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.



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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
Construction in downtown Cairo


Jul 27, 2023

The North African complex: Regional players, global challenges

By Karim Mezran, Alessia Melcangi, Riccardo Fabiani, Sebastian Sons, Hisham Hellyer, Matteo Villa, Alissa Pavia

North Africa is, once again, the theatre of local and global challenges, which makes it a highly unstable regional complex. Unresolved crises like the ones in Libya and Western Sahara create obstacles to regional security, economic integration, and peaceful coexistence.

Middle East North & West Africa