National Security

South Africa’s intelligence agency needs speedy reform – or it must be shut down

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South Africa’s civilian intelligence service, the State Security Agency, is a broken institution. It is meant to provide intelligence to forewarn the country about...

Wagner Group in Africa: Russia’s presence on the continent increasingly relies on mercenaries

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Mercenaries have been a fixture in Africa since the second half of the 20th century. They have been used to protect incumbent leaders or...

Economic pressures drive extremism – report

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A lack of job opportunities is the leading factor driving people to join fast-growing violent extremist groups in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a new...

Four hundred soldiers on duty at six power stations

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While Defence and Military Veterans Minister Thandi Modise approved and gazetted the deployment of up to 2 700 soldiers to protect Eskom infrastructure, the...

Benin becoming new frontline of expanding terrorism

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Until November 2021, Benin had been spared from the kind of extremist violence that has ravaged its neighbor to the north, Burkina Faso. Since then,...

ISS: Risks of Burkina Faso’s new military approach to terrorism

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Fifty thousand Burkinabe civilians have joined the Volunteers for the Defense of the Homeland (VDP) to fight the violent extremists currently occupying nearly half...

Legislative measures against terror financing on the way in SA

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Before Parliament rose for the year-end recess, its Select Committee on Security and Justice adopted a report on an amendment bill to protect South...

Soldiers “scaling up” Eskom security welcomed as questions remain

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“Scaling up security” at certain Eskom power stations by deploying soldiers is a welcome move according to Sahlulele Luzipo who chairs Parliament’s Portfolio Committee...

Soldiers guard Eskom power stations

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Just on a month after Defence and Military Veterans Minister Thandi Modise indicated soldiers could be deployed to protect power and rail infrastructure it’s...

Sandton terror alert: time for South Africa to improve its intelligence sharing channels with...

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The announcement in October 2022 by the US embassy in South Africa of a possible terror attack caused a lot of confusion, concern and,...

ISS: Government’s priority must be safety and rule of law

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From overcoming South Africa’s energy crisis to creating jobs and delivering services, government priorities depend on a safe socio-economic environment. But the country is...

Al-Shabaab in Somalia has resisted military force: now is the time for a new...

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In October 2022, Somalia’s capital Mogadishu suffered yet another massive suicidal attack. More than 100 people were killed. Hundreds more were wounded and thousands...

ISS: Are red flags about Islamic State in South Africa alarmist?

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Alarm bells about the threat of terrorism in South Africa have recently been sounding more stridently and more often. Are these false alarms or...

South Africa provides fertile ground for funders of terrorism – here’s why

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The US embassy in South Africa has twice raised the alarm recently about terrorism in the country. On 26 October it issued a security...

SA “resolved” to fight terrorism – Gungubele

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South Africa remains “resolved to combat terrorism and illicit financing activities” is the official government reaction to Monday’s United States (US) Treasury announcing “designation”...

Armed conflict and climate change: how these two threats play out in Africa

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The world is falling miserably short of reducing carbon emissions in line with the Paris Agreement, a 2015 treaty to keep global warming well...

US names and “designates” ISIS cell in South Africa

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The United States (US) Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) “designated” four members of an Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)...

Poverty and inequality are a national security risk to South Africa

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High levels of unemployment and poverty are a high national security risk to South Africa as they are drivers of crime and instability, and...

NATJOINTS explainer

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In the wake of last week’s terror alert issued by the United States (US) Embassy in Pretoria, the South African government explains its National...

ISS: As terrorists claim new ground, an African strategy is vital

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As Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda leaders have been targeted and eliminated internationally, the terrorist groups have expanded and consolidated their African operations. According...

Ramaphosa appoints new Intelligence Inspector General

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Imtiaz Fazel is expected to start his five year term as the new Inspector General of Intelligence on Tuesday, following his appointment by President...

Ramaphosa comments on US terror alert

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has said that South Africans should be best informed by the South African government on matters of State security and it...

Hybrid Lawfare Centre only answer to SA’s organised crime threat – former SA Police...

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As South Africa reels from imploding entities such as Eskom, Rand Water, Transnet and failing municipalities, agile organised crime ecosystems intensify the looting of...

Is Africa becoming the world’s terror hot spot?

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Africa has eclipsed the Middle East as the main focus of worldwide terror groups who are determined to expand their reach. That’s the conclusion of...

Tigray has resisted Ethiopia’s far greater military might for two years – here’s why...

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The Ethio-Tigray war started on 4 November 2020. For almost two years, the governments of Ethiopia and Eritrea – along with Amhara regional forces...

