Fighting for Liberal Peace in Mali? The limits of International military intervention.

By  Professor Bruno Charbonneau and Professor Jonathan Sears. The January 2013 French military intervention in Mali exposed the rising threat of ‘terrorist’ and illicit networks in the Sahel, but more importantly the intertwined limits of Malian politics and of the international politics of African conflict management. While much has been written about the ‘liberal peace’, this article argues that what is at stake in this debate is the consistency of the ‘liberal peace’ ideological form and what governance requirements it imposes. Such an ideology necessarily intersects with ongoing Malian peace-, nation- and statebuilding dynamics and competing normative orders that transcend state borders and nationalist projects. Read the full article here

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France in Mali: myths and realities

By Prof. Tony Chafer – The French intervention in Mali in 2013 was portrayed by many commentators at the time as another manifestation of la Françafrique. Tony Chafer argues that framing the intervention in this way is both problematic and misleading. Since the 1990s, la Françafrique has become shorthand for a neo-colonial relationship rooted in illicit and often criminal practices designed to maintain France’s ex-colonies in a relationship of dependency with the former metropole. Underpinning this relationship, it is argued, there exists a range of official links that have bound, and in many ways continue to bind, France to its former colonies in sub-Saharan Africa. These include defence and military […]

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Porosité des frontières des États membres de la communauté économique des États de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (CEDEAO) et mobilité tactique des marchands de la mort ?

Dr. Papa Samba Ndiaye – La communauté économique des États de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (CEDEAO) est une organisation internationale intergouvernementale qui a été créée en 1975 et qui regroupe les 16 pays d’Afrique de l’Ouest. Son objectif était la réalisation de l’intégration économique de ses États membres. Mais depuis la fin de la guerre froide, cette région connait une instabilité politique sans précèdent et la guerre court d’un pays à l’autre. Lire la suite

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Reconciliation Process and Governance under Alassane Ouattara since the End of Post-electoral Crisis in 2011

By Maxime Ricard. Who is Ivoirian? The Ivoirian State for whom and for what? These were the questions which tore apart the country during the 1990s and 2000s. Côte d’Ivoire’s post-electoral crisis from November 2010 to April 2011 led to the death of at least 3000 individuals and the violent removal of then president Laurent Gbagbo, who refused to recognize the internationally certified results of the election. Legitimacy is indeed a key issue in any discussion on the reconciliation process. The word “reconciliation” is in itself a problem, as well as the word “post-conflict”, as they carry the risk of a teleological progress toward pacification. Reconciliation however is understood as a […]

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Fragility, violence and criminality in the Gulf of Guinea.

By Dr. Elisa Lopez Lucia – The Gulf of Guinea is rich in oil and gas, and a major international trade route. While oil wealth in the context of weak governance and under-development is creating tensions leading to criminality and violence, high geostrategic stakes provide the incentives for national, regional and international actors to seek solutions. This rapid literature review analyses the causes, dynamics and responses to maritime security issues in three concentrated areas: the Niger Delta, the Bakassi peninsula and along the West African coast between Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire. It shows that the many actors who are either directly involved in or enabling criminality in the region maintain […]

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WAPSN 2016 Symposium, Calls for paper, Peace Support Operations in West Africa

The West Africa Peace and Security Network would like to announce that the Deadline for the Call for Papers is has until 8 January 2016. Call for Papers 2nd Annual Symposium of the West Africa Peace and Security Network (WAPSN) Peace Support Operations in West Africa WAPSN is organizing its second annual symposium in Accra, Ghana, at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in late April or early May 2016 (tbc). We invite all interested academics, practitioners and professionals to submit 250-word abstracts for papers to be presented, if accepted, at the symposium. Abstracts must respect the 250-word limit, address one or more of the research questions below, and […]

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Mali – The normalization of German security policy?

by Dr. Matthias Vogl , Center for European Integration Studies (ZEI), University of Bonn There was recently a news report about the deployment of a German contingent of up to 650 soldiers – among them reconnaissance forces – to Mali within the framework of the UN Mission MINUSMA. This contingent is about to replace Dutch forces during the next few months. Given the widely known German reluctance to send soldiers into risky scenarios in Africa, one could ask if this attitude is changing now, as MINUSMA is dubbed one of the most dangerous UN missions worldwide. Is German military engagement in Africa, apart from training and logistics, becoming something normal? […]

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Hollande and Africa Policy

By Professor Tony Chafer – Studies of French Africa policy have traditionally focused on its neo-colonial basis and the often corrupt nature of the relations it engendered because of the connivances of semiofficial and unofficial networks and covert practices that characterised it. These are often referred to in the literature as la Francafrique. In seeking to understand Francois Hollande’s Africa policy this article moves away from a neo-colonial, Francafrique analytical framework and instead seeks to engage with the continuity versus change debate in French Africa policy through the lens of geopolitics. The three central themes of Hollande’s Africa policy—security, partnership and trade—are analysed, focusing firstly on the French interventions in […]

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Facing the geopolitical consequences of the falling oil price in West Africa

By Sophie Quintin Adali – Oil is the king of commodities and its tumbling price has thrown global financial markets into turmoil. For fragile oil-dependent West African states this situation could spell disaster with serious consequences for international security. If the falling crude price means cheaper petrol at the pump for oil-importing European states, the outlook for their oil industry is rather gloomier. In the short to medium terms, companies will need to adjust by axing jobs and investments. For oil-exporting economies, adjusting could prove far more problematic. It is worth recalling that the crash of the oil price in 1985 was one of the determinant factors in the collapse […]

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