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Conflict over Resources and Terrorism

Two Facets of Insecurity

image of Conflict over Resources and Terrorism

This study first analyses an old and recurring form of instability in the region: conflict over resources. A series of case studies  examines the causes of these conflicts with reference to the associated regional challenges and response tools. Secondly, the study addresses terrorism, a relatively new dimension of insecurity. It outlines the development of AQMI and Boko Haram and then focuses on a comparative analysis of legal mechanisms to fight against terrorism. The argument holds that the congruence of these insecurities and the current violent crises present an unprecedented risk of destabilisation for West Africa and the international community.

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Boko Haram

A new threat in West Africa

Sahel and West Africa Club

This chapter discusses the political, economic and religious factors that gave rise to Boko Haram, the most active terrorist group in Nigeria. It argues that Boko Haram’s tactics may be evolving from a locally focused insurgency to transnational terrorist activities, and that the movement poses a growing threat to neighbouring countries, particularly Mali and Niger. The Nigerian government’s failure to address socio-economic marginalisation, combined with heavy-handed counter-terrorism measures has hindered efforts to end the Islamist-led insurgency in the north. Nigeria’s experience and Boko Haram’s dramatic escalation of violence, provides lessons for other countries about the need to understand and tackle this new and evolving threat. Boko Haram embodies a growing regional security challenge that requires a coordinated regional response, including joint security initiatives and shared commitment to development and governance in vulnerable areas.

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