22 Oct 2018

The role of women in West Africa’s violent extremist groups

A recent publication from the Institute for Security Studies has examined the role that women have played in West Africa’s violent extremist groups. Ranging from their abduction and use as a tool to entice men to join extremist ranks to willing participators in activities from operations and suicide attacks, their

Read More
20 Sep 2018

‘Hardline takeover’ blamed for latest Boko Haram violence

An increase in Boko Haram violence and tactics in Nigeria has been linked to a power grab by hardline members of the groups leadership, who have allegedly killed the group’s de facto leader some weeks ago due to his moderate stances. This faction had allied itself with ISIS and has

Read More
23 Aug 2018

West Africa’s opioid crisis

“While global headlines have often focused on America’s painkiller addictions, an opioid crisis is raging across west Africa. For decades, Latin American cartels have trafficked cocaine through fragile west African states and on to Europe. Narcotics have often found their way into the region’s conflicts. For example, during Sierra Leone’s

Read More
17 Aug 2018

UN report: How Boko Haram is funded

A recent UN report has published sources of funding for the West African terrorist group Boko Haram. The area’s cash economy has allowed the group to finance its operations through extortion, charitable donations, smuggling, remittances, and kidnapping, allowing the group to continue their insurgency in Northern Nigeria and beyond. The

Read More
20 Jul 2018

UN: In West Africa and the Sahel, signs of democratic progress amid continued ‘devastating’ violence

The UN has announced progress in building democratic institutions in Western Africa, although these gains remain in competition with the ongoing threat of terrorism and terrorist groups. Increasingly, violence pitting farmers against herders has become a leading threat in many areas, in addition to the well-known conflicts driven by groups

Read More
11 Feb 2013

West Africa: Terrorism’s New Front Yard

Introduction There is a new front in the global fight against terrorism and terrorists. Ethnic, religious, and political tensions in West Africa, simmering for the past few years, have boiled over into widespread violence and coordinated military efforts throughout the region. A recent attack at an oil facility in Algeria

Read More
15 Dec 2012

The International Drug Trade and West Africa: An Enforcement Quandary

“In the past decade, there has been significant growth in the illicit trafficking of drugs, people, firearms, and natural resources. Trafficking in these and other commodities is generally characterized by high levels of organization and the presence of strong criminal groups and networks. While such activities existed in the past,

Read More