The United States has released new data on counterterrorism on the African continent, with the challenges in Somalia and across the Sahel remaining among the most pressing priorities.
The Country Reports on Terrorism 2017 lists 16 African nations with detailed information about terrorism threats and response, along with five more in the Middle East and North Africa.
“African countries expanded their efforts to develop regional counterterrorism solutions while they struggled to contain the expansion of terrorist groups, affiliates, and aspirants involved in attacks or other activities in 2017,” the U.S. Department of State said.
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali security forces increased cooperation with the United States to exert pressure on al-Shabaab, primarily through coordinated counterterrorism operations in southern Somalia. The U.S. continues to support border security, training, and criminal justice reforms.
In the Lake Chad region, Nigeria and neighboring Cameroon, Chad, and Niger continue to counter threats from Boko Haram. “These countries also responded to the ongoing and devastating humanitarian crisis, protected civilians, and restored governance and rule of law in the affected areas,” the U.S. said, describing its support role in stabilization efforts.
In the Sahel, Burkina Faso has seen “a slow but steady increase in terrorist activity” primarily in the Mali border regions. Chad remains a strong counterterrorism partner to the U.S. but is facing financial struggles, while Mauritania also received high praise for its cooperation.
To review the report and individual country profiles, see this link.
Image: United States Somalia file