The EU reached a deal with Mali earlier this month for the return of asylum seekers from Europe and to tackle the local ‘root causes of immigration’. However, the deal will only work if internal security in Mali is supported. And there, the story is less than encouraging.
New approaches are needed to address Nigeria’s massive corruption problem. Engaging the banking sector, the key facilitator of the theft of the nation’s wealth in this struggle, should be an urgent priority.
The quest for a more robust approach to ensuring successful UN peacekeeping operations has claimed its first scalp in South Sudan. The sacking of the force commander there comes barely two months after London hosted a summit of the world’s defence ministers on the challenges of UN peacekeeping
The distinguished legacy of a British-born pioneer in UN peacekeeping operations should provide London with the impetus to provide further leadership on this topic at a ministerial conference it hosts this week.
As the UK sends 330 personnel to assist France's military intervention in Mali, there are real concerns that, like Afghanistan, the UK will be mired in another intractable conflict. However, the strategic conditions are very different for this to happen and it is wrong to assume there will be mission creep.
The attacks on Algerian gas installations and the Mali insurgency has led the UK Prime Minister to describe this as a 'generational struggle'. However, what is happening across the Sahel region is a different terrorist challenge altogether, requiring a reappraisal in strategy.
As French troops continue to engage Islamist rebels in Mali, questions are being raised over how long they will stay, and the real commitment of the president to ending France's long history of interventionism on the continent.
The French assault on militant jihadists in Mali reflects a recognition in Paris that the long-brewing Islamist trouble in North Africa is something that has started to spiral out of control, and has potential to have a direct impact within France.
With the northern part of Mali now under militant hands, regional countries are being left with no option but to provide a credible threat to intervene militarily. But will neighbouring states be able to sustain their intervention?