Lebanese army and Hezbollah: Complementarity, collusion or subordination?

The Lebanese political and security scene gathers different stakeholders who are engaged in influence peddling feeding the chronic instability from which the Land of Cedar suffers. In this context, Hezbollah and the Lebanese Armed Forces maintain complex relations, oscillating between complementarity, collusion and subordination, according to the circumstances. By focusing on a few key questions, this Note intends to highlight the ongoing balances of power in order to evaluate the risks of arms diversion in Lebanon.


Jokowi’s challenges: Reforms and civil-military relations in Indonesia

Until 1998, the Indonesian armed forces were granted an institutionalized « dual function » (dwifungsi) in state operations. Through this, they had a role in the country’s security, but also politics and economy. Since Suharto’s fall, the processes of democratization and decentralization have led the civilian ship to regain the upper hand. However, the armed forces have maintained some power of influence which may question the functionality of Indonesia’s democracy. The election of Jokowi in July 2014 paved the way to new reforms that his predecessor failed to implement. Jokowi’s relation to military staff will therefore be a major stake of his term, and its evolution will be pivotal in Indonesia’s capacity to raise to the challenge of its emergence.  

Crédit photo : entraînement d’un commando de Kopassus, les forces spéciales de l'armée de terre indonésienne (source : Flickr/ Licence Creative commons)

United Arab Emirates, a hub for the smuggling to Iran

Many cases of violations of sanctions on Iran have been identified, which underpins the thesis that arms embargoes are not perfect instruments to counter the proliferation of weapons. There is evidence that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are a hub for the smuggling of weapons and other military equipment to Iran. Proliferation networks use different bypass techniques that make the detection of illegal shipments more and more difficult. This trade represents a danger to both the Gulf region and the entire world. This note aims at providing an overview of the mechanisms of diversion of sanctions against Iran in the UAE and the country’s efforts to fight against it. 

Crédit photo : Port de Jebel Ali (Source : idmifarra - Licence Creative Commons flickr)

Methamphetamine: a West-African brand

Methamphetamine is becoming the most used illegal drug in the world, after cannabis. This synthetic drug, whose use and trafficking are expanding rapidly, has the peculiarity of being the only drug to be produced in Western Africa, with cannabis. Originally intended for export, mostly to Asia, its low cost and its effects, allowing for instance to forget hunger and fatigue, are fostering the development of its consumption in the Western African sub-region. If – so far – dismantled production laboratories all lie in Nigeria, strong suspicions surround its possible manufacturing in other countries of the subregion. 

Crédit photo : vendeuse de médicaments et méthamphétamines dans la commune d’Adjamé à Abidjan (©  Jean-Baptiste Séni)

Monitoring of Regional Stability in the Sahel region and in West Africa– July to September 2014

This quarterly monitoring is part of a three years project (2014-2016) on “Contributing to improve human security, conflict prevention and strengthening the rule of law in Sub-Saharan countries” funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. It aims to monitor the security situation in West Africa with a focus on Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Senegal. It examines in particular broad internal security issues, regional tensions, and cross-border crime and trafficking.

Crédit photo : Campagne contre la propagation du virus Ebola en Guinée (CE DG Echo/afreecom/Idrissa Soumaré)

Stratégies d’émergence des États d’Afrique centrale et équatoriale : fondements et caractéristiques

Avec une croissance estimée à 6,2 % pour 2014, l’Afrique centrale figure parmi les régions les plus dynamiques du continent et parmi les zones de convergence des pays émergents. Ces derniers, dont la Chine, jouent effectivement un rôle déterminant dans l’accélération de la croissance économique africaine depuis une décennie, en important des quantités substantielles de matières premières et en exportant en retour des biens manufacturés vers les pays africains. La demande et les prix élevés des produits de base – notamment des hydrocarbures et des minerais – ont dopé les recettes des États, tandis que les flux d’investissements directs étrangers (IDE) ont stimulé l’investissement privé. Toutefois, selon une étude récente (Yoonyoung Cho et Bienvenue Tien, 2014) consacrée à l’analyse des sources de la croissance dans 32 pays d’Afrique subsaharienne, ce dynamisme économique n’est pas exclusivement lié à la demande des produits de base, qu’il s’agisse ou non de pétrole. En effet, plusieurs pays d’Afrique subsaharienne parmi ceux qui ont connu des taux de croissance élevés ainsi qu’un essor significatif d’IDE, sont dépourvus de ressources naturelles...

