Featured   Publications

Another Coup in the Sahel: Here’s a Way to Halt This Cycle

Another Coup in the Sahel: Here’s a Way to Halt This Cycle

Thursday, October 20, 2022

By: Sandrine Nama;  Joseph Sany, Ph.D.

This month’s coup d’etat in Burkina Faso, the seventh in 26 months around the Sahel region, only extends the Sahel’s long agonies of failing governance, civil wars and violent extremism. Military-led intervention by France and other outside powers has failed to stem the widening destabilization of a landmass and population vastly bigger than those of the recent U.S. wars in Afghanistan or Iraq. U.S. and international security require a policy reset that addresses the Sahel crisis’ causes rather than its symptoms. In Burkina Faso and other states, this means supporting inclusive processes of national dialogue that can mobilize whole of the society to address those causes.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Civilian-Military RelationsMediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

A Sixth Coup in Africa? The West Needs to Up Its Game.

A Sixth Coup in Africa? The West Needs to Up Its Game.

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

By: Joseph Sany, Ph.D.

The government of Guinea-Bissau says it survived an attempted coup d’état yesterday, just days after Burkina Faso suffered the fifth coup in nine months around the greater Sahel. These upheavals cement this African region as the most pronounced center of a global crisis: Poor and authoritarian governance is breeding extremism and transnational criminality, igniting violence and undermining efforts to build democracies. Following last year’s military power grabs in Chad, Mali, Guinea and Sudan, the new crises highlight widening risks to security — for the 135 million people of the Sahel region, and ultimately for Europe and the United States. They also point to changes needed in U.S. and international policies.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

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Current   Projects

Bipartisan Senior Study Group for the Sahel

In May 2021, USIP created the Bipartisan Senior Study Group for the Sahel comprised of 12 current and former high-level U.S. officials, renowned academics and prominent Africa experts. The senior study group aims to generate new insights into the complex challenges facing the Sahel region, including food security, human rights, security assistance, private sector development and job creation — as well as great power competition. The senior study group will provide original recommendations to the U.S. government and governments in the Sahel region to improve foreign assistance, resolve conflict and support lasting peace.

Civilian-Military RelationsDemocracy & GovernancePeace ProcessesViolent Extremism

Justice and Security Dialogue in Saaba

Justice and Security Dialogue in Saaba

In 2015, the United States Institute of Peace launched an initiative in Saaba, a small community in the West African country of Burkina Faso, where tensions were rising between informal security groups and the police. Local authorities, police, and leaders of the informal security group initially refused to meet in person. The following story chronicles how these groups came together to build trust and work to improve security in their community.

Justice, Security & Rule of Law

Women Preventing Violent Extremism (WPVE) in the Horn and Sahel

Women Preventing Violent Extremism (WPVE) in the Horn and Sahel

USIP’s Women Preventing Violent Extremism (WPVE) program aims to shape national policies and community approaches to countering violent extremism in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel. USIP does this by empowering women-led organizations and building local capacity that fosters collaboration between community-level activists and national-level policymakers.

GenderViolent Extremism

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