As Boko Haram pledges allegiance to Daesh, recent military successes spearheaded by Chadian forces bode well for the new multilateral response to the group. But, without a longer-term domestic political and military strategy, hopes for an enduring solution to the insurgency should not be raised.
Despite extensive efforts to close down its international sources of funding, Al-Shabaab continues to find new means to finance its activities from more diverse, localised and criminalised income streams
With fewer elections scheduled for 2012 in West Africa, the emphasis will shift to regional security and dealing with complex security threats. Terrorist groups and local militias are still a major problem, while religious conflict and instability threaten the region’s largest economy; Nigeria.
Somalia has until August to complete political reform, inaugurate a new constitution and hold national elections before the end of the transitional period. It must also capitalise on the Kenyan incursion to rout Al-Shabaab and establish security in this enduring weak state, making 2012 a make-or-break year for Somalia.
UK naval forces have stepped up anti-piracy operations and the use of force in the Indian Ocean. This could, however, signal an escalation and lead to a more dangerous phase in the battle against Somali pirates.
In the last few weeks, gangs based in Somalia kidnapped tourists visiting Kenya. Just a few days later, a massive suicide bomb ripped through Mogadishu, claiming dozens of lives and shattering the relative peace that had followed Shabaab's withdrawal. The events pose a fresh challenge to the Somali government's road map for security and development.
While the recent terrorist attack in Algeria shone the spotlight on threats from North Africa, this is not a new phenomenon. Terrorist threats to UK citizens at home and abroad will continue to arise...