Climate Change and Conflict in the Western Sahel

The states of the western Sahel (Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, and northern Nigeria) are politically quite fragile. Recent severe changes in climate are accelerating conflict and violence in an already economically desperate region, causing increased skirmishes between pastoralists and farmers, while depleting water resources and encouraging many to migrate either within the region or to North Africa. This article provides a commentary on the increasing levels of violent conflicts in the Western Sahel. Larémont explains the role of climate change, jihadist groups and the failing role of the state. It further critically analyses the interference of Western countries in this region.

Border Securitisation and Politics of State Policy in Nigeria, 2014–2017

This article examines the politics of public policies characterised by increased securitisation of Nigeria’s national boundary from 2014 to 2017. While the regulation appears on paper to discourage transborder crime, capital outflow and sustain a favourable balance of payment, the existing armoury of West African border literature argues otherwise. What is new in the transborder dynamics of West Africa? What informs government’s border policies in Nigeria? In answering these questions, this study provides a template for a reassessment of the gap between borderlands theory and policy in West Africa. The approach is comparative based on the critical analysis of oral interviews, government trade records, newspaper reports and the extant literature. The article provides a platform for rethinking of the nexus between governance and development in West Africa from the securitisation and neo-patrimonial perspectives. It concludes that effective border management in Nigeria is set aback by misguided and dysfunctional elitist-centred regulations that are devoid of the realities on the ground.

Afghan Resistance: Past, Present, and Future

Armchair strategists analyzing the far-reaching impli-
cations of Soviet intervention in Afghanistan tend to ignore or under-
emphasize one very important reality: The Soviet occupation of Af-
ghanistan is not yet an established fact. The Afghan resistance movement
has become a national liberation war, posing a real and formidable
challenge to Soviet control over Afghanistan. Six months after the Soviet
intervention in December 1979, Brezhnev claimed in the plenary session
of the central committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union:
“Now life in Afghanistan is gradually returning to normal. Large bands of
counterrevolutionaries have been routed, and interventionists have suf-
fered a serious defeat.”‘ But four years later, the Soviet media continue
to report “counterrevolutionary” activities, admitting that “many public
institutions in Afghanistan have been destroyed. Industrial enterprises,
utility lines and irrigation systems have become targets of sabotage,
costing Afghan industry alone 2.8 billion Afghanis.3 On April 11, 1983,
Kabul Radio carried a broadcast in which Prime Minister Sultan Ali
Keshtmand revealed that half of Afghanistan’s hospitals and schools have
been destroyed and three-quarters of the country’s communications have
been disrupted by the guerrillas.4