In the Sahel, states do not event provide basic security or justice



Alain Antil, a researcher from the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), provides an interesting analysis of the root causes of insecurity in Sahelian countries. While the areas affected by violence in the Sahel continue to expand, socio-economic and demographic trends further exacerbate existing fragilities, especially in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. “Far from being able to deliver basic services or even the most rudimentary infrastructure, the states no longer even fulfil their sovereign functions: security, justice... Other actors have taken over and exercise a sort of shared governance,” Antil explains. Sahelian countries would need to invest heavily in sectors such as education. However, the already-insufficient education budget is now being stressed by the needs of a growing population. Sahelian countries are not catching up, he writes, but are, rather, losing ground compared to emerging economies in the Gulf of Guinea. “Once again, none of this is new. However, the military balances of power in countries like Niger, and more particularly in Mali and Burkina Faso, are less and less favourable to the central governments,” concludes Antil.

Read the article (French)