Tag Archives | counterterrorism

The Joint Force of the G5 Sahel: An Appropriate Response to Combat Terrorism?

Introduction The Joint Force of the Group of Five of the Sahel (Force Conjointe du G5 Sahel or FC-G5S) is the latest initiative by African member states to reduce the threat of terrorism in the Sahel, a region that is often framed as an arc of instability. The FC-G5S – which includes Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mauritania and Chad – was authorised by the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) on 13 April 2017 for a 12-month period, and was later – on 20 June 2017 – welcomed by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). It was reauthorised by the AU PSC for a 12-month period on 12 April 2018. This article focuses on the security pillar of the G5 Sahel, by examining the FC-G5S mandate to combat terrorism in the Sahel. After a brief background, the article provides an overview of the main jihadist protagonists in the Sahel, demonstrating that some of these groups emerge and thrive, due to distinctly local, societal problems, and should not only be viewed through the prism of terrorism. The article then examines the FC-G5S counterterrorism (CT) strategy and the conceptualisation and configuration of the force itself, and argues that currently there is a […]

Continue Reading 0

Counterterrorism and Challenges to Peacekeeping Impartiality

A distinct characteristic of United Nations peacekeeping is its impartiality. It is also a reality that for UN peacekeeping to function properly, partnering with regional organizations and other groups is essential. Experiences in Mali and Somalia have, however, exposed the political and operational challenges that partnerships create in maintaining impartiality. The challenge at hand is the dynamic between peacekeeping and counterterrorism efforts, especially as partnerships have expanded—notably in Africa, where regional actors have deployed increasing numbers of counterterrorist forces in the Sahel, Somalia, and Lake Chad Basin. The 2015 report of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (HIPPO), the subsequent report of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the future of UN peace operations, and the 2018 report of the Special Committee on Peace Operations (C34) have all asserted that UN peacekeeping cannot and should not engage in counterterrorist operations. Despite this principled stance, it seems that the countering and preventing violent extremism (CVE/PVE) agenda has moved counterterrorism from the margins to center stage, ensuring that the UN will continue deploying peacekeepers in contexts where organizational partners do counterterrorism. At the same time, the Action for Peacekeeping Initiative (A4P) emphasizes partnerships. And so, the questions have become about how UN peacekeepers can operate in environments where counterterrorist forces are also deployed, how UN […]

Continue Reading 0