirty-five years. It has long fostered the idea of a referendum while Morocco has publicly discouraged bids for independence. The Catalan referendum has bolstered the Western Sahara cause while standing as an example for Morocco of the possible repercussions: protests, violence, and overall fragmentation by the Spanish government and now-ousted Catalan president Carles Puigdemont illustrate the dangerous potential for Morocco’s ongoing tension with the Western Sahara region it controls. What is the history of the Western Sahara and what is its relationship with Morocco? How close is it really to a referendum?

    Read More
  • Forging a New Era in US-South African Relations

    On Tuesday, November 29, the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council launched its newest report,Forging a New Era in US-South African Relations.

    Read More
  • Why Does Vladimir Putin Care About Sudan?

    Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed an interest in deepening ties between their two countries when they met in Sochi, Russia, on November 23.   

    Besides stating his intention to deepen Sudan’s economic and military ties with Russia, Bashir hailed Russia’s military intervention in Syria and expressed gratitude for the Kremlin’s “position in the protection of Sudan.” Russian officials stated their intention to deepen Russian-Sudanese trade, specifically in the agricultural and energy sectors, and said Moscow considers Sudan a key partner in Africa.

    Read More
  • Pham Quoted in Wall Street Journal on FCPA Enforcement Actions in Africa


    Read More
  • Lilley Quoted in the National on the New US-Sudan Openness


    Read More
  • Out of the Streets and Into the Boats: Tunisia’s Irregular Migration Surge

    Normally, the beaches of southern Tunisia are quiet in November. It is the start of the lean months, when few tourists arrive and the jobs which depend on them vanish. This year is different. Tunisia’s beaches have a new customer: Tunisians trying to go to Europe

    Between October 1st and November 8th, more Tunisians took to the seas than in 2015 and 2016 combined, with Italy and Tunisia detaining 4,709. In total, more than 8,700 Tunisian migrants have been caught by Italy and Tunisia in 2017. There are suspicionsthis represents only a fraction of those who have left.

    Read More