Small Wars Journal


Tracking the Violent Extremism Spillover from the Sahel to Littoral West Africa

Tue, 09/14/2021 - 8:24pm

Tracking the Violent Extremism Spillover from the Sahel to Littoral West Africa

A recent analytical report by Aneliese Bernard, summarized in an article for the Irregular Warfare Initiative at the Modern War Institute at West Point, details the expansion of violent extremism from West Africa's Sahel region into the Littoral states on the Gulf of Guinea. For a full copy of the report, please contact

Elva Report Cover

The report offers a comprehensive analysis of the situation in the border communities of this region, focused on Littoral states that are experiencing nascent violent extremist influence and operation campaigns. In addition to in-depth analysis, the report offers a variety of recommendations on how to combat this growing insurgency from the defense, diplomacy and development lens. The report draws from hundreds of expert interviews and three rounds of mixed-method data collection that took place over 12 months, in over 300 border communities in Burkina Faso, Niger, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo and Benin.

Source: Aneliese Bernard, “Jihadism is Spreading to the Gulf of Guinea Littoral States, and a New Approach to Countering it is Needed.” Modern War Institute. 9 September 2021.


Environmental Peacebuilding and civil-military engagement in the Sahel: Turning a threat multiplier into a force multiplier

Sat, 06/05/2021 - 3:11pm
As leaders of the Sahel convened in Chad’s capital N'djamena to discuss flaring jihadist violence, Chadian President Déby announced on 15 February 2021 the deployment of an additional 1,200 soldiers to the border zone between Niger, Mali and Burkino Faso.[i][ii] French President Macron also ruled out a withdrawal of forces despite dwindling domestic support for French operations in the region.[iii] Crisis Group expert Hannah Armstrong says one year after France stepped up its military presence in the region, it is as clear as ever that conventional military engagement has failed to deliver a knockout blow to armed jihadist groups.[iv]

About the Author(s)

Contested Terrain: The New Geography of Drug Trafficking in North Africa and the Sahel Since the Arab Spring SWJED Wed, 01/24/2018 - 4:15am

The nature of narcotics trafficking in North Africa and the Sahel has changed in recent years in significant ways.