Fondements des politiques africaines des émergents (Brésil, Inde, Turquie et Afrique du sud)

Entre 2000 et 2012, le volume du commerce sino-africain est passé de 10 milliards à 200 milliards USD. Au cours de la même période, la Chine consolidait son statut de partenaire indispensable auprès de la plupart des pays africains. L’ampleur et le succès de la percée chinoise en Afrique a pratiquement occulté la présence grandissante d’autres pays émergents sur le continent – notamment le Brésil, l’Inde, l’Afrique du Sud ou la Turquie – dans des domaines aussi variés que le développement des infrastructures, les télécommunications, les marchés énergétiques, etc. Leur présence tend ainsi à consolider non seulement l’aspect concurrentiel des relations internationales en Afrique, mais aussi le processus d’intégration du continent à la mondialisation. Au-delà des spécificités, modalités, convergences et impacts de ces « nouveaux » partenariats, il convient d’analyser dans quelle mesure cette « coopération Sud-Sud » renforcée est vectrice d’opportunités nouvelles pour le continent... 

The EU and Arms Exports: Options and Limitations of the Common Position Review

In 2012, EU Member States started reviewing the EU Common Position defining common rules governing control of exports of military technology and equipment. While the process is still ongoing, this note takes stock of what Member States have agreed to review and suggests avenues for further improving the Common Position and its implementation. To do so, it draws upon an analysis of Member States’ practices which highlights not only inconsistent interpretations of the Common position’s criteria but also contradictions between some export licensing decisions and the spirit and letter of the European instrument. Therefore, and in spite of EU Member States having decided to carry out a limited review, this note calls for a thorough review and a progressive revision of the Common Position and its User’s Guide. When lives are at stake, proactive processes offer the options that reactive approaches deny.

Crédit photo: Stand de la FN Herstal au salon de l'armement terrestre Eurosatory (Benjamin Vokar/GRIP - Juin 2014)

The EU, Japan and South Korea: Mutual Recognition between Different Partners

Over the past ten years, the European Union has started to negotiate and sign Framework Participation Agreement (FPA) with third states, in order to have them participate in the various CSDP missions. The EU has recently signed an FPA with South Korea and has approached Japan to negotiate one, going beyond its usual area of cooperation and engaging partners with which it has very little experience. Yet, the rationale underlying this trend has to be figured out. It appears that what prevails is rather the symbolic value of recognising and being recognised as a relevant international security actor, both for the EU and its Asian partners. It does matter that the EU set a foot on the security map in East Asia, while it is equally important for Japan and South Korea to appear as key security players through partnerships.

Credits: C. Ashton meets ROK Minister of Foreign Affairs to sign the Framework Participation Agreement (EEAS)

The EU and its member states in the Sahel, presence and action modes

In the Sahel, there are threats and natural resources. So many reasons that lead some states to rush to the area and to engage in economic competition. But it's mostly security concerns and the urgent need to create a real dynamic of development and resilience in populations that led some European States to increase their presence and to encourage the EU to mobilize its broad ranges of tools in all fields of actions. Because they are well aware that their bilateral actions are no longer sufficient, EU Member States organize themselves with the partners’ assistance who are ready to financially or logistically support their actions in Sahel countries. But the EU remains the primary driver of EU Member States’ actions because of the efficiency it is supposed to generate.

This Note is adapted from the book "Europe has an idea, et alors ?" from Sven Biscop andAlexander Mattelaer, published in December in the series "The Ashgate Research Companion to the Foreign Policies of Europe" 

(Crédit photo: The EU Strategy for Security and Development in the Sahel – An indicator for the future of EU External Action


African Peer Review Mechanism: insight and perspectives

The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) is a review mechanism settled for and by African countries. 34 countries on 54 voluntarily joined the APRM. Its aim is to assess state practice of governance in four areas: democracy and political governance, economic governance and management, corporate governance and socioeconomic development. It allows for a self-assessment, an external assessment and a peer review, and so creates two-folded dialog opportunity: between state and its civil society and between states themselves.

(Crédit photo : NEPAD Photo Gallery - Fatuma Ndagiza Nyirakobwa, Vice Chair of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Panel of Eminent Persons)


The French Defence Industry: A Strategic Autonomy Under Stress

The French Defence Industrial and Technological Base (DITB) faces a tricky political and budgetary situation, between an increasingly competitive international business environment, a European Defence project in the doldrums, and the persistence of significant pressures on the State’s finances. This note provides a snapshot of the situation. It analyzes the trajectory of the French BITD since the end of the Cold War and then focuses on its current fragilities. It also proposes avenues for reflection about the future trajectory of this BITD, taking into account the possible impacts on the French and European military-industrial landscape.

Crédit photo: Hélicoptère Airbus au salon de l'armement terrestre Eurosatory 
(source: Benjamin Vokar/GRIP, Paris, juin 2014)

The European concept of “comprehensive approach” challenged by the Sahel crisis

Coordination, Coherence, Effectiveness, Sustainability are challenges that Brussels and Delegations face to give life to the constantly evolving European concept of comprehensive approach. The European Strategy for development and security in the Sahel is the first European External Action Service strategy of comprehensive approach for a region. The EU has a wide range of policies, tools and instruments to simultaneously address the issues of security and development at the regional level. 

