West Africa conference focuses on threat posed by jihadists

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News
Comments Off

imgDakar – Islamic extremists are expanding their reach in West Africa, using porous borders and exploiting political chaos to further their attacks, security experts said on Monday at the opening of a regional conference on the jihadist threat.

At least 800 security officials and analysts from across the region are taking part in the two-day conference to develop strategies for a co-ordinated response to the attacks that have mounted this year far beyond Boko Haram’s base in north-eastern Nigeria.

“I think the main characteristic of the threat today is that this is a threat that knows no boundaries,” said Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga, African Union special envoy in the fight against terrorism.

As the conference took place, a female teenage suicide bomber in a town along the Cameroonian-Nigerian border targeted a mosque during afternoon prayers. At least four people were killed and dozens were wounded in Fotokol, according to regional Govenor Midjiyawa Bakari.

It also comes after Senegalese authorities announced on Saturday that several imams have been arrested and accused of supporting Boko Haram. While the extremist group has been attacking neighbouring countries the recently announced arrests are the first suggesting a Boko Haram threat in Senegal, a mostly moderate Muslim nation.

Boko Haram’s six-year-old uprising has left an estimated 20 000 people dead, according to Amnesty International. This year militants from the group have stepped up their attack across the Lake Chad region where the borders of Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon meet.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.