The Geography of Conflict in North and West Africa
African governments are increasingly confronted with new forms of political violence.
The situation is particularly worrying in the Sahara-Sahel where violence is on the
rise. This degrading security situation has prompted African countries and their partners
to intervene militarily to stabilise the region and to prevent the spread of extremism
and violence against civilians. However, these initiatives face many obstacles due
to the transnational nature and geography of violence. Tensions regionalise across
state borders when armed groups, defeated by counter-insurgency efforts, relocate
to other countries. This study maps the evolution of violence across North and West
Africa, with a particular focus on Mali, Lake Chad and Libya. In the regions experiencing
the highest levels of political insecurity, it identifies whether and how conflicts
tend to cluster or spread, potentially across national borders. The work is based
on a new spatial indicator of political violence designed to assess the long-term
evolution of conflicts and provide policy options.
Published on February 14, 2020
In series:West African Studiesview more titles