There is a noticeable activity of terrorist groups in African Sahel countries.
These groups seek to expand their influence in the region, which is currently experiencing a state of confusion.
Burkina Faso suffers from frequent attacks by al-Qaeda. People have abandoned their villages, while the army is still struggling to keep those groups away from urban areas.
Since the beginning of this year, al-Qaeda in the Sahel, commonly known as Nusra Group for Islam and Muslims, has seized large amounts of weapons, including SUVs, defensive and offensive weapons, bombs, mines and communication devices, during attacks it organized in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger on a number of barracks and military convoys.
Thousands of young people, including hundreds of minors, joined the group in the same period.
Videos posted by the group, which besieges Timbuktu city in northern Mali, showed hundreds of militants riding in four-wheel drive cars, all fully equipped with the necessary water, fuel, and food.
The terrorist organization also relies a lot on motorcycles, but seized hundreds of cars and weapons in its attacks on its rival ISIS.
At the end of August 2023, the European Union announced its intention to launch a new civilian and military mission in West Africa with the aim of preventing the expansion of activities by terrorist groups and countering the wave of growing instability in the region.
This initiative comes to speak out against the increased activity of terrorist groups in the region, and the coastal countries of the Gulf of Guinea, namely Ghana, Togo, Benin, and the Ivory Coast.
These countries were chosen due to their potential vulnerability to these threats.
The new EU mission will include training and advising local security forces, assistance in preparing for anti-terrorist operations, providing technical support and implementing confidence-building measures in the security sector in order to improve human security as well as socio-economic conditions.
In a study prepared by the European Centre for Counterterrorism and Intelligence Studies under the title ‘Limited Options in the Sahel Countries of Africa, the centre refers to intelligence estimates that ISIS has begun to transfer part of its fighters from Niger to the border with Nigeria, amid its fears of the intervention of ECOWAS forces in Niger and the closure of the country’s borders.
ISIS is expected to pose a great danger to the entire region.
According to the study, the military coup in Niger could turn it into a new theatre for terrorist activities, especially since it is close to the strongholds of the Boko Haram group and ISIS in Nigeria.