Video On Demand

Militancy and the Arc of Instability: Violent Extremism in the Sahel

September 27, 2016 • 1:30 – 3:30 pm EDT
Violent extremist organizations have expanded their ambitions, capacities, and geographical reach into the Sahel and West Africa, extending an Arc of Instability across an area of strategic interest for the United States and its allies. Boko Haram, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and other terror groups present a continuing threat to the stability of the region. As they come under increasing pressure from French and regional security forces, their future evolution is uncertain, but they have proven their ability to adapt and rebound in the face of previous setbacks.
CSIS experts Jennifer G. Cooke and Thomas M. Sanderson will present the findings of their field-based and scholarly research examining the evolution of extremist organizations in the Sahel, the political structural drivers of extremist groups in the region economy landscape in which they operate, and efforts by regional governments and their international partners to defeat them.

Madeline Rose of Mercy Corps, Dr. Benjamin Nickels of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, Fatima Askiru of the Borno Women Development Initiative, and Najla El Mangoush of George Mason University’s Center for World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution will discuss the findings and their own views on the continuing challenges facing the Sahel.


Najla El Mangoush

Program Officer for Peacebuilding and Traditional Law, Center for World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution, George Mason University

Dr. Benjamin Nickels

Associate Professor and Academic Chair, Transnational Threats and Counterterrorism, Africa Center for Strategic Studies

Madeline Rose

Senior Policy Advisor, Mercy Corps

Fatima Askira

Youth Program Coordinator, Search for Common Ground; Executive Director, Borno Women Development Initiative

Thomas M. Sanderson