Armed Non-State Actors: Current Trends & Future Challenges

Armed nonstate actors, be they insurgents, vigilantes, or criminal groups, are a common challenge in many African countries. Despite being illegal and clandestine, such groups often develop a mutual dependency with communities and civilians for security or economic relations. This has broadened strategies to manage these threats. Inclusive approaches spearheaded by non-military actors to instill respect for basic norms of combat and human rights within state and nonstate forces alike are valuable parts of comprehensive efforts to mitigate irregular conflict and improve prospects for demobilization.