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Slate’s Abraham Riesman published a piece yesterday titled: “Could Climate Change Be Al-Qaida’s Best Friend in Africa?” Riesman includes quotes from the Center for Climate and Security, as well as from our colleague Dr. Nancy Brune of the Center for a New American Security. The piece focuses on the social, economic, environmental and climatic factors associated with unrest in Mali and northwest Africa, and how those factors might relate to the strength of non-state actors, including terrorist organizations. Worth a look.
The world is suddenly paying attention to the oft-ignored North African country of Mali, as it is racked by its most recent in a long string of crises: a coup d’etat. This political and constitutional crisis sits atop an already extremely vulnerable situation – a volatile mix of climate change, drought, food shortages, migration and immobility, armed insurrection and heavy weapons proliferation that threaten to plunge the country into a state of instability not unlike Somalia. As the international community, including the UN Security Council, moves to act on this crisis, it will be important to consider all the identifiable sources of Mali’s insecurity in order to get the solutions right. (more…)