The National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj-Gen Babagana Monguno (retd), has accused the Jama’at Nasr al-Islam Wal Muslimin (JNIM), the Islamic and Muslim Support Group (GSIM), as well as ISGS of allegedly fuelling activities of terrorists in the Sahel region.
While calling on Imams and other influential Islamic leaders to rally support for the ongoing counter-insurgency war, Monguno argued that partnerships between the clerics and security forces “should be the backbone to rebuilding our terrorism infested communities.”
Speaking at the 14th Workshop of the League of Ulamas, preachers and imams of Sahel countries in Abuja, the retired two-star general said: “Terrorism and the rapid escalation of violent activities by militant Islamist groups in the Sahel since 2016 have been primarily driven by the Islamic State in Greater Sahara, which mainly operates in Mali and extends to Niger Republic and Burkina Faso.
“It is bolstered by activities of groups such as Jama’at Nasr al-Islam Wal Muslimin, the Islamic and Muslim Support Group and ISGS, which have continue to pose an imminent threat to the stability of the region.
“In Nigeria, Boko-Haram and Islamic State in West Africa Province dominate terrorist activities, especially in the North Eastern part of the country. “The situation in the Sahel has never been grimmer, extremist violence continues to spread; the number of internally displaced persons (IDPS) is growing; and food insecurity is affecting more people than ever before.
There are several not entirely congruent working hypothesis underpinning foreign and regional government strategies.”
He added: “It is imperative to reassess and reset the strategy towards the Sahel, setting aside faulty assumption. Particularly, the international community and its Sahelian partners should prioritise governance, press for or pursue an expanded peace process, cautiously through dialogue, and push for adoption of more nonkinetic measures through affected communities.
“Nonetheless, the possibility of Islamic State in West Africa Province creating an established caliphate to rival Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) countries has been checkmated by series of concerted and reinvigorated efforts of the countries of the region.
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