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.
Four former presidents will dominate the upcoming elections, while their respective political vehicles are seeking to curry favour with the military and to create political alliances with rivals, although the threat of fresh civil unrest remains ever present.
In the first six months of its administration, the new government had taken a measured and pragmatic approach to pursue internal and external peace, enhanced political pluralism, and economic privatisation, yet remains challenged by both socio-political and institutional pressures.
Supporters of the opposition will start to mobilise to pressure the electoral commission to accept their demands for reform ahead of the December elections, yet even if the various fragmented opposition parties unite, the governing party’s candidate retains the strong benefit of incumbency.
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.
A proposed delay to legislative elections seems engineered to favour the president and allied opposition, while harming the ruling party in parliament; international stakeholders will push for a compromise settlement to avoid another political crisis.
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 redeployment of regional military assets away from the Lake Chad basin has opened an opportunity for Islamist militants to consolidate and prepare a new offensive in northeast Nigeria ahead of the 2019 elections.
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.
The new government will seek international re-engagement, political conciliation, and economic recovery, while taking a measured approach, prioritising less disruptive policy, and personnel changes and gradually moving toward more comprehensive change.
- 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’