Policy and Research Papers

A Dozen Shades of Khaki: Counter-insurgency Operations in the Sahel

In 2011, several African states warned about the likely consequences of an international military intervention in Libya aimed at toppling Muammar Gaddafi. Now, six years after his death, security in the Sahel region has never been worse. 

For full access to A Dozen Shades of Khaki: Counter-insurgency Operations in the Sahel, please follow the link. 

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Stemming Tunisia’s Authoritarian Drift

The seventh anniversary of the 14 January 2011 Tunisian uprising is overshadowed by dangers of political polarisation and an illusory nostalgia for strong, centralised government. To save the sole successful Arab transition, the governing coalition should enact promised reforms, create a Constitutional court and hold long-delayed local elections.

For full access to Stemming Tunisia’s Authoritarian Drift, please follow the link. 

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Building Inclusive Peace: Gender at the Heart of Conflict Analysis

Saferworld's 2016 Gender analysis of conflict toolkit is designed to help peacebuilders integrate gender into conflict analysis, understand how gender influences conflict dynamics, and provide a foundation for designing gender-sensitive peacebuilding programmes.

This policy brief shows how the toolkit can be used in different ways by integrating gender into participatory conflict analysis and research. It shares analysis and findings, combining the expertise of community-based organisations, women’s rights groups, and international and peacebuilding organisations on gender norms and conflict.

For full access to Building Inclusive Peace: Gender at the Heart of Conflict Analysis, please follow the link.

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Human Smuggling and Libya’s Political End Game

Migrant boat crossings in the Mediterranean usually peak around July and August but the number of boats dropped dramatically in 2017. This comes largely as a result of a migration-focused unilateral intervention by Italy, which needed to show results to a frustrated electorate that has borne a lot of Europe’s migrant burden.

Italy needed to make tangible progress or risk a populist right-wing upheaval. Returning asylum seekers directly to Libya was not an option after it was declared unlawful by the European Court of Human Rights in 2012. The task was passed on to Libyan partners instead.

The February 2017 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Italy and Libya’s UN-sanctioned Government of National Accord (GNA) was an important turning point. Rome pledged training, equipment and investment to help the Tripoli government improve border security and combat the smuggling of people. It engaged local government in smuggling hubs, promising investment in return for help with migration control.

For full access to the article, Human Smuggling and Libya’s Political End Game, kindly follow the link. 

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Spetsnaz, contractuels, volontaires : qui sont les « hommes de guerre » russes en Syrie ?

Cette note met en relief un aspect peu étudié de l’intervention russe en Syrie : la présence de forces expéditionnaires engagées sur les différentes lignes de front syriennes, aux côtés des forces armées régulières. 

La Syrie constitue, en effet, le premier champ de bataille sur lequel la Russie a, de manière coordonnée et à une vaste échelle, déployé et supervisé un contingent de forces expéditionnaires comprenant les nouvelles Forces d’opérations spéciales (SSO) et différentes catégories de forces spéciales (Spetsnaz) ; la police militaire nouvellement créée ; des conseillers et techniciens militaires, ainsi que des « volontaires » et des « contractuels » (kontraktniki ) et autres paramilitaires travaillant pour des sociétés militaires privées.

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