Violent events linked to militant Islamist groups in Africa rose by 38 percent over the past year. All major groups show an increase in activity.
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Persistent economic and social disparities between urban centers and outlying communities present an ongoing source of instability for countries in the Maghreb.
Militant Islamist group activity in Africa continues to be highly context-specific. Those with strong local ties have shown considerable resilience, while ISIS has struggled to gain traction in the Maghreb.
A review of militant Islamist group activity in Africa over the past year reveals considerable variation and a geographic concentration.
As ISIS’s influence and territorial control in the Arab world have waned, so too have its reputation and ideological appeal in Africa, writes the Africa Center’s Joseph Siegle.
Islamist terrorist groups in the Sahel and Sahara are attempting to exploit pastoralist grievances to mobilize greater support for their agenda, write Kaley Fulton and Benjamin Nickels.
The geographic spread and frequency of violent events linked to militant Islamist groups in Africa has expanded steadily since 2010, with a peak in 2015. Eight African countries now regularly face attacks by an assortment of militant Islamist groups.
Africa currently hosts over 100,000 peacekeeping personnel. Contributions by African nations are rising and are more diversified—with some big exceptions.
The terrorist attack on a luxury hotel in Ouagadougou is the second time in recent months that groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) have conducted attacks of this type outside their base area. Benjamin Nickels assesses the significance of these attacks and steps that might be taken by Burkinabé authorities and their partners to address future threats.
The phenomenon of migrants traversing the hostile terrain of northern Africa to Europe is not new—not the routes or the dangers. A decade ago, experts estimated that about 2,000 migrants drowned each year attempting to cross the Mediterranean and untold numbers perished in the desert. But after the collapse of the Gaddafi regime in 2011,... Continue Reading
The shootings of tourists on a beach in the Tunisian resort town of Sousse is the second such attack since the March 18 assault on Bardo Museum in the capital city. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) once again asserted responsibility for the attack that claimed 39 lives and injured 36, mostly foreigners.... Continue Reading
The growing competition between the Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda for influence on Africa’s terrorist groups was the theme of a recent panel presentation by Drs. Benjamin Nickels and Joseph Siegle from the Africa Center for Strategic Studies.