Armed groups in the Sahel

Border regions in the Greater Sahel are often hotspots of protracted conflicts. At the same time, these regions are spaces where people connect socially, culturally and economically and where communities are built. We believe that these border complexes have unique historical and socio-economic characteristics that must be taken into account when developing approaches to dealing with armed groups in these spaces.

To bring the regional dimension to the attention of practitioners and policymakers, we conduct research on regional conflict systems as they emerge in the Lake Chad Basin and the Niger–Chad–Libya–Sudan border region. By examining these regional complexes through a system lens, we are able to gain a deeper understanding of the complex dynamics and interdependencies involved, including the linkages between armed actors, conflict economies, governance systems and socio-economic predispositions.

Our field research is guided by a mixed methods approach, which involves conducting interviews, peer group discussions and quantitative surveys at the community level.

We place particular emphasis on the cooperation with local researchers in Chad, Nigeria and Cameroon, who are closely involved in the research design and implementation. A fellowship programme, which foresees mid-term research residencies of the Sahelian researchers at bicc in Germany and short-term residencies at the United Nations (UN) in New York and the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, forms part of this cooperation. These residencies aim to facilitate the exchange among project partners (AU, UN and bicc) and local researchers, offering insights into the different institutional settings and perspectives as well as networking opportunities with other researchers at bicc and beyond.

Our objective is to distil policy recommendations from our research. These can be utilised by the UN, AU and other national, regional, and local actors to improve regional cooperation and support sustainable peace processes. The research findings generated in the project are published in a variety of publication formats for different audiences, including a peer-reviewed research paper, a comparative study and various policy briefs. Additionally, we also organise events, evidence-based discussions and other knowledge-sharing formats with our partners.

Events

Monday, 27th May, 2024
IN-PERSON

Laying the Ground for Peace: A Holistic Approach to Community Violence Reduction

Thursday, 6th July, 2023
Online

Extraordinary Meeting of the Integrated DDR Training Group

Monday, 4th March, 2024
Online

Extraordinary IDDRTG Meeting

Monday, 15th April, 2024
IN-PERSON

Regional Workshop on DDR in Bamako, Mali

Tuesday, 23rd April, 2024
IN-PERSON

Roundtable Dialogue on WAM in DDR Contexts

Fellowship Events

\ Short-Term Residency of the Sahelian Researchers at the AU in Addis Ababa in March 2024

\ Mid-Term Residency of the Sahelian Researchers at BICC in Bonn from November to December 2023

\ Short-Term Residency of the Sahelian Researchers at the UN in New York in December 2023

\ Meeting of bicc Researchers and Sahelian Researchers with the German Parliamentary Group for West Africa in November 2023

Publications

Berks, M., & Oginni, O., & Breitung, C., & Alhassan, M., & Tondandi, A.

Risky Business: Engaging Vigilante Groups in the Lake Chad Basin

bicc , Bonn (2024)

Open

Berks, M., & Oginni, O., & Breitung, C., & Alhassan, M., & Tondandi, A.

Une entreprise risquée : engager des groupes d'autodéfense dans le bassin du lac Tchad

bicc , Bonn (2024)

Open

Oginni, O.

Comment empêcher le banditisme djihadiste de devenir la nouvelle norme dans le bassin du lac Tchad

bicc , Bonn (2024)

Open

Amin , N., & Berks , M., & Breitung, C., & Philipsenburg, A., & Raafat, L.

Aborder les dynamiques régionales des conflits armés—Connecter la politique de DDR, la recherche et la pratique

bicc , Bonn (2024)

Open

Amin, N., & Berks, M., & Breitung, C., & Raafat, L., & Philipsenburg, A.

Addressing Regional Dynamics of Armed Conflict - Connecting DDR Policy, Research and Practice

bicc , Bonn (2024)

Open

Oginni, O.

How to Stop ´Jihadi Banditry´from Becoming the New Normal in the Lake Chad Basin

bicc , Bonn (2024)

Open

Breitung, C., & Berks, M., & Haidara, B., & Oginni, O.

Coup in Niger: Why Military Interventions are Doomed to Fail

bicc , Bonn (2023)

Open

Haidara, B.

The Spread of Jihadism in the Sahel. Part 2

Springer (2024)

Open

Project Team

Dr Claudia Breitung

Technical Advisor/Senior Researcher

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Milena Berks

Researcher / Project Officer

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Dr Boubacar Haidara

Senior Researcher

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Dr Oyewole Oginni

Senior Researcher

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Amelie Philipsenburg

Student Assistant \ Sahel project

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Project Partners

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