What to Make of the Latest Jihadi Reorganization in the Sahara/Sahel – Caitlin Dearing Scott

Caitlin Dearing Scott March 27, 2017 Earlier this month, three of the Sahel’s leading  jihadist groups – Ansar Dine, al-Mourabitoun, and Katiba Macina — announced a merger with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) under the leadership of Ansar Dine chief Iyad Ag Ghaly and the banner “Nusrat ul-Islam” (group for the victory of Islam and Muslims). In a video announcing the merger, Ghaly appeared with Yahya Abou Hamam, emir ...

Western Sahara: Who Should Be Watching? Why Not Us? – Robert M. Holley

Robert M. Holley March 9, 2017 Where tensions are running high and opposing armed forces are facing off with one another, separated by only a couple of hundred meters, the risk of an accident with unpredictable and potentially terrible consequences also runs equally high. Such has been the case for the last several months in Western Sahara, where, until very recently, substantial deployments of the armed forces of Morocco and ...

What’s Wrong with the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU)? – Jean R. AbiNader

Jean R. AbiNader, MATIC February 21, 2017 Nearly 30 years after its 1989 founding,   the AMU is still unable to further its initial mission – to build economic cooperation among its member countries: Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia — let alone move towards greater integration of its transportation, communications, and energy sectors. While analysts point to the political tensions between members over issues such as the Western Sahara, migration, ...

Let’s Do It Right this Time – UN Efforts on the Environment, Western Sahara – Jean R. AbiNader

Jean R. AbiNader, MATIC January 25, 2017 The new UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, has given speeches indicating his priorities for both the UN’s external operations and the consistent issue of internal reforms. He strongly believes that the UN must look beyond conflict resolution to conflict prevention and emphasizes a more holistic approach to its programs. For example, in an address to the World Economic Forum (WEF), he “called for ...

Calibrating Progress in North Africa – A Think Tank Perspective – Jean R. AbiNader

Jean R. AbiNader, MATIC November 28, 2016 The Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East at the Atlantic Council recently published an issue brief on the “Aftermath of the Arab Spring in North Africa” by Mohsin Khan and Karim Mezran, well-known analysts of the region. They will present the paper at a public event on December 6. They argue that enough time has passed to assess the level of success ...
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