In the first episode, Adam Day speaks to Erica Gaston to consider the complex role and impact of paramilitary groups in some of the most conflicted-affected areas in the world. Paramilitary and militia forces are often hybrid actors, playing a role somewhere in between official State and non-State armed groups. They are creatures of fragmented, hybrid systems who then often uphold such systems and structures post-conflict.
In the second episode, Adam Day speaks to Vanda Felbab-Brown, one of the foremost experts on Nigerian counter-insurgencies and the battle against the terrorist group Boko Haram. This episode considers the untold stories in this fight: the community-based militias that emerged to defend themselves against Boko Haram. Today, these paramilitary forces have become more than just fighters against Boko Haram, they are likely to be a permanent feature in the Nigerian landscape.
In the third episode, Adam Day sits down again with Vanda Felbab-Brown, who regularly does fieldwork in Somalia. One of the groups she’s most interested in is Al-Shabaab, a group that emerged as a radical youth wing of the Islamic Courts that controlled Mogadishu in 2006. The group is listed as a terrorist group and may have links to other terrorist groups in the region. How are the Somali militias, particularly the darwish, battling against Al-Shabbab and what is the group’s role in the country today?
This material has been funded by UK aid from the UK Government; however, the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the UK Government’s official policies, United Nations University or its partners. The views expressed in these episodes are those of the speakers.