The power-sharing agreement will lower the risk of protests and violence for the first time in seven months, while commercial activity is set to resume, and normal diplomatic relations will be restored. However, the military is set to remain in charge of the transition at least for the next two years, while rival security forces and state-sponsored militia groups will seek to cut out lucrative economic assets to sponsor their re-armaments. Despite an initial lull in violence and political instability, the risk of civil war will remain high in the three-year outlook.
The security and sovereignty of Africa’s borders are coming under growing threat from intra-regional militant groups that occupy vast swathes of territory across the Maghreb, Sahel, and West African regions, as well as in the Horn and Great Lakes Region. EXX Africa’s third instalment of its Threats to Borders analysis series explores militants as a threat actor across the continent.
EXX Africa continues its three-part series on threats to African borders. In its second instalment, our analysis assesses the nature of transnational criminal organisations across the continent and how these render African borders increasingly vulnerable. This report zooms in on the trafficking of drugs, weapons, people, ivory, and motor vehicles across the Sahel and the Horn, as well increasing instances of financial crime in southern Africa and piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.
The risk of violent protests by opposition supporters over reports of electoral manipulation poses a higher threat of commercial disruption than the northern insurgency, which might even simmer around the October elections. However, any threats by the main armed opposition to suspend the peace agreement are unlikely to be implemented and a resumption of conflict seems unlikely.
Over the past year, the rapid encroachment of Sahel-based Islamist militant groups on the borders of West African coastal states has prompted widespread concern that previously unaffected locales are now under threat. Based on the geographic dispersal of regional militant actors and their current capabilities and intent, EXX Africa assesses the possible scenarios and likely locations for a terrorist attack in these coastal hubs.
From Agadez in the Sahel, to Metemma on the Sudanese border with Ethiopia and the ports of Obock and Bossaso in the Horn, all the way to Zimbabwe’s Beitbridge post, EXX Africa looks at the impact of illegal immigration on Africa’s border security. In a three-part analysis briefing series, EXX Africa explores the primary threats to African borders and the various local and international mitigation measures employed to counter them. Distinguished by threat actor, this series explores the threats posed by illegal immigration, criminal networks, and militant groups.Read More
Evidence for an Islamic State attack last month in northern Mozambique seems spurious, although the group’s claim will have symbolic value for the Islamist insurgency in the gas-rich region. The conflict is increasingly posing a risk of attack on NGO assets engaged in post-cyclone recovery, as well as to local businesses that are targeted in extortion and kidnap raids. However, EXX Africa continues to assess that any mooted aspiration to attack gas assets remains subdued by fears of a more heavy-handed retaliatory counter-insurgency.
Since the 22 June coup attempt, there remain several questions that draw uncertainty over the government’s claims of responsibility and whether it has fully re-established control. Further retaliatory violence and detentions should be expected, particularly if the government decides to postpone elections slated for next year.
The political establishment has intervened to prevent several populist rising stars from participating at this year’s elections. Such tactics may backfire and trigger a fresh wave of political protests, just when the country could face a constitutional crisis over the political power vacuum in the presidency. A political stand-off in coming months will distract already overstretched security forces from the threat of Islamist militancy, while also straining relations with the IMF just when Tunisia seeks massive bond sales to support its gaping budget deficit and service existing debts.
A mostly peaceful and democratic transition of power will allow the political status quo to remain intact, while Mauritania embarks on an exciting new chapter of rapid economic development driven by recovering iron ore mining revenues and a nascent natural gas industry. Despite some concerns over potential contract reviews and the looming threat of regional militancy, EXX Africa remains largely optimistic on Mauritania’s investment outlook.
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- THREATS TO BORDERS: AFRICAN MILITANCY AND TERRORISM
- ZAMBIA: SMEAR CAMPAIGN SEEKS TO DISTRACT FROM WEAKENING DEBT TRANSPARENCY
- SPECIAL REPORT: TOP TEN EAST AFRICAN CITIES AT RISK OF CRIME AGAINST EXPATS