n Conflict Trends - Mali's teachable moment : the primacy of civil authority in security sector development and assistance

Volume 2013, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


As Kenya, Niger, Nigeria and other countries contend with a newly surging threat of terrorism, it is tempting, especially from outside Africa, to look at African security sector shortfalls as essentially a function of improving military capabilities at tactical and operational levels, particularly for counterinsurgency and counterterrorism. Yet, the May 2012 coup d'état in Mali and, more importantly, the restoration of civil governance going on there now, offers an opportunity to understand the problem of security sector development - and especially security assistance provided from outside Africa - from a much broader and more strategic peacebuilding perspective. Doing so may serve more than to avoid the pitfalls of focusing foreign assistance largely on the security sector in general and security assistance efforts on military combat training in particular, which turns out to exacerbate the internal instabilities of weak and fragile states. It may also lead to stronger security institutions and civil-military relations that come closer to addressing the real drivers of conflict, thus reducing the vulnerabilities emblematic of fragile states that violent extremist organisations look to exploit in the first place.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error