The first of five monthly intelligence briefings on the Boko Haram insurgency being prepared for the Remote Control Project. This briefing summarises and analyses the main international developments, the actions of US and European partners, the actions of local governments and coalitions, and the various Boko Haram operations over the previous month.
The United States, France and other powers are quietly carrying out remote warfare in the form of drone operations and special forces deployments in support of Nigerian and regional coalition efforts against Boko Haram. Open Briefing is launching a new project that will detail our assessment of key developments in the operations and the evolving nature and effectiveness of the complex coalitions against Boko Haram.
Political and security risk updates from around the world. This week: investigation into downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 concludes plane was shot down by Russian SAM brought into Ukraine from Russia and fired from rebel-controlled territory; Houthi rebels in Yemen name ‘prime minister’ and will establish new government of ‘national salvation’ to rival internationally-backed government in the south; United States confirms reports of new military air base in Agadez in central Niger capable of deploying drones; and more.
This briefing assesses Boko Haram's arsenal, where those munitions come from, and how best to reduce the flow of weapons to the group. The group’s weaponry is predominantly of Russian and Eastern European stock looted from police stations and military bases within Nigeria. It will be impossible to stem the flow of weapons to Boko Haram completely. Ultimately, it will be efforts to tackle the deep structural socio-economic problems in northern Nigeria that will have the most success in fundamentally weakening Boko Haram.
Monthly intelligence briefing on transnational organised crime from Dr Mary Young. This month's spotlight on Africa includes details of the warship gifted to the Nigerian Navy by the United States to help combat transnational organised maritime crime in Nigerian waters, including piracy, oil theft and terrorism.
Open Briefing has today published the first of three synthesis reports from a major study forecasting insecurity and conflict in Africa in 2014. The report focusses on those countries of West Africa whose drivers and internal volatility are likely to create substantial levels of insecurity and conflict over 2014: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone.
Some narratives have painted West Africa as a region where conflict and insecurity occur naturally due to ethnic tensions and porous borders. In reality, the underlying sources and drivers of instability are critical to understanding events. This study from Open Briefing attempts to avoid generalisations by analysing specific factors and identifying forecasts for individual countries in the region.