Date of Award

Fall 12-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science & Geography


Graduate Program in International Studies

Committee Director

Simon Serfaty

Committee Member

Regina Karp

Committee Member

Peter Schulman


In the wake of mass kidnapping and terrorist attacks launched by Boko Haram and other extremist groups in the Sahel of West Africa, along with the rise of the Islamic State in Libya that started to have immediate impact on the Sahel’s already problematic situation, five states from the region of Sahel decided to create a coalition in 2014 not only to fight insurgencies rampaging in the area but also to work on the development of the region. With a very small capacity in terms of man power and equipment, the G5 Sahel coalition attempts to achieve what other intervening entities had not been able to achieve. Long before the coalition was formed, numerous organizations and operations led by powerful states and institutions were deployed to tackle instabilities and other related issues such as poverty and migration, but they all have been in vain. The resilience of the problems plaguing Sahel had deep roots in the historical, environmental, cultural and political. The G5 Sahel has been more of a failure than a success for two main reasons: 1) The member states themselves are suffering from different internal issues which significantly inhibits any collective initiative 2) It is too insufficient to tackle such a complex situation given its current personnel, financial and equipment capacities. The Sahel, however, is a promising region with an abundance of resource and a growing population young that will make a world top market place. And global power will definitely benefit from fixing and investing in the region.


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