Al-Qaeda is moving its operations from the Sahel and Sahara region to the Gulf of Guinea region.
This region includes a group of security-fragile countries, allowing the terrorist organization to take root in it and grow.
Regional states Benin and Togo were the scene of terrorist attacks at the end of last year 2021.
The shared borders between these two states and Burkina Faso are especially dangerous, raising the possibility of armed groups moving their activities from the dry Sahel region to the countries of the Gulf of Guinea.
On December 1, 2021, an attack took place in Benin’s northern Porga region, after gunmen attacked a military patrol vehicle, killing two soldiers, according to media reports.
On the following day, two Beninese soldiers were killed in a terrorist attack on the common border with Burkina Faso. Some other soldiers were injured.
The two attacks were the first against the army in Benin.
Gunmen had previously kidnapped two French tourists from the country and took them to Burkina Faso in 2019.
Togo announced November 2021 that its forces had repelled a terrorist attack by an armed group that attempted to cross the border from Burkina Faso.
This was the first time Togolese forces announced a clash with armed men since 2018, when they launched a military operation to prevent the infiltration of militants from Burkina Faso.
According to French journalist, Nicolas Beau, terrorist groups confirmed during the past year that they had not abandoned their agenda to move the center of their activities from the coast to the Gulf of Guinea.
Among the main Gulf of Guinea countries, Benin and Togo are the weakest.
The two countries do not have armies the size of Ghana, which is ranked 17 at the level of Africa, and Cote d’Ivoire which is ranked 24 at the level of the continent.
In fact, the armies of Benin and Togo are not ranked among the 140 most powerful armies in the world, which indicates the poor nature of their militaries.