The Africa watch G5 Sahel Joint Force gains traction; “Tunisia is finished”; Djibouti: China's gateway to Africa, and more

Published 13 February 2018

· The female Quran experts fighting radical Islam in Morocco

· Egypt hits Sinai targets, killing 16 and arresting dozens

· African migration to Europe is not a crisis. It’s an opportunity.

· The G5 Sahel Joint Force gains traction

· Observers call for deeper diplomatic engagement in the Sahel

· Tunisia rejects proposal for NATO presence: Official

· “Tunisia is finished”: Smugglers profit as downturn drives European exodus

· Funding Al-Shabaab: How aid money ends up in terror group’s hands

· U.S. and Egypt pledge allegiance in IS fight raging in Sinai

· Cameroon imposes curfew in restive English-speaking regions

· Zimbabwe won’t return land to white farmers: Mnangagwa

· How Djibouti became China’s gateway to Africa

· Qaddafi ties halt return to Libya ghost town in peace setback

· Sudan finalizes joint military program with Russia

The female Quran experts fighting radical Islam in Morocco (Dina Temple-Raston, The Atlantic)
“The women scholars here are even more important than men.”

Egypt hits Sinai targets, killing 16 and arresting dozens (AP)
Egypt’s military has destroyed dozens of targets, killed 16 militants and detained over 30 suspects as part of its latest operation against Islamic militants in the restive northern Sinai Peninsula, the army said on Sunday.

African migration to Europe is not a crisis. It’s an opportunity. (Masood Ahmed and Kate Gough, Center for Global Development)
An increasingly common justification for European development assistance to Africa is the notion that it will reduce migration from the South. While this sounds intuitive and makes for an appealing argument, the research shows that it is highly unlikely. As communities become less poor, more people gain the abilities and wherewithal to undertake an expensive journey to a better life elsewhere. Development often increases migration—at least initially.

The G5 Sahel Joint Force gains traction (Africa Center for Strategic Studies)
The G5 Sahel is ramping up its joint security force in order to address the growing threat posed by militant Islamist groups in the Sahel. The Force is emerging as a focal point for transnational security efforts in the region. The G5 Sahel was established in 2014 as an inter-governmental partnership among Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger to foster economic cooperation and security in the Sahelian region. The growing virulence of militant Islamist groups, taking advantage of sparsely populated border areas, has posed a serious challenge to the G5 vision, however.

Observers call for deeper diplomatic engagement in the Sahel (Salem Solomon, VOA)
A draft of a Pentagon report on the attack in Niger that killed four American soldiers, four Nigerien soldiers and an Nigerien interpreter last October calls for a smaller, more cautious U.S. military presence in West Africa, according to sources who spoke to The New York Times. That could emphasize the need for deeper diplomatic and political engagement in the Sahel, given ongoing security challenges and difficulties in funding and coordinating a regional task force. Details about who is responsible for the October 4 attack have been difficult to confirm. However, U.S. and Nigerien forces blamed Islamic State fighters shortly after the ambush in the Tillaberi region of Niger.