Security

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    A symposium organised from 5-6 October by the Strategic Research Institute of the Military Academy (IRSEM) in Paris, addressed the many challenges that African armies face. Contrary to popular belief, "their budgets are very small, their sizes have been reduced and the people are not invested in the armed forces," said Sonia Le Gouriellec, the co-organizer of the symposium. About 85% of African countries have been affected by coups, and almost every African country has experienced military rule. Read on
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    According to a source from the French Ministry of the Interior, France plans to increase its support to Senegal and the G5 Sahel countries (Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Mali, Niger and Chad) to help them deal with security challenges. About EUR 42 million of financial assistance is planned for the 2017-22 period, half of which will be used to acquire new equipment. Read on
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    The 29 September 2016 report of the UN Secretary General on the situation in Mali presents a bleak appraisal of the past three months. It barely masks the widespread frustration over the continued lack of concrete progress in the peace agreement’s implementation. Problems include: violations of the ceasefire in the Kidal region; inter-communal clashes in the Mopti region; attacks against United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), etc. Read on
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    The security situation remains extremely fragile in the Lake Chad Basin and there have been several security incidents on Chad’s borders. According to the most recent UNOCHA update on the humanitarian situation in Chad: some 3.8 million people faced food insecurity at the end of August; and the country hosts some 388 000 refugees, 106 000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and 89 000 returnees. Read on
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    Nigerian Minister of Health Isaac Adewole declared on 27 June a "nutrition emergency" in Borno State, where a large portion of the population is facing problems with access to food, water and health services due to the conflict in the north-east of the country. Information from recent rapid assessments raises the possibility that a famine could be occurring in the worst affected and less accessible pockets of the state. Read on
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    On 11 July, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), delivered his first Security Council briefing on West Africa and the Sahel since the merging of the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA) and the Office of the Special Envoy for the Sahel (OSES), establishing UNOWAS. Read on
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    The United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), the International Peace Institute (IPI) and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) of the Swiss Confederation, organised a high-level meeting on the theme "Investing in peace and the prevention of violence in West Africa and the Sahel-Sahara" from 27 to 28 June in Dakar. The objective of the meeting was to discuss the causes of violence in West African societies and to identify ways to address them. Read on
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    Olivier Ray, head of the crises and conflicts unit at AFD, offers some courses of action in response to Boko Haram violence in this article in the Ideas for Development blog. Development aid institutions must adapt their modes of action to the challenges of the regions where they operate, as they may well impact the fragility in which terrorist movements take root. However, they are neither an alternative to military struggle against terrorism, nor an ideological response. Read on
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    Citing progress in national reconciliation and social cohesion, the United Nations Security Council voted to end sanctions against Côte d'Ivoire and endorsed a plan for the withdrawal of the international peacekeeping mission. The 15-member Council also adopted resolution 2284 (2016) to renew the mandate of the UN Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) for a final period until the end of June 2017. Read on
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    After four years of military presence in the smallest West African country, the 600-strong ECOWAS Mission in Guinea-Bissau (ECOMIB) will end its mandate on 30 June 2016. The ECOWAS Committee of Chiefs of Defense Staff (CCDS) gathered on 23 March in Abuja to conceive a comprehensive exit strategy Read on

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