Crédit photo : cérémonie de fin de formation par EUTM Mali du GTIA Balanzan (source EUTM Mali, mars 2014).

Dual use goods proliferation: Suspicious Iranian networks

Matters relating to the proliferation of dual use goods in favor of Iran regularly make the headlines. Suan Zhang, Parviz Khaki, Nicholas Kaïga ... If unfamiliar these names played at one time or another, a crucial role in the pursuit of Iran's nuclear program. The latter, and its possible military dimension, have been at the heart of intense negotiations between Tehran and the international community for nearly a decade. The suspicions of international negotiators are regularly renewed by the discovery of proliferation networks supplying the Iranian program in dual use goods, prohibited for export to Iran. This note aims to present the main existing means of struggle against the proliferation and the methods used by networks to circumvent international sanctions.

Crédit photo : Assaut du navire nord-coréen « So San » par les forces spéciales espagnoles, le 9 décembre 2002 au large des côtes yéménites. C’est en partie en réaction aux manquements juridiques qui ont empêché la saisie de pièces de missiles balistiques transportées par ce bateau qu' a été initiée l'Initiative de sécurité contre la prolifération (Source : US Navy)

Turmoil in Southern Libya: a major threat at the door of Africa

Since the fall of the Gaddafi regime in 2011, South Libya has become the meeting point of numerous armed groups under a background of global breakdown of the State and community and region fragmentation. Involved in a struggle for gaining the control over resources and power monopoly, active militias and brigades have gradually meddled with transborder trafficking, and disturb frontier countries, which fear a spread of conflict and tension to the sub-region as a whole.

Crédit photo : dans la foulée de la révolution en Libye, de nombreux stocks de munitions ont été exposés et le pays a même été qualifié de "marché d’armes à ciel ouvert". (Source : UNMAS/Iason Foounten)

Illegal fishing: what possible future for West Africa?

West African waters, rich in fishery resources, are currently the target of organized ocean floor pillaging, an activity which endangers the nutritional security of populations in the sub-region for whom nutritional balance greatly depends on the products of fishing. Many foreign ships, generally European or Asian, fish in West African Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) without authorization and without any consideration for the marine flora and fauna, thereby adding to the already serious overexploitation of the marine zone. Illegal fishing is more prevalent in West African waters than anywhere else in the world, representing an annual economic loss for the sub-region estimated between 828 million and 1,6 billion US dollars. In order to confront this issue, governments and organizations both local and international are working to improve national legislation and surveillance systems while reinforcing regional cooperation.

Crédit photo : pêcheurs au large de Port Loko en Sierra Leone (source: Environmental Justice Foundation)

The EU Electoral Observation Missions: A Discreet Tool for Crisis Management

The European Union (EU) has a valuable tool for conflict prevention and resolution, which is neither its Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), still at an embryonic stage after more than fifteen years, nor the painful crisis management missions its deploys in this framework. The EU has another asset, this time more discreet: the Electoral Observation Missions (EOMs), partly sent in post-conflict situation or in unstable countries (mainly in Africa). As a post-national actor, the Union disposes here of a real lever in the field of foreign policy, one which traditional European diplomacies cannot even aspire to. An evident value-added for the EU… which is also troubling for its member States, still so jealous about their national sovereignty.

Jeunesse, classes moyennes et transition démographique et politique en Afrique équatoriale et centrale

Avec près de 200 millions d’habitants âgés de 15 à 24 ans, en 2012, l’Afrique représente de loin la population la plus jeune du monde. Les moins de 15 ans représentent quant à eux 45 % de la population d’Afrique centrale. Et, selon les estimations, le nombre de jeunes en Afrique devrait doubler d’ici 2045. Cette population jeune est non seulement de plus en plus nombreuse, mais son niveau d’instruction progresse également. D’après les tendances actuelles, 59 % des 20-24 ans auront reçu un enseignement secondaire en 2030, contre 42 % actuellement. Cette tranche d’âge comptera 137 millions de diplômés du secondaire et 12 millions de diplômés de l’enseignement supérieur.

De plus en plus urbanisée, mieux informée et ouverte aux dynamiques culturelles transnationales, la jeunesse africaine constitue l'un des pôles de contestation et de questionnement de l'ordre institutionnel dans l'ensemble du continent et dans la sous-région d’Afrique centrale. Frange la plus touchée par la fracture socio-économique – les jeunes représentent 60 % de l’ensemble des chômeurs africains – la jeunesse est potentiellement « instrumentalisable » dans les conflits internes de pouvoir, mais reste aussi un acteur porteur d'innovations sociales...

The Japanese “Proactive contribution to peace”: A real change in its strategic posture ?

