The Rise of Terrorism in Africa

2014-07-29 01:54

A sustained upsurge in the frequency of kidnappings, bombings, attacks, and arrests in Africa in the past several years has heightened concerns that terrorism is on the rise across Africa. Presently, dozens of sponsored international organizations are active on the continent. From Islamic Maghreb, Al-Qaeda which is the movement of oneness and Jihad in the Sahel region; to Boko Haram in Nigeria; al-Shabaab in Somalia; al-Gama in Egypt; the Lord Resistance Army in Uganda; Pirate terrorism in the Gulfs of Aden and Guinea and the list goes on. General Carter Ham, head of US African command AFRICOM, warned that “if left unaddressed, Africa could have a network that ranges from the East African, through the center and into the Sahel and Maghreb” and this has left many worried.

In his article “The Rise of Terrorism in Africa” 2012, J.D, Hallowanger maintains that this insurgence`s aim is to hinder the progress of the United Nations, the African Union, ECOWAS, and other regional groups mainly on peace missions and other humanitarian services. Another reason could be Western presence within the continent that has sparked Boko Haram`s latest attack on the kidnapping of over 200 school girls`, which is an act against Western education ideology.

But there seem to be an apathetic view on these recent attacks from African leaders. More so, on taking a firm stance and addressing fundamentalism, seeing it`s a problem all over the shore. It goes to show how powerless and inefficient our institutions are. It`s continuous  incompetence to have a set of rules that countries should govern  regional politics by and how nation states should interact with each other but hardly any states take them serious or abide by them nor have any serious repercussions should states not implement them.  Nevertheless the issue comes in with enforcing and implementing these rules. Institutions continue to have minor roles when it comes to taking firm and strong stances on the war on terror, like Sudanese president Omar Al Bashir who is still in power, regardless of being accused of crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court. The African Unions silence over these issues is truly deafening.  Furthermore, the continent does not have the military intelligence and capacity to effectively deal with the rise of terrorism in the region, which is more distressing.

All these incidents are driven by the same ideology that propels acts of terrorism. Al-Qaeda and Other terrorist groups continue gaining traction in Africa, which has the continent under the spotlight. In order to counter radicalisation, the government needs to empower civil societies on these issues and allow for greater discussion. This would mean identifying ideologies that drive radicalisation and ultimately building community resilience against radicalisers. Counter radicalisation is an essential complement to counter terrorism.

The underlying motive being that if unchecked, the continent will be a playing field for terrorism, where Africa could turn into a financing and recruiting ground for terrorist acts. This is a cause for concern and calls for stronger partnership among states, before these groups start taking control over important minerals, such as oil, uranium and diamonds and possibly irredentist claims.

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