Sahel Sahara, l’harmattan?

April, May and June are the Sahel hot and harsh months. The harmattan wind runs during the seasonal transition between the leniency of the first quarter and the heat of the second. These climate cycles, the political developments in Algeria and Sudan as well as insecurity in the Sahel heart, fuel the opinions of the often frustrated but increasingly connected populations.

 

 

As Protests in Algeria Continue, Where is the Country Headed?

Every week since February there have been peaceful mass gatherings calling for change in Algeria. The population wishes to see their country live up to its historic reputation for liberty and independence from colonialism. While many have interpreted the protests as a continuation of the “Arab Spring,” Algeria is the only Arab country to have attempted a democratization experiment as far back as the 1990s. The current revolt, now in its ninth week, was thus in some sense predictable given Algeria’s history, while also unprecedented, hopeful, and complicated.

What Kind of Leadership Does Sustaining Peace Require?

Aspirations for peace tend to be depicted negatively, as the absence of conflict. In many societies, peace is experienced as the order that follows the end of war, often called negative peace. Seen through this prism, peace is rarely studied independently or measured directly without the long shadow of its ubiquitous companion, conflict. It also leaves little space for peace to be pursued as a national meta-policy—as in Costa Rica with its national vision for peace, or Ethiopia with its newly-established Ministry for Peace.

 

 

New information 2019 : Sahel hostages: a new enigma.

  1. Over the last week of February 2019, a successful Barkane operation in northern Mali may have provided the answer to questions put on this page back in July 2017 (see below). Which government or organization has facilitated the release of the two hostages and were handed over to? From which airport did they return home? Finally, who has received the ransom payment if any was paid?
  2. Barkane is reported to have arrested, at the end of February, a former Malian gendarme and his companion, a few hundred kilometers north of Timbuktu. A credible rumor accredits the idea that both have spoken to their captors. They may have reported important information about the hostages including the purchase of a costly property costly in one of the Sahel capitals. The amount of the ransom is not mentioned. But in Barkane, they for sure, do know.