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On April 16, the PBS News Hour ran a story called “In Niger, rising temperatures mean barren fields — but fertile ground for terrorism.” The story addresses climate change and its impact on food security in the country, as well as how some organizations, like U.S. Africa Command, the World Food Program, and CARE, approach the problem.
General Thomas Waldhauser, Commander of US Africa Command (AFRICOM) – head of all American military forces in Africa – was interviewed for the story. He stated:
The climate and environment challenges on the continent really do start to contribute to security challenges…Some of the [terrorist] groups in the Northern Mali-Niger area there, they leverage these challenges to recruit, because they really are after influence. And they want to maintain their livelihood.
In the past few weeks, we’ve noticed an unusual number of articles about significant flood events that are occurring, or have recently occurred, around the world. Though it is far too soon to determine whether or not these floods are associated with climate change, projections for global rainfall variability suggest that more extreme and unpredictable flooding is likely in our future. The first step in preparing for such a future is recognizing and calling attention to these extreme events, and their real human security implications. Such reports are easily lost in the shuffle of the daily news cycle, so we’ve compiled a comprehensive list below. (more…)
Nigeria, the African continent’s most populous country, is by many accounts a security and humanitarian disaster. A corrupt and unstable government driven by oil revenues, an armed insurgency in the Niger Delta aimed at defying that government, a desperately poor population that sees little to none of the country’s oil wealth, deep post-colonial religious divisions in the center and north, which have led to dramatic and large-scale violence in recent years (see the Christmas Day bombing in 2011, for example), all conspire to make life in Nigeria hazardous, to say the very least. (more…)
The Economist published an interesting, if alarming, piece on Saturday exploring the explosive intersection of shifting weather patterns, political extremism, and the movement of heavy weapons in the Sahel region of Africa (for those who are unfamiliar, the Sahel constitutes the 5,400 km-wide arid and semi-arid plains south of the Sahara desert, and north of the more water-rich Sudanian Savannahs, stretching like a vast ribbon from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea). (more…)