SWAC webinar: Wars and Conflicts in the Sahara-Sahel
On 21 March, the SWAC Secretariat organised its first webinar drawing on key findings from the West African paper No. 10, “Wars and Conflicts in the Sahara-Sahel.” Some 70 policy-makers, experts and partners participated in the online debate. Faced with the political pressures of successive coup d’états, protest movements and the threat of Islamic extremism, the Sahel-Sahara areas experience compounded threats to peace in an increasingly volatile global environment. A better understanding is needed of the root causes of violent conflict and of the critical factors leading to escalating tensions between warring factions, to create viable and sustainable paths to regional peace and security. The webinar featured a presentation by the paper’s author Olivier Walther, a visiting associate professor with the Center for African Studies at the University of Florida (UF), as part of the collaboration between the SWAC Secretariat and the Sahel Research Group (UF). Rinaldo Depagne (West Africa project director, International Crisis Group) and Francesco Strazzari (adjunct professor, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs Consortium for Research on Terrorism and International Crime) participated as panellists.