Islamic oppression Chad | 13 March 2023

Sahel region: Violent Islamic militancy remains a major headache

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A report published by Global Conflict Tracker on 3 March 2023 chronicles the security crisis that the Sahel region* has faced since the 1960s. It outlines how the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) aligned themselves with multiple Islamist groups, including al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) and Ansar Dine, creating havoc in the region. The report also shows how Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) and other militants (including Boko Haram) created security challenges and exacerbated humanitarian crises. The report goes on to depict how weak government, coups and other factors have exacerbated the overall situation.

World Watch Research analyst Yonas Dembele comments: “The Sahel is arguably one of the most dangerous – and at the same time, most neglected – regions in the world. It has become a safe haven for violent Islamic militants, drug cartels and human traffickers (using the region as a useful transportation route). Above all, it is a region where Christians are particularly vulnerable and face high levels of insecurity. Over the last few years, World Watch Research has documented the kidnapping, displacement and killing of Christians in this region in its 2016 Sahel report and annually updated Full Country Dossiers (Open Doors Analytical, 2018-2023, password: freedom). The documentation gives background information on the pressure and violence causing Christians to lose their churches, their homes and overall livelihood.”

*The main countries in the Sahel region are: Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad.


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