• Military Balance Blog

    Christian Le Mière: Growing maritime insecurity in West Africa

    28 February 2014.  By Christian Le Mière, Senior Fellow for Naval Forces and Maritime Security  On 15 February, a team of IISS staff flew to Nigeria to host a workshop on maritime security in West Africa, aboard HMS Portland, a Type-23 frigate that is currently the UK’s Atlantic patrol vessel. Maritime security has become something of a hot topic in West Africa, with the Gulf of Guinea becoming the most virulent region in terms of...

  • The Military Balance

    Chapter 9: Sub-Saharan Africa

    05 February 2014. 

    Sub-Saharan Africa: The conflict in Mali; Continental security initiatives; Defence economics
    South Africa: Deployment lessons
    Nigeria: Moving beyond Joint Task Forces
    Ethiopia: Creating national armed forces; Defence Reform; Reform during operations; Defence economics

  • Military Balance Blog

    James Hackett: Africa - a year of interventions

    04 February 2014.  By James Hackett, Editor, The Military Balance; Senior Fellow for Defence and Military Analysis African defence and security forms a key analytical segment in the latest edition of The Military Balance. Mali is a central part of this year’s coverage, which analyses the French-led intervention and the recasting of Mali’s armed forces under the guidance of an EU Training Mission. However, durable solutions to the security problems in Mali, in the...

  • Strategic Comments

    Niger Delta: threat shifts to crime

    18 December 2013. 

    Current insecurity in the Nigeria's Niger Delta region is the result of a long-running struggle by local groups for control of its abundant resources. The kidnappings and incidents of piracy for which the area was once notorious do still go on, but have declined since 2006. Oil theft, or 'bunkering' as it known locally, poses the greater security threat now.

  • IISS Voices

    Claire Willman: Gambia - losing friends and alienating people

    20 November 2013.  By Claire Willman, Executive Assistant to the Director-General and CEO Controversy over host Sri Lanka’s human-rights record meant that India, Canada and Mauritius stayed away from last week’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. For an entirely different reason, there was another no-show: the West African nation of Gambia. The boycotts – and British Prime Minister David Cameron’s calls for an international investigation into alleged war crimes at the end of Sri...

  • IISS Voices

    Virginia Comolli: The securitisation of drug policy in West Africa

    17 October 2013.  By Virginia Comolli, Research Associate for Transnational Threats  Over the past decade, there has been a growing concern among policymakers, international institutions and the media about West Africa’s role as a transit hub for drug trafficking; added to this are fears that terrorist groups are becoming involved in the drug trade. These issues complicate the already tense interplay between enforcing security and stability on the one hand, and delivering effective aid...

  • Strategic Survey

    Chapter 7: Africa

    07 September 2013. 

    West Africa's Troubled Year
    The Horn, Central and East Africa: Qualified Progress
    Southern Africa: Quest for Integration

  • Strategic Comments

    Nigeria’s emergency: countering Boko Haram

    09 August 2013. 

    Some 8,000 Nigerian troops are engaged in the largest military operation since the 1967–70 civil war, seeking to defeat an Islamist insurgency by the Boko Haram militant group. President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in the northeastern states of Yobe, Borno and Adamawa in May 2013 after the government lost control of large parts of the region. An additional 3,000 troops were deployed to join a 5,000-strong Joint Task Force (JTF) which was already engaged in the operation.

  • IISS Voices

    Virginia Comolli: Is Nigerian extremism really a threat to the UK?

    08 July 2013.  By Virginia Comolli, Research Associate for Transnational Threats While the northern Nigerian insurgency may not rank highly among the preoccupations of the average British taxpayer, policymakers have started to view instability in the former colony with greater apprehension – or at least, this is what the House of Commons’ Foreign Affairs Committee is doing. The committee is currently conducting an enquiry into the UK government’s response to extremism and political instability in...

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