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.
While East African states face major security challenges from several civil wars, sporadic political upheavals, and the persistent threat of violent extremism, regional states remain prime destinations for tourism and business travel. We assess the risk posed by criminal activity to foreign nationals visiting and living in the region’s urban centres and tourism destinations.
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.
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
Nationalist groups have failed to seize control of Ethiopia’s Amhara region, but their killing of the military chief of staff has triggered shockwaves through the country’s security forces. Ethnic and political retaliatory violence should be expected in the short term, while the government’s privatisation and liberalisation reforms are likely to face delays and next year’s slated elections are now even more likely to be postponed.
The Kenyan government will again raise spending over the next year, deriving new funding from taxes on businesses and increased borrowing, while refusing to cut wasteful expenditure. Combined with unsustainably high debt servicing costs and a need to pay rapidly maturing commercial debt and Chinese infrastructure loans, Kenya may soon face a debt crisis. EXX Africa assesses that a booming economy, record foreign reserves, and a strong external position may hold off a repayment crisis until next year, although accumulating non-performing loans in the local banking sector may augur a more immediate weakness.
A former ethnic Arab militia accused of war crimes in Darfur and now integrated into the Sudanese security forces and armed with new weapons from the Gulf has seized control of the capital Khartoum in recent weeks. These hard-line militia forces are increasingly likely to clash with the military, which is seeking to create an Egypt-style post-coup political order and to repair Sudan’s international reputation.
In his second term, President Muhammadu Buhari will again oversee expansive debt-fuelled spending to develop Nigeria’s infrastructure, while seeking a dilution of the government’s stake in the oil sector. He may even consider joining Africa’s free trade pact that came into force in May. However, any firm decisions will take many months before being confirmed, starting with the appointment of a new cabinet and perhaps a reshuffle of the security forces command.
International donors and NGOs are focussing relief efforts on central provinces of cyclone-ravaged Mozambique, yet neglecting the much poorer and less accessible northern region. As EXX Africa anticipated, the Islamist insurgency in the north has resumed following an initial post-cyclone lull, Militants are staging attacks in close proximity to natural gas operations, while targeting NGO relief workers and even staging their first ever kidnap for ransom attack.
- ZIMBABWE: RISK OF CURRENCY COLLAPSE RISES AS HYPERINFLATION TRIGGERS UNREST
- SUDAN: FRAGILE POWER-SHARING DEAL WILL BRING SHORT-TERM PAUSE IN VIOLENCE
- 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