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West Africa’s Sahel Struggles To Contain Deadly Jihadist Groups That Have Infiltrated Communities
West Africa’s Sahel Struggles To Contain Deadly Jihadist Groups That’ve Infiltrated Communities
By Clair MacDougall in Ougadougou, Burkina Faso
Leaders of G5 Sahel countries gathered for emergency talks in Niamey on Sunday after Niger faced the most spectacular military attack on its soil since jihadists gained a foothold in the region.
Reportedly executed by dozens of men on motorcycles, on a base just 124 miles outside of the capital, near the border with Mali, the attack that killed 71 soldiers was claimed by the Islamic State and is being read as a warning that group is fast expanding its territory throughout the region.
“These endless attacks carried out by terrorist groups in our region remind us not only of the gravity of the situation, but also the urgency for us to work more closely together,” said Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, the president of Burkina Faso, a nation that has now become the epicenter of the security crisis that has its roots in neighboring Mali’s conflict that began in 2012.