• IISS Voices

    Virginia Comolli: Boko Haram is no African al-Qaeda

    17 August 2012.  By Virginia Comolli, Research Associate, Transnational Threats Earlier this year, Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan described Boko Haram, the Islamist group responsible for a series of terrorist attacks in his country, as having global ambitions. A senior Nigerian military commander has put it more starkly: ‘Boko Haram is al-Qaeda’. Many US and UK politicians have called for the group to be proscribed as a terrorist group; the US Department of State recently...

  • Adelphi Books

    Chapter Four: The transit regions

    23 April 2012.  The negative impact of the narcotics trade on three key transit areas – Mexico, Central America and West Africa – shows a number of parallels in security, governance and development.

  • IISS Voices

    Natalia Debczak-Debski: Mali coup plays into the hands of Tuareg rebels

    05 April 2012.  By Natalia Debczak-Debski, Research Assistant, Armed Conflict Database  Known for its relative political stability in an otherwise volatile region, Mali has often been characterised as one of Africa’s best-functioning democracies. However, a mutiny which began on the evening of 21 March resulted in a coup against the government of President Amadou Toumani Touré, just a month before scheduled presidential elections in which he was not standing for re-election. On the morning of 22...

  • The Military Balance

    Chapter 9: Sub-Saharan Africa

    07 March 2012.  African standby force

    West Africa
    East Africa
    Central Africa
    Southern Africa
    South Africa
    Sub-Saharan Africa defence economics

  • IISS Voices

    Virginia Comolli: Ghana, Africa and the Arab Spring

    05 March 2012.  By Virginia Comolli, Research Analyst ‘This can be Africa’s century,’ Ghanaian presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo told the audience at the fifth IISS Oppenheimer Lecture. A former Ghanaian attorney general and foreign minister, he was speaking on the future of democracy in Africa and the impact of the Arab Spring. But he also took the time to point out that the continent had the world’s second fastest economic growth after Asia, and...

  • IISS Voices

    Virginia Comolli: Nigeria’s emergency response to growing violence

    05 January 2012.  By Virginia Comolli, Research Analyst On Christmas Day bomb attacks on two churches in the centre of Nigeria and towns in the northern state of Yobe killed 42 people and wounded several more. The group which claimed responsibility was Boko Haram, an extremist Islamic sect which has terrorised the country with attacks and killings since the early 2000s with the supposed goal of establishing sharia law. Since 2009 Nigeria has witnessed an overall steep increase in Islamist violence that...

  • Strategic Comments

    Boko Haram: Nigeria’s growing new headache

    17 November 2011.  With a suicide car-bombing of the United Nations building in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, in August, and recent deadly attacks in the northeastern states of Yobe and Borno, Islamist group Boko Haram has announced its return to the stage, two years after it was supposed to have been defeated. The radical group, which used to confine itself to drive-by shootings, is more violent than ever, adding to the pressures on Nigeria's security forces.

  • Strategic Survey

    Chapter 7: Africa

    06 September 2011.  Sudan: Separation Marred by Violence
    West Africa: Democracy and Conflict
    Southern Africa: Pretoria’s Growing Influence
    East Africa and Great Lakes: Elections Boost Existing Rulers
    Other Elections
    Somali Piracy: Persistent and Evolving

  • Strategic Comments

    West Africa’s ‘cocaine coast’

    20 May 2011.  Could West Africa follow Mexico's path into drugs and gang-fuelled violence? The question sounds alarmist, but has concerned international law-enforcement agencies in recent years, as countries such as Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Ghana, Benin and Nigeria have emerged as major transhipment points for the global trade in cocaine and heroin.

  • Strategic Survey

    Chapter 7: Africa

    07 September 2010.  South Africa: Competing Agendas in the ANC
    Kenya and Zimbabwe: Fragile Coalitions
    West Africa's Political Challenges
    The Horn of Africa: Making Up and Breaking Up
    The African Union: Seeking to Match Ambitions

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