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Instruments of Pain (IV): The Food Crisis in North East Nigeria

Approximately five million people in the region of east Nigeria (8.5 million across the wider Lake Chad basin) are facing severe food insecurity. This humanitarian crisis in north east Nigeria runs the risk of growing worse. This primarily is a resu…

Double-edged Sword: Vigilantes in African Counter-Insurgencies

African states confronting insurgent groups face a dilemma when civilians mobilise and take up arms to protect their local communities. These forces can play a major role in fending off attacks and provide regular armed forces with critical local kn…

Zimbabwe’s Very Peculiar Coup

Zimbabwe’s military has detained the country’s 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe and his wife, Grace Mugabe, and taken control of the streets of the capital and the main television station. The next step – apparently, a legitimate-looking transfer…

South Sudan: A Civil War by Any Other Name

"The conflict that broke out on 15 December 2013 was decades in the making. The speed with which the SPLM and SPLA collapsed reveals the ephemeral nature of the “big tent” policy. The transition to more broadly representative political and military …

The Central Sahel: A Perfect Sandstorm

The Sahel, often seen as a haven for armed radical groups, this area is the latest new frontier in the West’s counter-terrorism campaign. This report concentrates on a vertical axis between southern Libya and Northern Nigeria, with a relatively stab…

Sudan: The Prospects for “National Dialogue”

President Omar al-Bashir promised prospects for an inclusive national dialogue in January 2014 . This promise is fading, making a soft-landing end to Sudan’s crises more doubtful. Sceptics who warned that the ruling party was unwilling and unable t…

Kenya’s Somali North East: Devolution and Security

There is a worrying loss of faith in the capacity of the state, at the core of the security crisis in the North East – and with Kenya in general, whether in centralized or devolved form, to deliver collective security and find a just solution to loc…

Nigeria: The Challenge of Military Reform

Nigeria’s military, once among Africa’s strongest and a mainstay of regional peacekeeping, it has become a flawed force. The initially heavy-handed, slow response to the Islamist Boko Haram insurgency raised serious concerns, and its human rights re…

Boko Haram on the Back Foot ?

The Lake Chad states should not too quickly proclaim “mission accomplished”, though the military response to Boko Haram has become more cogent. Even if they are forced to abandon their guerrilla war, or are made to abandon all territorial pretension…

Central Mali: An Uprising in the Making?

This report analyses the dynamics behind the extension of the areas of insecurity in central Mali and describes the groups that are responsible for this development. The centre of the country is dominated by the Inner Niger Delta, a territory subj…

Divided We Stand: Libya's Enduring Conflicts

"After the 20 August 2011 fall of Tripoli and in the wake of the 23 October formal end of hostilities, communal conflicts broke out across Libya. Some grew directly out of the 2011 conflict and activities of the newly formed revolutionary brigades t…

Beyond Turf Wars: Managing the Post Coup Transition in Guinea Bissau

"This report discusses the April coup, its causes and consequences. It analyses the transition that has ensued, with particular attention to the complex diplomatic struggle that has unfolded, and assesses whether and under what conditions the trans…

The Kenyan Military Intervention in Somalia

"The government’s hasty, insufficiently prepared decision to intervene militarily in Somalia will have profound consequences for stability in both countries. Al-Shabaab now clearly intends not only to destabilise the North Eastern Province, but als…

Mali: Avoiding Escalation

"This report is published at a time of evident polarisation in the positions held by the multiple actors in this crisis and it is proving increasingly difficult for the most moderate to make their voices heard. It provides a detailed account of the …

Lost in Transition: The World According to Egypt’s SCAF

"As this report goes to press, the political situation is experiencing dizzying developments – from the collapse of the process designed to draft a new constitution, to the apparent disquali-fication of three of the most significant presidential can…

Côte d’Ivoire: Continuing the Recovery

"Six months after the end of the post-electoral crisis, Côte d’Ivoire must consolidate its return to stability and plan for long-term stability. The return to economic growth and the government’s efforts to improve governance should be recognised bu…

Eastern Congo: The ADF-NALU’s Lost Rebellion

"The fight against armed groups in eastern Congo continues to be viewed through a military lens, but it would be wise to avoid another ineffective military operation. The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), the UN, the DRC an…

Curbing Violence in Nigeria (I) : The Jos Crisis

"This report, the first in a series that examines insecurity in three regions of Nigeria, explores the dynamics of the recurring violence in Plateau state predominantly as a settler indigene issue. It situates the violence within the historical evol…

Cote d'Ivoire : Defusing Tensions

"A volatile security situation and mounting political tensions are threatening Côte d’Ivoire’s recovery. In the last few months the country has been subjected to a series of deadly attacks, whose targets have included: a police station, an importan…

Sudan’s Spreading Conflict (I): War in South Kordofan

"The war in South Kordofan shows every sign of having settled into a strategic stalemate in which the government is unable to dislodge the rebels entrenched in the Nuba Mountains, and the SPLM-N and its allies are incapable of holding much territor…

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