Africa: The new terrorism breeding ground

Digamber Eslampure | guest writer

The recent terrorist attacks in Mali and Algeria are not once-in-a-blue-moon events in Northern and sub-Saharan Africa.
In fact, they are the tipping point of terrorism in Africa. Terrorism in the continent is growing rapidly. The international community is not giving proper heed to these incidents.
The attacks on the gas plant in Algeria, the execution of some of the hostages, and the capture of the town Konna, indicate a growing menace of terrorism in Africa.
Interestingly, the government of Mali failed to handle the situation. Then, they got support from the French government.
The French military intervention, along with other African nations’ support, allowed the Malian government to recapture Konna from militants. These forces are still pursuing the militants in the country.
There are many terrorist movements that are rising and gaining ground in Africa, such as Al-Qaida in Islamic Maghreb. They are a terrorist group based in Mali that was the main militant organization behind the recent attacks there.
Boko Haram is another Jihadist movement based in Nigeria and spreading rapidly and killing scores of civilians. The meaning of their name, “Boko haram,” is “western teachings are sinful.” This group is responsible for many attacks in Nigeria and in other parts of Africa.
If these groups are left unchecked, the consequences would be disastrous. The threat of Islamic terrorism is looming large in most parts of the world.
Recent incidents in Africa are signaling that if the international community turns a blind eye to this pattern of attacks, perhaps we will see Africa become a new breeding ground for international terrorism.
These terror groups are finding shelter in the region, because the Sahara desert provides a good shield. It is difficult to patrol such a big desert, where hostile conditions favor the terrorists.
Regional squabbles, poor coordination among the countries and weak governments are allowing these terror groups to conduct their activities freely.
There are some political parties using these groups for their purposes without considering the grave ramifications of these actions.
The terrorists are gaining their funds by kidnapping people for ransom and trafficking illegal goods. They are forcing poor teenagers to join them. It is also suspected that these groups are getting heavy weapons from neighboring Arab nations, mostly from Libya and Egypt.
On the other hand, most of the world’s developed countries are working hard and spending billions of dollars to eradicate terrorism.
African nations should establish strong governments. The international community should help these governments. They should punish those who protect these groups. They should improve cooperation among nations. This is the long-term cure for terrorism in Africa.
In recent years, for many developing and developed countries, Africa is becoming one of the attractive destinations for their investment and trade. Africa’s economy is rising sharply. Its nations are developing their infrastructure to support the rising economy. Many countries are already invested heavily in Africa. If they would like to continue their trade they should support the African nations in eradicating terrorism.

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