Libyan flag graffiti, courtesy Ben Sutherland/flickr
This article was originally published by Carnegie Europe on 2 February 2016.
Almost five years since the start of NATO’s military intervention in Libya, there is mounting speculation that a coalition of Western countries will launch a new military campaign there to tackle the growing threat from the self-styled Islamic State.
Since the 2011 ouster of strongman leader Muammar Qaddafi, a civil war has prevented the formation of a functioning Libyan government, creating the space for both the emergence of an Islamic State–controlled area around the city of Sirte and large flows of migrants and refugees into the EU. (Over 157,000 refugees and migrants have crossed the Mediterranean to Italy alone since January 2015.)
Soldiers during exercise Kwanza in Angola, 2010
This article was originally published by the Global Observatory on 20 January 2016.
Akin to its physical landscape, the political environment of Sub-Saharan Africa in 2015 varied greatly from country to country. On a positive note, elections in politically polarized countries such as Nigeria, Tanzania, Guinea, and Cote d’Ivoire concluded relatively peacefully, despite the shadow of political violence looming large. Burkina Faso, which entered the year in political limbo following the ousting of long-serving president Blaise Compaoré, also elected its first democratic government, thwarting a coup attempt by the deposed leader’s presidential guard in the process.
In another encouraging development, 2015 also marked the nadir of the West African Ebola outbreak, which killed more than 11,000 people since the virus was first reported in the region in early 2012. Just today, the World Health Organization declared Liberia—the last affected country—Ebola-free.
However, while last year saw Sub-Saharan Africa overcome a number of important challenges, it also saw the continuation and often the creation of social, political, and economic obstacles that will define the continent’s security outlook in 2016.