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Somalia

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The Little Understood Connection between Terror and Drug Profits

Terrorists are in it as much for the loot as for the ideology. The Islamic State, or ISIS, could hardly exist, whatever its Islamist fervor, without hard cash from sales of pilfered petroleum, taxes on its subject population and kidnappings for ransom. Likewise ISIS- and al-Qaida-linked groups in Africa prosper by trafficking drugs across the … Continue reading

Confronting Drugs, Crime, and Warfare in Africa

Drug smuggling and its profits help significantly to fuel Africa’s wars as criminal enterprises. Terrorists frequently build drug-driven hybrid organizations to finance their operations and to reap illicit rents. In Mali, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Somalia, conflict is strongly tied to drug trafficking by syndicates allied to al-Qaeda–associated insurgents. The … Continue reading

Drugs, Crime, and Terror in Africa

The wars of Africa are fueled by narcotics. That is an exaggerated over-simplification, but what is less well known than it should be is that many of the internal conflicts of today’s Africa are driven in part, sometimes  a substantial part, by profits being made from the trafficking of hard drugs and precursor chemicals. The … Continue reading

Good Governance: Even Africa’s Best are Nothing to Brag About

    Africa’s development chances and social possibilities remain heavily hindered by its overall mediocre governance. Despite the talk of Africa rising and growth rates that now exceed other parts of the globe, too many of the continent’s peoples are subject to the kinds of governments that favour ruling elites rather than ordinary villagers and … Continue reading

Washington’s Good Intentions for Africa are Not Enough

Ebola epitomizes Washington’s Africa problem. With more than 40 African leaders meeting President Barack Obama, Vice-President Joseph Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry in the U.S. capital this week to celebrate the continent’s burgeoning economic prospects, governance weaknesses remain sadly real and a big drag on development. The presidents of Sierra Leone, Liberia and … Continue reading

Slaughtering the Innocent: The Possible End of Elephants and Rhinoceroses

  Three hundred gentle rhinoceroses have been killed by poachers since the beginning of 2014 in South Africa alone.  About 15,000 unsuspecting elephants have similarly been gunned down by poachers so far this year throughout the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. Lions are dying out, too. Fabled Africa, with its profusion of big game, is now … Continue reading

Failed States: A Paradigm Revived

To label as “failed” those nation-states that no longer serve their people remains a powerful indictment. It sharpens policy considerations and singles out those countries which should be of utmost concern to world order. “Failed” also focuses attention on those nation-states that may soon fail; those are countries most in imminent need of external help. … Continue reading

Overcoming Africa’s Critical Challenges

A Wounded Leopard: Why al-Shabab Attacked Kenya

Marginalized in Somalia by Kenyan, Ethiopian and other African military forces, al-Shabab tried to show that it was still a potent instrument of terror by striking cruelly in Nairobi. Since Kenyans had helped significantly to overcome al-Shabab’s strongholds in Kismayu and Merca, in southern Somalia, al-Shabab attacked Nairobi, Kenya’s soft security underbelly, instead of attempting … Continue reading

Failed and Weak States Defined

A failed state is a country with a government that cannot or will not deliver essential political goods (public services) to its citizens. The state, usually not yet a nation-state, may hold a seat in the United Nations and function as a sovereign entity in regional and world politics, but as far as most of … Continue reading