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  • Centro para el Bien Común Global

Jihadist radicalisation and other destabilising factors in the Sahel

Publication of the 1st Sahel Europe Dialogue Forum

11 June 2021

Since the fall of Gaddafi in Libya in 2011, and since the Tuareg revolution and subsequent coup in Mali in 2012, the Sahel has been plunged into a cycle of violence that continues to this day. Poverty and frustration, combined with organised crime, violent extremism and weak state institutions, are turning the region into an area of growing insecurity, instability and conflict.

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Radicalización yihadista y otros factores de desestabilización en el Sahel
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Radicalisation djihadiste et autres facteurs de déstabilisation au Sahel
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Jihadist radicalisation and other destabilising factors in the Sahel
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Lead researchers:

Beatriz de León Cobo. Researcher and consultant expert on security and processes of violent radicalisation in the Sahel. Coordinator of the group of experts of the Sahel-Europe Dialogue Forum and analyst at the International Security Centre of the Francisco de Vitoria University.

Mohamed El Moctar Ag Mohamedoum. Associate researcher at the Timbuktu Institute, commissioner of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) and temporary instructor at the Alioune Blondin BEYE Peacekeeping School (EMP-ABB). Member of the group of experts of the Sahel-Europe Dialogue Forum.

Expert contributors who assisted in the drafting of this document:

Patricia Rodríguez González. Founder and CEO of the Child Heroes Foundation. Specialist in child protection.

Marta Summers Montero. Coordinator of the Observatory of Jihadist Activity in the Maghreb and Western Sahel of the OIET and lecturer at the Francisco de Vitoria University.


This analysis is part of an ongoing line of research by the International Security Centre on the Sahel. Following the Sahel-Europe Dialogue Forum organised in March 2021, speakers belonging to the Sahel- Europe Dialogue Forum Expert Group have deepened the themes of their conferences, analysing the shared challenges, and the opportunities for cooperation on our common challenges. The political crises in Mali and Chad link the security crisis to governance challenges in these states, where the presence of self-defence militias and jihadist groups hinder economic and social development. In such a changing environment, with the Sahel being Europe's advanced frontier, it is now more important than ever to promote a space for dialogue in which both regions can share, cooperate and propose innovative solutions. This series of publications, as well as the Sahel-Europe Dialogue Forum, have received a grant from the General Secretariat for Defence Policy of the Ministry of Defence.



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