International Development Law Organization



The Sahel region is caught in a vicious cycle: insecurity is on the rise, the capacity of countries to provide basic services, maintain order and deliver justice is diminishing, development is hampered, tensions within communities are mounting and there is growing distrust of the State. Impunity, corruption and lack of justice are among the root causes of instability and insecurity in the region. The absence of an effective response to crime and conflict - such as banditry, cattle theft, attacks on roads and markets, as well as illegal detention and other injustices committed by state agents - contributes to the deterioration of State legitimacy and creates a breeding ground for jihadist and organized crime groups. Beyond strengthening institutions to combat terrorism, it is therefore essential to address the systemic shortcomings within criminal justice systems to effectively reduce instability in the region.

La région du Sahel fait face à un cercle vicieux : l’insécurité augmente, la capacité des États à assurer les services de base et le maintien de l’ordre et la justice diminue, le développement est davantage entravé, les tensions intercommunautaires s’attisent et la méfiance envers l’État grandit. L'impunité, la corruption et le manque de justice, font partie des causes profondes de l’instabilité et de l’insécurité dans la région. L’absence de réponse face à la criminalité et aux conflits - comme le banditisme, le vol de bétail, les attaques sur les routes et marchés, ainsi que la détention illégale et les injustices commises par les agents de la justice – contribue à dégrader la légitimité des États et à créer un terrain propice pour les groupes djihadistes et de crime organisé.  Au-delà du renforcement des institutions de lutte contre le terrorisme, il apparait donc essentiel de remédier aux défaillances systémiques des systèmes de justice pénale afin de lutter efficacement contre l'instabilité dans la région.

Climate and Conflict in the Sahel: a Rule of Law Perspective

In fragile contexts, the immediate impacts of climate change on precipitation and temperatures risk to combine with political and social tensions exacerbating destructive competition over scarce natural resources.

This is tragically evident in Africa’s semi-arid Sahel region, where recurrent droughts, population growth and weak governance ​are increasing pressure on land and water

Integrated support to criminal justice systems in the Sahel: Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger

The failure of criminal justice systems in the Sahel to deliver better quality justice can be linked to a series of interconnected factors, such as: the overwhelming lack of human, material and financial capacity; corruption and weak internal control mechanisms; and limitations on civil society to ensure respect for human rights.

Key Initiatives

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