About the project

From Mauritania on the Atlantic Ocean to Sudan on the Red Sea, the countries of the Sahel face the challenge of maintaining and deepening democratic governance in the context of a deteriorating security environment. As the incidence of violence, including terrorist attacks, has risen, the region has become increasingly on the global agenda, with vital engagements underway to develop security partnerships, curtail trafficking and smuggling, manage humanitarian responses, and confront the vulnerabilities of climate change. Through reporting and analysis, the Africa Center’s Sahel Watch focuses renewed attention on this dynamic and strategic region.



All content

In the News

Aug 18, 2023

Rethinking Stability: Key findings and actionable recommendations

By Will Bennett, Riccardo Vinci, Anca Agachi, and Leah Scheunemann

Based on five private dialogues on three continents, in-depth desk and country research, and discussions with circa 1000 policy makers, academics, practitioners, and conflict-affected citizens, this final paper sets out the project’s key lessons and suggests actionable recommendations for how the field of stabilization can improve.

Africa Conflict

New Atlanticist

Aug 10, 2023

Did the Niger coup just succeed? And other questions answered about what’s next in the Sahel

By Atlantic Council experts

While ECOWAS has ordered the activation of a “standby force,” it has sent a mixed message about intervening. Meanwhile, the military junta in Niger has declared a new government.

Africa Conflict

In the News

Aug 4, 2023

Kroenig and Ashford debate the impetus of the Niger coup

On August 4, Foreign Policy published its biweekly “It’s Debatable” column featuring Scowcroft Center Vice President and Senior Director Matthew Kroenig and Emma Ashford assessing the latest news in international affairs.

Africa Corruption

New Atlanticist

Aug 3, 2023

What Niger’s coup means for West Africa’s geopolitical contest

By Rama Yade

The ongoing coup in Niamey and others that have taken place in West Africa in recent years reflect significant geopolitical changes underway.

Africa Conflict


Aug 3, 2023

The Western Sahara conflict: A fragile path to negotiations

By Riccardo Fabiani

The long-dormant conflict over Western Sahara has resurged in recent years, challenging regional stability. Diplomatic tensions between the main sides, coupled with the collapse of the 1991 UN-brokered cease-fire and US recognition of Moroccan sovereignty in 2020, have complicated the situation. The appointment of UN envoy Staffan de Mistura in 2021 offers hope for the revival of cease-fire talks, while the UN and the United States aim to stabilize the conflict through renewed diplomatic efforts.

Conflict International Organizations