Since December 2013, Abe Government has revised Japan’s defense policy, with the creation of a National Council Security (NSC), the adoption of the National Security Strategy (NSS) and the National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG) that results from the NSS. Moreover, in April 2014, Abe Government also revised the principles ruling arms exports. Abe Government affirms it wants to strictly respect the constitutional pacifism as defined in Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution and to give Japan the appropriate means to be a “proactive contributor to peace”. Nevertheless, on 1st July 2014, the Prime Minister’s Cabinet recognized the right to collective self-defense as constitutional.

Crédit photo: affiche de campagne d'Abe Shinzō (source : site internet du PLD) 

Craft weapons in Côte d’Ivoire: Between tradition and legal requirements

Although the vast majority of weapons in circulation in Africa was made ​​outside the continent, a part of them – especially weapons intended for hunting – is produced locally by modest craftsmen. This study, conducted largely through a field survey, focuses on the production, repair and detention of homemade ​​firearms in Côte d'Ivoire. It confirms that these phenomena are deeply rooted in traditions, whether that of blacksmiths as producers or Dozos as users. While the demand for such weapons is significantly slowing down, the study also shows that most manufacturers do not produce only weapons, but first of all a wide range of goods intended for household or professional use. While Côte d'Ivoire is in the process of finalizing a new law on arms, political and administrative authorities should take into account these realities to develop appropriate rules, encouraging the registration and compliance of tens of thousands of producers and owners.

Crédit photo : armes en cours de production à Ferkessédougou en Côte d'Ivoire (© GRIP 2014).

Monitoring of Regional Stability in the Sahel region and in West Africa - April to June 2014

This quarterly monitoring is part of a three years project (2014-2016) on “Improving human security, conflict prevention and strengthening the rule of law in eight countries in West and Central Africa” funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

It aims to monitor the security situation in West Africa with a focus on Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Senegal. It examines in particular broad internal security issues, regional tensions, and cross-border crime and trafficking.

Crédit photo : mosquée  à Tombouctou classée au patrimoine mondial de l'humanité
(source: MINUSMA/Marco Dormino)

Géopolitique du pétrole dans la CEEAC : l’enjeu des nouvelles politiques des hydrocarbures

Depuis le début des années 2000, les pays africains affichent des taux de croissance élevés, liés principalement à l'attractivité de leurs abondantes ressources naturelles. Principale source d'énergie au cœur d'une économie mondialisée, le pétrole demeure l'une des ressources stratégiques majeures justifiant ce regain d'attention pour le continent africain. En 2012, l'Afrique dans son ensemble – avec 9,442 Mb/j (millions de barils par jour) – a totalisé 10,9 % de la production mondiale, soit une augmentation de 7,7 % par rapport à 2011, et le continent dispose de 7,8 % des réserves mondiale. La région du golfe de Guinée, plus particulièrement, avec ses 25 milliards de barils de réserves, nourrit l'intérêt d’un nombre croissant d’États et de compagnies pétrolières...

Weapons Tracing in Conflict Theatres: Lessons and Perspectives

During the last couple of decades, increasing attention and resources have been dedicated to tracing illicit weapons in conflict areas. This Paper underlines the importance of this discipline and the value of the evidence-based information it generates, not only to identify the entities involved in international sanctions violations, but also to improve understanding of conflict dynamics, to enhance conflict analysis, to improve the effectiveness of existing arms control mechanisms, and to steer international assistance and cooperation more effectively.

Crédit photo: Claudio Gramizzi

Boko Haram: one year under emergency state

One year after the government declared the state of emergency in the North-East, Boko Haram Islamists are still posing a serious threat in Nigeria. By now, the conflict – which received large media coverage since the abduction of more than 200 school-girls in Chibok – is deadlier than ever, causing more than 2 000 death since the beginning of the year. Even worse, the group seems to extend its operations to the Middle Belt but also to the neighbouring countries. As the 2015 general elections approach with the risk of an escalation of violence, the government seeks international assistance to stop Boko Haram.

Crédit photo : Manifestation dénonçant l'enlèvement des lycéennes par Boko Haram (source : ONU / Lagos, Nigeria -  8 mai 2014)

CEEAC : enjeux sécuritaires de la souveraineté alimentaire

La question de l’accès aux produits alimentaires revêt une importance politique cruciale, particulièrement en situation de faible priorisation du secteur agricole, de déficit de la productivité de ce secteur, d’insuffisance des revenus de larges couches de la population et lors de la flambée des prix des denrées de première nécessité. La grande crise alimentaire de 2008 et les émeutes sociales qui l’ont accompagnée ont révélé, pour nombre de pays, une fragilité structurelle porteuse de risques systémiques majeurs, qui font de la souveraineté et de la sécurité alimentaires un enjeu central de la gouvernance. Tout ceci justifie une réflexion sur les stratégies agricoles et alimentaires envisagées par les États de la sous-région de l’Afrique équatoriale et centrale...