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Growing Instability in the Western Sahel: Experiences and Responses

Chatham House, London

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Robert Fowler, Former UN Special Envoy to Niger
Jérôme Spinoza, Head, Africa Bureau, French Ministry of Defence
Dr Knox Chitiyo, Associate Fellow, Royal United Services Institute
Chair: Camilla Toulmin, Director, International Institute for Environment and Development


Kidnappings, bombings and killings linked to extremist groups are spreading across western Africa from Nigeria to Algeria. In the aftermath of the fall of Muammar Gaddafi and the turmoil precipitated by the Arab Spring, there are also increasing concerns that this vast, sparse region is attracting myriad armed and criminal groups, including arms, drugs and people smugglers operating undetected along remote desert routes.

The speakers will offer their different perspectives on this growing, though little understood threat to Africa and Europe, as well as to the Middle East.