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05/10/2019 West Africa (International Christian Concern) – Islamic Extremism is growing in West Africa. There are established groups like Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb(AQIM) in the Sahel and Boko Haram in Nigeria who have been terrorizing West Africa for years, but recently, there have been increased numbers of these groups and support from larger outside entities. With groups like Islamic State in West Africa Province(ISWAP), an off shoot of Boko Haram loyal to ISIS, and Jama’a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin’ (JNIM) which combined smaller groups together, West Africa may be the new training grounds for future terrorism.

Groups like these are using governmental failures in economy and security, social breakdowns along religious and ethnic lines, and local grievances between communities to establish footholds in new regions. The weak governments of West Africa are allowing these Islamic groups to build followings that eventually are able to seize land and kill thousands.

Currently, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Cameroon, Niger and Chad are all severely affected by just the four groups mentioned above. Without strong social and governmental intervention, West Africa will continue to see rising death tolls from terrorist attacks. There must be a coordinated effort by all countries in West Africa and partners around the world to ensure that these violent and terrorizing groups are not allowed to attack civilians or take control of lands.

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