Latest Articles about Africa

Origins of the Niger Delta’s Deewell and Deebam Militias

Since January 2006, violence in Nigeria's delta region escalated dramatically as various militant groups and violent confraternities kidnapped Western energy workers in order to call attention to their political grievances. Most recently, kidnappings have begun to take on a more criminal nature, with kidnap-for-ransom schemes... MORE

Splits Revealed Inside Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb

During an August 14 news conference organized by Algerian authorities for a select group of Algerian reporters, Benmessaoud Abdelkader, a former Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC) regional commander, confirmed that there was deep disagreement within the former GSPC over national commander Abdelmalek Droudkel's... MORE

AQIM Renews its Threats Against France

In July, newly elected French President Nicolas Sarkozy visited Algiers to reaffirm France's "deep friendship" with the Maghreb and present his project of a "Mediterranean Union" designed to promote a strong and durable relationship between the Maghreb and Europe. In the aftermath of Sarkozy's visit,... MORE

Hybrid Force: The UN’s Peacekeeping Gamble in Darfur

A close examination of the terms of the Darfur peacekeeping mission approved by UN Security Council Resolution 1769 offers little confidence that the mission will be any more successful than the current African Union deployment. The resolution approves a force of 26,000 men, including the... MORE

The Niger Delta Insurgency and its Threat to Energy Security

During the first half of 2006, Nigeria's energy industry was crippled by guerrilla attacks from militants demanding a larger share of the country's oil revenue. The guerrillas, primarily from Nigeria's Ijaw ethnic community, live in the country's Niger Delta region where the majority of its... MORE

Mujahid Dokubo-Asari: The Niger Delta’s Ijaw Leader

Among the restive Ijaw population in Nigeria's troubled, energy-rich delta region, one man stands alone as the most recognizable face of resistance: Mujahid Dokubo-Asari. Asari has been a central figure in the Ijaw cause, forming in late 2003 one of the delta's most notorious Ijaw... MORE

Niger’s Uranium Industry Threatened by Rebels

As the focus of U.S. justifications for its invasion of Iraq and the subsequent "yellowcake" political scandal, both the African country of Niger and its considerable uranium reserves have become well known since 2002. While claims that Niger was supplying uranium to an Iraqi nuclear... MORE

Mauritania’s Vulnerability to al-Qaeda Influence

The al-Qaeda order in the Maghreb region of North Africa appears to be re-energizing, as evident in the broader drumbeat of terrorist attacks that have diversified in regional reach. The recent arrests of three Mauritanians and three Moroccans in Mauritania raises serious concerns about al-Qaeda's... MORE

Foreign Fighters Face Obstacles Joining the Somali Jihad

After their defeat in December 2006, Somalia's Islamic Courts Union (ICU) vowed to launch an Iraqi style insurgency against the invading Ethiopian forces. Al-Qaeda leaders supported their intentions. Both Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri issued statements calling on Muslims to help their Islamic brethren... MORE

Nigeria’s Cults and their Role in the Niger Delta Insurgency

In Nigeria's delta region, various militant groups continue to attack multinational energy interests by blowing up infrastructure, siphoning oil and gas from pipelines and kidnapping expatriate energy staff. Additionally, these groups often attack Nigerian security services. The origin of the militant groups in the delta... MORE