The Sahelian Powder Keg
[The North Africa Journal | Security and Defense] By virtue of its location, the Sahara desert is often considered as a natural buffer zone between the Maghreb in the north and Sub-Sahara Africa in its south. The Sahel being part of the Sahara also plays a separating role of sort.
Medieval Arab historical texts call the Sahel as the space that separates the Maghreb, an extension of the Euro-Arab world, and what they called “bilad a-Sudan,’ or the “Black Nation.” The name of the country of Sudan originates from this distinction.Because of this separation, both regions have followed two different development paths. The Maghreb has been naturally weaved into the European world from its inception, starting with the Greco-Roman eras. The Mediterranean connection facilitated the historical links between the Maghreb and Europe. In contrast, the desert has always been an inhibitor to connectivity between the Maghreb and the rest of the continent. Continue here | Subscribe here