Intelligence reports warns of Al-Qaeda and Islamic State seeking new foothold in Africa. The two terrorists’ organizations ate trying to expand their jihadists’ influence in Africa.
French President Emmanuel Macron echoed the same sentiments when met President Issoufou in Niamey shortly before Christmas to discuss terror in the Sahel region.
Jihadi forces have established footholds across the Sahel, in Chad, Mali, and indeed Niger. And the prospects of defeating them and neutralizing their ideology are far from good. At the very least, considerable efforts are required from French and other western troops, together with local forces, to rein in jihadism in the region Macron added.
The French President called on joint military operations saying it the only way that these terrorists groups can be defeated. He noted that Islamic State (IS) has recently lost large areas that it used to control in Iraq and Syria. Now it’s trying to make up for that lost ground elsewhere.
Islamic State is keen on western Africa countries as especially Niger and the border with Mali. In early October 2017, IS fighters clashed with soldiers from US and Niger. The battle claimed the lives of four US and five Nigerien troops.
According to US General Joseph Dunford, IS has aspirations to establish a larger presence” in Africa. He said following the October attack, US military would make recommendations to President Donald Trump and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis for increase of US forces that will meet what has been termed as imminent threat.
The US has already stationed around 1,300 Special Forces troops in Africa. France has deployed 4,000 soldiers in the Sahel region to assist soldiers from Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad. Italy is also considering relocating troops from Iraq to Niger, at Macron’s request.