One more coup, this time in Niger

In this op-ed for Minnpost, BFA Board Member Charlie Cogan takes on the recent coup in Niger, and the broader challenges and opportunities facing Africa's Sahel region:

Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum and “conveyed the unwavering support of the United States” for the democratically elected president on July 26.

Military support alone will not solve Niger’s problems.

The African Sahel includes parts of 11 countries. The region is facing severe drought, crop failures, desertification and Islamist insurgencies across a wide belt that includes northern Senegal, and parts of Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, northeast Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea. The time has come for a reset in the African Sahel region. Since 2001, with the implementation of the Authorized Use of Military Force (AUMF), the United States has worked to support governments deemed at risk for armed insurgencies. While there has been talk of broader outreach, programs like the Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Program (TSCTP) have focused primarily on military support with insufficient oversight and accountability. The Watson Center at Brown University has argued that our military support for Sahelian governments has created more problems than it has solved.