Burkina Faso


Military coups, jihadism and insecurity in the Central Sahel

This paper examines the interactions between the 2020-23 Sahelian coups and the trajectories of jihadism and insecurity, covering three countries: Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. First, it examines pre-coup trends in violence. Second, the paper finds that coup-makers’ policy choices have accelerated the worsening of violence beyond the pre-coup baseline trend, especially when coup-makers authorise new actors to commit violence, although trends in violence remain somewhat erratic and are even more complex at the sub-national level. Third, it offers an ambivalent finding on the impact of the withdrawal of the French Operation Barkhane following Mali’s second coup in 2021. Finally, the paper discusses the apparent strategies of the region’s two main jihadist groups, which have largely continued their pre-coup strategies, but have also responded to new conflict actors and pursued certain opportunities for increased territorial influence.

Available from May 01, 2024

In series:West African Papersview more titles