THE Nigerian government has named three Islamic groups as sponsors of terrorism in Nigeria and the Sahel.
National Security Adviser (NSA) Babagana Monguno identified the groups as Jama’at Nasr al-Islam Wal Muslimin, the Islamic and Muslim Support Group, and the Islamic State in Greater Sahara.
Monguno spoke at the 14th workshop of the league of Ulamas, preachers and Imams of Sahel countries in Abuja on Tuesday.
“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 (GSIM) and ISGS,” he said.
He noted that activities of these groups had continued to pose an imminent threat to the stability of the Sahel region.
He lamented that terrorists activities in the Sahel and Nigeria’s North-East had contributed to the high number of internally displaced persons and food insecurity.
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Monguno said it was imperative for the international community and its Sahelian partners to reassess and reset the strategy towards the Sahel, setting aside faulty assumptions.
According to him, expanded peace process and dialogue and the push for the adoption of more non-kinetic measures should be pursued to bring about peace to affected communities.
He also called on Islamic clerics to use their positions to support the war against terrorism by security operatives in the country.