The 2012 Tuareg rebellion in Mali precipitated the rise of jihadist armed groups in the Sahel region, which are now flourishing and expanding to other West African states. Adam Abass argues that the relationship between jihadist groups and the locals is the primary reason for the groups’ expansion. The inter-group violence and the lack of state presence in local communities make the country more vulnerable to jihadist exploitation.
One of the United Nations’ most significant accomplishments in the history of humanitarian protection was the establishment of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine, which aims to stop future mass atrocities in conflict zones and unstable circumstances. However, this doctrine, which is largely the responsibility of the member-states under the auspices of the supra-national organization, has over the years been used to advance individual state strategic interests in Libya and Iraq. As a result of the member states’ continued abuse of the doctrine under the guise of humanitarian intervention, it is imperative to assess the doctrine and the legitimacy of these so-called humanitarian interventions in the name of averting mass atrocities.
Adam Abass analyzes the M23 rebel group’s resurgence, a Tutsi-led and Rwanda-backed armed group, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Towards the end of the article, he concludes that seeking a greater diplomatic relationship and engagement between Rwanda and DRC is necessary if both truly seek peace with the M23, as the exclusion of Kigali from regional politics will only worsen the situation.
France’s decision to pull out its troops from Mali and Burkina Faso has created a security vacuum, and since both countries are known for the high rates of jihadist violence, concerns are growing about the impact that the withdrawal may have on regional security. Adam Abass seeks to understand the reason why the security partnership between France and these two countries is deteriorating.
In May 2022, when President Sheikh Mohamud was elected president of Somalia amidst the political turmoil, one of his top priorities was the elimination of Al-Shabaab, an Islamist group that has been waging war against the country. Adam Abass analyses the president’s strategy against Al-Shabaab, the current military offensive being launched by his government, Al-Shabaab’s counter-strategy, and the possible challenges ahead that can thwart the progress being made against the group.
For the past three years, West Africa has experienced multiple military coups. This recent increase is attributed to the contagious effect of the military coup that occurred in Mali in 2020. The ‘coup fever’ has since then spread to Burkina Faso, Chad, and Guinea, and also led to an attempted coup in Guinea-Bissau.
In modern warfare, the role of private military companies (PMCs) has significantly increased. The world’s major powers, in particular, are keen on employing PMCs in conflict zones. The author, Adam Abass, notes that the strong ties between these companies and states have allowed the former to evade prosecution or sentences for their alleged war crimes and human rights abuses.