Martian or Mauritanian? The Lesser-Known Human Security Crises in the Sahel

  • Amanda Morrison Global Studies/Strategic Communication


While humanitarian crises have plagued the continent of Africa for years, some of the world’s most severe and dire human security issues exist within the Sahel region. This geographic and geopolitical region in the middle of Africa is located between the Sahara and Savanna. The Sahel struggles with damaging security issues as well as economic and cultural problems. This region is representative of a security complex because Sahelian states’ security is so interlinked that national security problems will never be solved apart from other Sahelian nations. While African nations such as Mali, Nigeria, and Chad are included in the Sahel region, a lesser-known and rarely discussed country is Mauritania. For a time being, Mauritania was so publically unrecognizable that autocorrect on smart phones would change “Mauritania” to “Martian” (Nashashibi 2012). Mauritania is unique because although it is situated near the violent nation Mali, it holds a mainly cooperative relationship with Western allies against Islamist insurgencies. This position highlights the country’s importance and the need for stabilization. While numerous security problems pose a significant threat to Mauritanian stability, a concerted international effort to provide food, environmental, and political resources to the country can resolve these crises.

Author Biography

Amanda Morrison, Global Studies/Strategic Communication


How to Cite
Morrison, A. (2018). Martian or Mauritanian? The Lesser-Known Human Security Crises in the Sahel. Perceptions, 4(1).