No military solution has so far proved effective at combatting jihadist insurgents in the Sahel region of West Africa. Now a new long-shot idea is making the rounds: bringing in Rwandan security forces. However, the “Rwandan model” is no solution for the Sahel’s nightmare. The search for new ideas will have to continue.
After each of a series of coups in Africa in recent years, Africa’s regional organizations have tried and failed to shape or alter events on the ground. The scenario has become a familiar one with each successive coup, which raises the question: What explains these organizations’ inability to roll back these military takeovers?
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.