Land and resource scarcity exacerbated by climate change is helping fuel ongoing conflict in Africa’s volatile Sahel region, where growing activity by terror groups such as Boko Haram and Al-Qaida is threatening the local population with increasing implications for international security. Nevertheless, France—the biggest foreign power active in the region—recently decided to reduce its military engagement. What are the current domestic conflicts and international interests in the Sahel? And what could the future look like?

Former ICWA fellow Hannah Armstrong (Niger, Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Algeria, Western Sahara, 2012 – 2014), a writer and consultant on the Sahel region; Leonardo Villalón, dean of the International Center and professor of Political Science and African Studies at the University of Florida; and Ibrahim Yahaya Ibrahim, senior analyst with the International Crisis Group discussed the latest developments during a panel discussion on January 18, 2022 co-hosted with Network 20/20.

Top photo credit: Adam Jones, Wikimedia Commons