Rumors of a conspiracy behind the April 2019 Easter Bombings in Sri Lanka have swirled since the attacks took place, even after the Islamic State took responsibility. Now, a documentary claiming that people close to Sri Lanka’s powerful Rajapaksa family were involved in the bombings is turning up the temperature on the accusations.
Depictions of Niger, Sudan and other African states as mere backdrops to geopolitical conflicts between distant outsiders neglect the role played by regional institutions, neighboring states and nonstate actors, while distracting from wider regional trends that will ultimately have a global impact of their own.
The recent coup in Niger presents the United States with a familiar dilemma in how it conducts security assistance. There is no easy solution, but current dynamics in the Sahel, which indicate that without outside help al-Qaeda and Islamic State-affiliated groups will rapidly gain strength in the region, call for U.S. policymakers to pursue a pragmatic course.