The future of terrorism in Africa.. as one of the manifestations of new wars in the world

Since the events of September 2001, the term terrorism began to spread all over the world, especially with the American endeavor to combat the spread of terrorist groups with the support of most countries of the world, especially African countries. The events of the Arab Spring revolutions – in Africa and some countries in the Middle East, which are considered a fertile environment for the spread of extremism and terrorism. The continent of Africa has become full of terrorist groups in all parts of it. In Africa, a phenomenon that is self-renewing and spreading across borders, which constitutes a new type of war in the countries of the continent, which requires standing on dealing with this phenomenon, especially in Africa, and reaching conclusions through which we can present proposals to confront limiting the spread of terrorism.

Ramy Ashour 
A government research
body, Journal of Politics and Economics, Article 15, Volume 17, Issue 16, October 2022, Page 481-511

an introduction

There are several discussions – among scholars and researchers in the social sciences, especially specialists in issues of war and peace – revolving around the idea of ​​“new” and “old” wars and the difference between them; The new wars were described as “a mixture of war, organized crime, and gross violations of human rights in which the actors are global, local, public, or private,” and their outbreak is in order to achieve certain political goals through the use of tactics (terrorism – destabilization) that are theoretically prohibited by the rules of modern warfare. In the old days, it has been described as “the outbreak of fighting between the regular armed forces of states, and it is funded by the states engaged in the war itself.” To a large extent, these wars arose under the dictates of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) or the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC).

This study develops this idea by adding terrorism as one dimension to new wars, and discusses it as a phenomenon of new wars in Africa, where terrorism is considered one of the main obstacles that stand in the way of achieving each of (stability – state building – regional integration) in most countries of the continent, which witnessed an unprecedented rise in terrorist operations during the last five years; According to the 2014 Global Terrorism Index, among (50) countries in the world facing terrorism, there were (18) countries from the African continent, and in (2015) the Global Terrorism Index confirmed that Boko Haram is the most deadly terrorist group. In the world, until the situation became in 2019, that among (39) countries that are exposed to terrorism, there are (14) African countries that suffer from it, which urges us, as researchers, to research the feasibility of anti-terrorism policies in the African reality and answer the following questions:

1- What are the deficiencies in the policies of African countries to combat terrorism?

2- What are the characteristics of new wars and their connection to terrorism?

3- How appropriate is the legislation of African countries to combat terrorism in their ability to eliminate it?

4- What is the future of the African continent in light of the spread of terrorism?

5- What are the proposed ways to confront the spread of terrorism in the African continent?

Based on the foregoing, this study deals with the phenomenon of terrorism from the following dimensions:

1- Stages of terrorism in the African reality.

2- The positions of African governments on the war on terrorism, and African legislation to confront it.

3- The reality of terrorism in Africa.

4- Characteristics of new wars in the world and their connection to terrorism.

5- The future of terrorism in Africa.

6- Findings and recommendations.

First: The stages of terrorism in the African reality

There are several stages in many African countries whose events are described as terrorist acts. As a result of the lack of an original concept or definition of terrorism that is recognized by the whole world, and therefore the term terrorism is employed politically by accusing any group or movement in order to achieve mainly political goals, and this is what the African continent witnessed in (4) stages as follows: (1)

1- The first stage: This stage was known as the colonial stage, and most of the countries of the continent witnessed it from the north (Algeria) to the far south (Republic of South Africa). Patriotism and international legitimacy, despite being described as terrorist by the colonial regimes that were ruling at the time.

2- The second stage: This stage was known as the stage of national independence, and the “terrorist” acts were characterized by the fact that they took on an internal civil character, as they were associated with each of (civil wars – rebellious movements – coups), and these acts did not receive external recognition, but were viewed as treason The principles of African unity in light of its efforts to further fragment the continent (3)

 Examples of this include what happened in Sudan since (1955 AD-1972 AD), then (1983-2005 AD), what happened in “Biafra” in Nigeria in the sixties, and what the “UNITA” movement did in Angola (1970-1990 AD), and the “Unita” movement in Angola (1970-1990 AD) Renamo “in Mozambique”, as well as what Ethiopia witnessed on the part of the Somali groups in the “Ogaden”, “Oromo” and other groups during the seventies of the twentieth century.

As for the driving factors of violence at that stage, they were represented in a set of overlapping factors, most notably:

A – The continuity of political borders, despite their disadvantages, and despite the promises of African unity.

B – The failure of the political regimes to fulfill their promises of development and stability in the post-independence period.

C – Ideological differences between regimes and groups.

D – The spread of corruption, mismanagement, and nepotism in favor of the ruling groups over other groups, which in return suffered from marginalization; This made access to power a goal for the various groups. As the gateway to benefit from the country’s bounties and wealth; This prompted the various groups to use all tools and means to seize power, and if this is not achieved, then the goal is separation (4).

