Two factors will have significant implications for the future of France’s military intervention in the Sahel and the region’s fight against violent Islamist extremists: Niger’s emerging role as the linchpin of France’s reconfigured strategy and the diplomatic tensions that have emerged in recent years between Niger and Mali.
The current conflict in Sudan between the armed forces and the RSF paramilitary group is a security and humanitarian crisis. But more importantly, it is a political crisis, one that grows out of the failure to build a sustainable democratic transition after the removal of former dictator Omar al-Bashir from power in April 2019.
In recent years, civilians in South Sudan have been the victims of attacks by both rebels and government forces, and the U.N. mission has a poor record of protecting them from this violence. To change this, the international community needs to hold the mission’s civilian and military leadership accountable for their failures.
Since 2021, Benin has been battling a violent jihadist insurgency in the north of the country, fueled by a complex mix of political marginalization, religious ideology and intercommunal conflicts. Unfortunately, in doing so, it is repeating the same mistakes made over the past decade by its West African neighbors, Mali and Burkina Faso.
Peace talks between the Ethiopian government and rebels from the country’s Oromia region ended in April without an agreement to halt their hostilities. Since the end of the Tigray war in November 2022, the fighting in Oromia has escalated. The stakes are high, raising questions about Ethiopia’s territorial integrity and stability.
South Africa’s stance on the Russian invasion of Ukraine demonstrates that the country’s crisis of governance is not confined to the domestic scene. President Cyril Ramaphosa’s approach to the war has been afflicted by the same blend of ineffectual leadership and ideological grandstanding that characterizes his domestic performance.
Earlier this week, South Africa issued immunity to all foreign leaders attending the BRICS summit in August. Pretoria insisted it was a routine measure for international gatherings the country hosts. But many observers saw it as a way to allow Russian President Vladimir Putin to attend the summit despite an ICC arrest warrant.