Burkina Faso coup raises questions about growing Russian involvement in west Africa

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As if fighting in what – for now, at least – appears to be a losing battle in Ukraine weren’t enough, the Wagner Group,...

ISS: Careful balance needed to advance humanitarian action while countering terror

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In July 2022, South Africa’s Police Minister Bheki Cele introduced a draft bill to update the country’s existing counter-terrorism law – the Protection of...

Andre de Ruyter bug reveals intensified power struggle for Eskom energy sector

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As a bugging device found in Eskom chief Andre de Ruyter’s car gets analysed by a top South African forensic outfit, emerging details indicate...

Rail in SA is not national key point – Ramaphosa

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South Africa’s more than twenty-two thousand kilometres of rail does not qualify as a national key point (NKP), President Cyril Ramaphosa told a questioner...

How coastal West Africa can stem the jihadist wave

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Jihadist conflicts are now a part of West Africa’s political makeup, as militant Islamist groups resist numerous campaigns to counter them. In 2021, three of...

Feature: Sahel security forces look for answers after decade of violence

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Mass atrocities, forced displacement, public executions: terror. It has been a fact of life in parts of Africa’s Sahel region since extremists gained a...

State security mandate set out

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At the apex of the South African government’s various intelligence operations is the State Security Agency (SSA) – since last August in the portfolio...

South Africa needs stronger security in place to stop the sabotage of its power supply

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President Cyril Ramaphosa recently outlined plans to solve the country’s devastating electricity supply crisis. But he didn’t mention the country’s ability to protect its energy...

South Africa has been warned that it faces an ‘Arab Spring’: so what are...

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Former South African President Thabo Mbeki recently launched a sharp critique of the governing African National Congress (ANC) for failure to address what it...

Sahel-based violence ripples across borders into coastal countries

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Attacks by Islamic extremists in Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali are rippling out of the Sahel and across the borders of countries to the...

Zondo Commission’s report on South Africa’s intelligence agency is important but flawed

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South Africa’s judicial probe into state capture and corruption, the Zondo Commission, has concluded that the State Security Agency was integral to the capture...

SANDF continues to be on standby for July 2021-style unrest

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The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will continue to be on standby, in support of the South African Police Service, to protect all...

ISS: Tshisekedi opens a Pandora’s Box in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo

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Tensions are spiking once again in the chronically turbulent eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The M23 rebel movement – widely thought to...

In Burkina Faso, violence comes from all directions

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Already caught in the crossfire of multiple violent extremist organizations, civilians in Burkina Faso are saying they need to be protected by their security...

After losing ground in Middle East, Islamic State expands operations in Africa

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The Islamic State terrorist organization has been decimated in Iraq and Syria in recent years and is now seeking to expand operations in Africa,...

Togo attack a sign of Sahel violence spreading south

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Security experts have warned for several years that the extremist violence engulfing the Sahel inevitably would spread south to the coast. Four countries along the...

ISS: Ansaru’s comeback in Nigeria deepens the terror threat

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The resurgence of Boko Haram’s breakaway faction, with its al-Qaeda backing, threatens national and regional security. For much of the past decade, Ansaru has largely...

DIRCO disputes reports on ISIS fighters returning to SA

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The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) has disputed reports alleging that the department has facilitated the repatriation of hundreds of ISIS fighters. This...

Coalition reaffirms commitment to fight Islamic State, including in Africa

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The Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, meeting this week in Morocco, has reaffirmed its determination to continue the fight against Islamic State through both...

Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS to meet in Morocco next week

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The Islamic State (ISIS) has made significant inroads into Africa and an 84-member coalition committed to countering ISIS globally is working to deter further...

Enablers of political extremism: a checklist for West African countries

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The Sahel – the region just south of the Sahara – is home to the world’s fastest growing extremist group, Jama'at Nasr al-Islam wal...

Mauritanian approach uses dialogue to diminish jihadist extremism

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In a West African region known for the proliferation of violent extremist organizations, Mauritania stands out for its lack of terror attacks in recent...

Military expenditure reduces the negative effect of terrorism on economic growth

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In a number of African countries, terrorism has become a major challenge to socioeconomic development. This has spurred research on the extent to which...

2021 saw greater instability and abuses in Africa; AU inaction – Amnesty International

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Human rights abuses in the conflicts in Africa continued unabated in 2021 partly because of the inaction of the African Union Peace and Security...

South Africa poorly prepared to deal with terrorism – report

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South Africa’s security institutions are poorly prepared to deal with Islamist extremists and terrorists operating across the border in Mozambique, a new report has...