Despite promising economic growth in much of Africa, the continent is still grappling with pockets of instability and violent conflict. In the Horn of Africa, Somalia’s militant Islamist group al-Shabaab has persevered against African Union military forces (AMISOM) and gained even greater notoriety for its terrorist attack in a Nairobi shopping mall. The Democratic Republic of Congo is still beset by violent insurgents despite the November surrender of its M23 rebel group, West Africa continues to witness attacks by Boko Haram and other armed groups in Northern Nigeria, and the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic has United Nations officials warning of the potential for another Rwanda.
On December 16, the Africa Growth Initiative (AGI) and the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence (21CSI) at the Brookings Institution hosted a discussion on the current state of conflict and the outlook for peaceful resolutions in the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Somalia. The panel included: Ambassador John Campbell, the Ralph Bunche senior fellow for Africa policy studies at the Council on Foreign Relations; 21CSI Senior Fellow Vanda Felbab-Brown; and AGI Senior Fellow Amadou Sy. Michael O’Hanlon, director of research for Foreign Policy and senior fellow of 21CSI, moderated the discussion.