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Confronting the expansion of Daesh in Libya

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Faced with the expansion of Daesh into northern Africa, researcher and author Serge Michailof argues that the international response must go beyond military intervention. In an article published on Diploweb, the author of the book Africanistan urges France to take greater control over the financial resources it allocates to international aid. Michailof writes that the collapse of Mali following a relatively modest jihadist uprising alerted the world to the fragility of the Sahel region. Demographic challenges including rapid population growth and high unemployment contribute to internal instability that in turn makes the region particularly vulnerable to external risk factors such as armed groups based in Libya, the Central African Republic and elsewhere. Michailof argues that the French response should aim to address the factors of internal fragility, so that Sahel countries can better confront both internal and external threats. "The only short-term option is to launch ambitious rural development programmes based on land rehabilitation measures, massive investment in rural roads, small irrigation, electrification, agricultural intensification, supporting pastoralism, etc.," he writes.