The April 20 death of the President of Chad, Idriss Déby, and the subsequent military coup have profoundly destabilized the country and other parts of West Africa. Likewise, over the past year, the security situation has deteriorated significantly in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and northern Nigeria. The region is facing many severe challenges from climate change and desertification, poverty, and inequality to poor governance, militancy, and terrorism, precipitated by a diverse set of local militants and international terrorist groups. During President Déby’s three decades of authoritarian rule, Chad came to be seen as a crucial lynchpin of counterterrorism in the region and a key ally of the United States and France. Yet President Déby’s death once again highlights the dangers of building counterterrorism strategies around authoritarian leaders and the struggle to find effective policy alternatives.
On May 7, Foreign Policy at Brookings hosted a panel of experts to examine the latest developments in Chad, as well as the regional implications and deeper policy dilemmas of counterterrorism, stabilization, and good governance.
After their remarks, panelists took questions from the audience. Viewers can submit questions via email to email@example.com or Twitter using #WestAfrica.