1 May 2013


Claire Spencer

Dr Claire Spencer

Senior Research Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme & Second Century Initiative


This is written evidence submitted to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, House of Commons, in May 2013.


  • No remedy to the long-standing and endemic weaknesses of state structures in the Sahel region will be swift. An internationally-coordinated development approach that takes the needs of local populations into account is more likely to succeed in the medium-term than a reliance on previously failing and failed local governments to promote their citizens’ interests and security over their own quest for survival. 
  • This caution applies as much to the new alliances the UK is building in the region, above all with Algeria, which may become subject to a succession crisis in advance of, or at the time of, presidential elections set for the spring of 2014.