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Lessons for Africa from Colombia's Counter-Insurgency Experience

Many African countries face similar challenges to those of Colombia in the late 1990s.
Published 28 February 2017

On the occasion of the release of "A Great Perhaps? Colombia: Conflict and Convergence", the Africa Center for Strategic Studies hosted a discussion to assess relevant lessons from the Colombian experience for Africa. The event took place on Monday, March 7, 2016 at the National Defense University.

Over the past two decades, Colombia has managed a dramatic turnaround in governance and security conditions. Fifteen years ago, Colombia was the most violent country in the world, suffering from widespread drug smuggling and criminality. Today, guerrilla forces have been seriously diminished, security has improved dramatically, and Colombia is a nation with a dynamic economy and progressive social agenda.

Many African countries face similar challenges to those of Colombia in the late 1990s - persistent insurgencies fuelled by criminal trafficking, limited governance presence, and socio-economic inequality.

Opening Remarks:

  • H.E. Juan Carlos Pinz√≥n, Colombian Ambassador to the United States
  • Mr. Jonathan Oppenheimer, Founder and Board Member, Brenthurst Foundation

Panelists:

  • Major General (ret.) Dickie Davis, British Army Managing Director of Nant Enterprises Co-Author, A Great Perhaps? Colombia: Conflict and Convergence
  • General (ret.) Sergio Mantilla, Colombian Army Former Colombian Army Commander
  • Dr. David Kilcullen Founder and Chairman, Caerus Global Solutions Co-Author, A Great Perhaps? Colombia: Conflict and Convergence
  • Dr. David Ucko Associate Professor, College of International Security Affairs National Defence University
  • Dr. Joseph Siegle (moderating) Director of Research, Africa Center for Strategic Studies

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