“African Solutions for African Problems” and Sahel-West African Terrorism

In an ideal world, the protection of civilians lay with their governments and not with foreign actors. In an ideal world, too, classical notions that the state has the monopoly over coercive force within its territorial boundaries will also hold sway. We do not however live in an ideal world. On the 13th August 2017 a restaurant in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso was attacked by Islamist terrorists. 18 people were killed and 20 injured. The very next day in Mali an attack on the UN mission there killed seven. In recent years the Sahel and West African region has played host to a number of terrorist groups such as Boko Haram, Ansar Dine, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Murabitoun, and Ansarul Islam. States in the region have been unable to halt the bloodshed or the proliferation of these militant Islamist groupings.

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