3- The third stage: This is the stage in which “terrorist” acts were linked to non-African issues, as the continent witnessed, since the seventies of the twentieth century, extensions of the effects of the Arab-Israeli conflict, which carried the occurrence of some acts that were described as “terrorist” on the African scene, among those acts The hijacking of a French Airbus in 1976 from Athens (Greece) and its flight to Kampala (Uganda), which was seen as cooperation between the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the (Idi Amin) regime in Uganda.

 In the aftermath of the rescue operation, which was carried out by Israeli units with Kenyan facilities for the passengers of the plane, the city of (Nairobi) witnessed the destruction of one of its main hotels, which prompted some to accuse the Palestinian factions of this act. To be added to the list of “terrorist” acts related to the Arab-Israeli conflict in the African arena, which also included the hijacking of a German Airlines plane from Mogadishu airport (Somalia) by a group of Palestinians.

4- The fourth stage: This stage is considered the most dangerous stage of violence in the African continent. Where the violence took on an institutionalized character that was spread internally and supported externally by some terrorist organizations, especially ISIS

 “Al-Qaeda”, and an example of this is the Armed Islamic Group, which was founded in Algeria in 1992 AD, and declared war on the regime and society.

In addition to the association of the African continent with Al-Qaeda, through the presence of cadres of African origin (Ayman Al-Zawahiri) in the organization, in addition to hosting some African countries (Sudan) for the leader of the organization (Osama bin Laden) for various periods, in addition to what was raised about Al-Qaeda’s practice of trading Diamonds in West Africa and the financing of that trade for some activities, especially since the fragility of the African environment works to make it available in the conditions of countries such as Somalia and what witnessed each of (Sierra Leone – Liberia – Ivory Coast – Democratic Congo), the ease of penetration of the political systems in it – by the various forces Among them are terrorist organizations overlapping borders, and the weakness and insufficiency of the capabilities of most African countries to protect and secure their land and sea borders (5)

Second: African governments’ positions on the war on terrorism

During the September 2001 bombings, African countries quickly declared their condemnation of those bombings, and Nigeria was one of the first countries to express its support for the American and British military operations in Afghanistan; Where the Nigerian President (Obasanjo) went to the United States in November 2001 to express his solidarity with it, and during the visit he affirmed his support for fighting terrorism until it is eliminated, and he also stressed the need for the continuation of the international coalition against terrorism to reach a more secure and peaceful world. A press conference in the White House after meeting the US President that people must realize that they are not immune from terrorism, and he pointed to the need to distinguish between terrorism and any religion that is taken as a cover for the practice of terrorist operations. (6)

As for other African countries with an Islamic majority, their reactions varied. In (Niger), President (Mamadou Tanga) stated that the war against (Afghanistan) is natural, and that he hopes for a quick end to it and the return of peace to the region. On the other hand, some countries expressed their fear of humanitarian disasters. Which will be caused by this war. In the meeting of the joint committee between (Algeria – South Africa), the presidents of the two countries urged the United States to adhere to caution in its campaign against terrorism in order to avoid the loss of innocent lives. Terrorism. (7)

On the other hand, (South Africa) agreed to the United States war against (Afghanistan), as its deputy foreign minister stated that his government recognizes the right of the American administration to undermine the perpetrators of terrorist operations and implement justice. The statement of the South African Council of Ministers stressed that any military operation must be based on a compelling argument and not just speculation or expectations (8)

On the third hand, the position of other countries was not different in this context, but rather that some governments tried to exploit these events in their favor from different dimensions. Gambian, that September 11 is a public national holiday in the country to commemorate September, which the opposition considered an attempt by the president to rapprochement with the US administration, which considers him one of the leaders accused of violating human rights in the African continent, and the Kenyan opposition also accused the government of exaggerating its reaction to the events of September To attract the attention of the American administration to its position after the Kenyan President (Daniel Arap Moi) led demonstrations in the streets of Nairobi in support of the United States in its war against terrorism.

In Uganda, President Yoweri Museveni confirmed that Uganda was among the first victims of Bin Laden. As the elements of the Ugandan anti-government Democratic Alliance trained in (Bin Laden) camps and carried out several attacks in Uganda and killed innocent Ugandan citizens from its bases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the attempt to exploit and exploit the phenomenon reached the point of accusing Museveni (the Ugandan Lord’s Army) of Christianity – which was set by the United States The United States is on the list of terrorist organizations – receiving aid from (Bin Laden) (9)

On the fourth hand, the Bishops’ Conference in Uganda took advantage of the September events to demand the president to withdraw Uganda’s membership from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. In a statement issued on February 3, 2002, the council demanded Uganda’s immediate withdrawal from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which was met with strong rejection by President Museveni, and he avoided commenting. On the demands of the Bishops’ Council, which he described as hypocrisy and a betrayal of Christian principles, the Bishops’ Council pledged to continue working towards these demands through Parliament, and to put pressure on the various institutions in the state.

