Lightly patrolled borders, sparsely populated areas, and recent terrorist activity raise fears that the Sahel is a fertile ground for jihadist movements, notably al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Regional cooperation and discreet aid from the West are critical for countries to regain control of their territory and prevent al-Qaeda from gaining ground in Africa, asserts a paper by Jean-Pierre Filiu.
“Mauritania, Mali, and Niger are among the world’s poorest states and will require international support to defuse AQIM’s momentum,” writes Filiu. “Algeria is right to push for regional cooperation to address the threat, and discreet aid from the West is crucial to help the Sahel countries regain control of their territory from al-Qaeda forces and prevent the terror group from taking hold in Africa.”
The Carnegie Middle East Program combines in-depth local knowledge with incisive comparative analysis to examine economic, sociopolitical, and strategic interests in the Arab world. Through detailed country studies and the exploration of key crosscutting themes, the Carnegie Middle East Program, in coordination with the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, provides analysis and recommendations in both English and Arabic that are deeply informed by knowledge and views from the region. The program has special expertise in political reform and Islamist participation in pluralistic politics.
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