Dr Muhammad Dan Suleiman, Research fellow at the UWA Africa Research & Engagement Centre at the University of Western Australia, identifies the key enablers of political extremism in West Africa.
The Sahel – the region just south of the Sahara – is home to the world’s fastest growing extremist group, Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin or JNIM, and the most deadly group, Islamic State in West Africa, according to the 2022 Global Terrorism Index.
The various militant groups in the Sahel have different tactical preferences and operate in specific contexts. What they share is a general ideological commitment to unsettle and obliterate existing state structures, not necessarily to take over the state.
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