Counter-terrorism strategies by security forces are hardening Islamist militant groups’ resolve and pushing insurgents to collaborate on tactics; as a result, kidnap risks for expatriates are steadily rising.
An escalation of violence is likely in the pre-election period in the Anglophone Southwest and Northwest regions, while road closures, kidnap threats, and robberies will pose a heightened risk in afflicted locations.
In the one-month outlook, further demonstrations and retaliatory violence are likely leading up to trials of opposition leaders, while the risk of diplomatic sanctions would increase in case of broader restrictions on NGOs.
The low capability of recent attempted terrorist attacks on Cairo’s diplomatic and government assets indicate the curtailed threat of local militant groups, although an expected drawdown of counter-terrorism offensives could provide terrorism groups the opportunity to recuperate.
Commercial and humanitarian interests face an ever increasing risk of banditry from both militant groups and criminal organisations, especially outside of the capital where government security forces hold little sway.
Mali’s scandal-tainted government is seeking re-election by counting on low voter interest and fear of insurgent attacks; the elections were marred by militant attacks and disruptions in various restive regions.
A proposed power-sharing agreement is coming closer to fruition, yet could still be spoiled by ceasefire violations, the lack of inclusiveness of the political agreement, and a controversial attempt to stall elections by three years.
Resistance to a constitutional referendum scheduled for 30 July is intensifying, indicating heightened risk of civil unrest and political violence, while a regional diplomatic backlash is expected in case of contested results.
Levels of violence in Bangui and outside of the capital continue to spike in terms of frequency and scale, while fighting is motivated less by ethno-religious frictions and more by resource seizure and banditry.
Ahead of Mali’s elections, pressure is mounting to deploy the G5 Sahel regional force to mitigate risk of militant attacks, yet the force remains under-funded and is riven by leadership divisions following an attack on its Mali-based headquarters.
- BURKINA FASO: EXPAT KIDNAP RISKS RISE AS HARSH COUNTER-TERRORISM TACTICS FAIL
- GHANA/COTE D’IVOIRE: SERIOUS CHALLENGES EMERGE TO COCOA SECTOR CONSOLIDATION
- MADAGASCAR: PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS TO PROCEED IN TENSE POLITICAL CLIMATE
- SPECIAL REPORT: IS SOUTH AFRICA HEADED TOWARDS A VAUNTED ‘TRIPLE-JUNK’ STATUS?
- ZAMBIA: UNCOVERED FRAUD MAY BE JUST ‘THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG’