Africa: As Terrorists Claim New Ground, An African Strategy Is Vital

Staff, 2022-11-01 00:43:52,

Global terror groups have set their sights on Africa, making a common African Union-led approach a matter of urgency.

As Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda leaders have been targeted and eliminated internationally, the terrorist groups have expanded and consolidated their African operations. According to Jihad Analytics, half the attacks claimed by IS since the beginning of 2022 were carried out in 10 African countries. Among them were Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria – the four Boko Haram-affected countries of the Lake Chad Basin.

Boko Haram factions are also expanding operations beyond the region. For a long time, the eight primary target areas of violent extremism in the Lake Chad Basin were North and Far North (Cameroon), Lac and Hadjer-Lamis (Chad), Diffa (Niger), and Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (Nigeria). However in 2022 the scope has expanded, particularly with the establishment of Ansaru and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) cells in other parts of Nigeria.

This has complicated counter-insurgency operations, especially where national militaries are already overstretched. The extension of terrorist activities beyond the Lake Chad Basin also puts these groups beyond the reach of the region’s Multinational Joint Task Force – a military response to Boko Haram set up by Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria.

There is the growing possibility of mergers or alliances of convenience involving the three prominent violent extremist groups in Nigeria and the Lake…

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