The Islamic symbols in Uganda considered that these demands are a discouraging step to call for communication between the Christian and Islamic sides in the country. Charity and advocacy in the country during a short period, but the Muslims of Uganda will not accept that the state’s membership in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and its external relations with Arab and Islamic countries be a victim of political maneuvers and games and a pressure card to achieve sectarian and partisan interests and that it is unacceptable to mix cards and prejudice against Muslims (10)

On the fifth hand, the Somali opposition took advantage of these international conditions, and announced its willingness to cooperate with Washington, which sent nearly nine American officers to the city of Bidaw to hold talks with the leaders of the various Somali factions. The Somali opposition – led by the Reconciliation Council – claimed that Somalia has become A haven for terrorists, and (Hussein Aideed), head of the Reconciliation Council, claimed that there were eight members of al-Qaeda who entered Somalia in January 2002 and established a new organization. The war leaders in the Reconciliation Council also agreed to form a unified army through which the regime could be overthrown without the need for military intervention. And Ethiopia contributed by sending about (70) Ethiopian officers with a number of necessary military equipment to southwestern Somalia to train the Somali opposition forces, whose fighters in unified militias that were formed from several tribes reached more than (8) thousand fighters. The United States relied on intelligence activitiesOn opposition groups in addition to the Ethiopian intelligence role (11)

The transitional government in Somalia was keen to confirm its willingness to cooperate with the United States, and the head of the transitional government at the time (Hassan Absher Farah) stated that his country welcomes the deployment of American military teams in Somalia to investigate the possible presence of a number of al-Qaeda members, and the transitional government also established a special force to combat terrorism with its mission Formulating a comprehensive national policy to combat terrorism headed by the Minister of the Interior, and involving the Ministers of Justice, Defense, Culture, the Public Prosecutor, the Deputy Chief of the Intelligence Service and the Chief of Police in the capital, Mogadishu. It lost its ability to harbor terrorists or participate in terrorist operations, and most of its members left the country. (12)

Thus, the conflicting Somali forces appeared in a race to cooperate with the United States in its war against terrorism in order to obtain the support of the United States against the other party. The transitional president at the time (Salad Hassan) wanted to remain at the helm of power, even if it was confined only to a part of the capital, Mogadishu, and limited territories outside it. The opposition wants to overthrow the transitional president and presents evidence of his involvement with the Islamic Union. As for the entities that unilaterally declared their independence, they want an American promise to recognize them as independent.

(Read more)  A book on the ancient and modern history of Africa

Indeed, the United States took advantage of this situation; Thousands of Somali police and various militias have recruited agents to collect information on Al Qaeda and the Islamic Union movement

In March 2002, the United States agreed to establish a joint mechanism between the Somali government and the CIA that works on exchanging information and cooperating to track terrorists (13). The United States also retracted its position on Somali financial companies and removed their names from the list of institutions supporting terrorist activity (14).

In the framework of the attempt to exploit and employ the Polisario Front, the (Polisario) confirmed that Morocco tried to exploit the events of September to influence the United States of America and push it towards supporting the Moroccan position in the issue of the Moroccan Sahara in exchange for Morocco’s support for the United States in its war against terrorism, but the coordinator of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in the Moroccan Sahara confirmed Morocco will not be able to benefit from this situation because it has nothing to offer in a way that distinguishes it from other countries in the region (15)

On the sixth hand, there are countries that have already benefited from their support for the United States in its war against terrorism. Mauritania has benefited from Washington’s decision to cancel the debts it owed, and this appeared to be linked to the Mauritanian position in support of the United States. Where a US military delegation visited Mauritania and laid some foundations and starting points for military cooperation between the United States and Mauritania, and the two sides agreed to continue meetings and coordination in the field of combating terrorism.

Thus, African governments raced to settle their scores internally by opening the way for US intervention in their lands under the pretext of combating terrorism on the one hand, and on the other hand, African governments sought to support the American war against terrorism to remove the suspicion of complicity from themselves, with some countries expressing their reservations by demanding not to expand the scope of war or provide sufficient evidence before punishing those involved in terrorist operations, and even countries known for their hostile stance towards American policy did not find anything but agreeing to support the United States in its war against terrorism, while the Libyan President at the time (Muammar Gaddafi) sharply criticized the United States, describing its policies with arrogance and trying to impose solutions on the world; At the same time, he showed his willingness to cooperate on the intelligence level, and to provide information to facilitate the finding of (Bin Laden), during his meeting with the French Minister of International Cooperation in October 2001.

