Wasted Effort? Islamist-Related Violence Rises in Africa Despite US Military Arrival


The number of violent incidents involving Islamist militants has reportedly jumped ten-fold between 2009 and 2018, and Somali jihadists from al-Shabaab appear to be the most active group.

Terror-related violence in Africa has spiked massively over the past decade, despite increasing US military presence on the continent, a recent Pentagon analysis has shown.

According to the Africa Centre for Strategic Studies, an affiliate of the US Department of Defence, there were over 3000 violent incidents reported in Africa last year, as against roughly 1,400 in 2012.

This represents a 4.2 percent spike in violence since 2017 and a generally upsetting upward trend.

“Overall, militant Islamist group activity in Africa has doubled since 2012 when there were 1,402 events linked to these groups,” the study has found.

Over a ten-year span, violence skyrocketed from 288 reported events in 2009 to 3,050 in 2018.

The most worrisome regions are Somalia, the Lake Chad Basin, the Sahel (an arc-like area to the immediate south of the Sahara Desert) and Egypt.

“Reflecting the growing fragmentation of the militant Islamist group threat, 13 African countries now face regular attacks from these groups (up from 5 in 2010). Furthermore, there are now roughly two dozen active militant Islamist groups versus five in 2010,” the think tank has found.

Somali group al-Shabaab has accounted for nearly half of all Islamist group activity on the continent, according to the…

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