On the seventh hand, some African governments took advantage of the September events to escalate their confrontation with national liberation movements and groups demanding independence, such as Ethiopia, in which the security services escalated the level of violence against the (Oromo) front, and used the most violent methods to confront the demonstrations of (Oromo) students who demonstrated in protest against the increasing marginalization that they suffer from. Including the provinces and territories in which they live, and the security services confronted the peaceful marches in which some students participated after the regional government refused their demands to hold a meeting to discuss the conditions of the Oromo students. (16)

As a result of these violations, Human Rights Watch criticized the Ethiopian government’s practices and demanded the release of the detained Oromo students. It also demanded that the Ethiopian government prosecute those responsible for killing some of the student demonstrators. (17)

In Zimbabwe, some opponents were accused of being terrorists and using existing laws and introducing other laws to restrict the opposition and narrow its scope of movement in light of the many difficulties faced by the (Robert Mugabe) regime and the decline of its legitimacy (18)

Third: African legislation to confront terrorism

A – The problem of defining terrorism (19)

It was not a coincidence, but rather a deliberate matter so far, that there is no scientific definition or international agreement that includes a definition of terrorism, but the twelve international conventions of the United Nations prohibit and criminalize specific criminal acts and consider them terrorist acts as follows:

1- Agreements on the safety of civil aviation and civil aircraft.

2- Agreements related to airport security and maritime navigation.

3- The safety of persons enjoying international protection and the physical protection of nuclear materials, terrorist explosions and terrorist financing.

However, there is a major shortcoming in these agreements; Since it did not address the issue of defining terrorism itself; There is a clear division among the countries of the world on this issue. The United States of America and most Western countries generally see the matter of postponing the definition of terrorism and replacing it with concluding (specialized) international agreements that deal with the most common phenomena of terrorism, such as the following:

1- Aircraft hijacking

2- Threat to air and sea navigation

3- Threatening the safety of Heads of State and diplomatic representatives

Whereas Asian, African and Latin American countries in general believe that a definition of terrorism should first be established in order to establish a specific system upon which the international community relies in distinguishing between each of the following:

1- Terrorist acts and other ordinary criminal acts.

2- Terrorist acts and the struggle of peoples to get rid of the occupation or national liberation movements.

 These countries also affirm that the commission of terrorist acts is not exclusive to terrorist groups and individuals only, while states practice acts of terrorism to implement their political projects, to achieve their national security, or just for revenge.

Therefore, Western countries have ignored the causes and motives of terrorism by ignoring the two issues of defining terrorism and state terrorism, and the international agreements have reflected the lack of international political will to confront these difficult issues and the divergence of opinions about them according to the interest of some countries, especially the major ones, by exploiting or attaching the word terrorism to the resistance movements in particular. Against Israel or employing that concept against any other group such as the PKK and so on.

B – African Union legislation to combat terrorism

On July 14, 1999, the Organization of African Unity (currently the African Union) adopted an agreement to prevent and combat terrorism. It is considered the most prominent document – at the level of the continent – in combating terrorism, and it entered into force on December 6, 2002. The act “is considered a “terrorist act” as follows: (20)

1- Any act or threat of it that is considered a violation of the criminal laws of a state party or the provisions of this agreement, which would endanger (the life of individuals or groups – physical safety or freedom), or cause injury or death to any person or group of persons. Or causes or may cause damage to public or private property, natural or environmental resources, or cultural heritage, and that it is committed with the intent of the following:

(a) To intimidate or create a state of panic, or compel, persuade, or compel any government, body, institution, or the general public, or part thereof, to initiate or abstain from action, or to adopt or abandon a specific position, or to act on the basis of certain principles.

(b) Obstruction of the normal functioning of public utilities, the provision of basic services to the public, or the establishment of a crisis public situation.

(C) Creating a massive state of rebellion in the country.

2- Any promotion, financing, ordering, aiding, abetting, encouraging, attempting, threatening, conspiring, organizing, or equipping any person with the intent to commit any of the acts referred to in Paragraph “A” (12)

The agreement also excluded the struggle of peoples for liberation and independence from the definition of terrorism, as Article 3 of the agreement stipulates that: “With due regard to the provisions of Article (1) of this agreement, cases of struggle waged by peoples for liberation or self-determination are not considered in accordance with the principles of law.” international law, including the armed struggle against colonialism, occupation, aggression and foreign domination, terrorist acts.”

The African Union was not satisfied with the aforementioned anti-terrorism legislation, but rather put the fight against terrorism as a supreme goal in its vision of Plan 2063, which aims for Africa to be a unified, safe and advanced continent and has its influential positions in international politics. Peace-building mechanisms to prevent and resolve conflicts at all levels occupied a privileged place in the plan 2063.(22)

C – Legislations of African countries to combat terrorism

Article 2 of the African Convention for the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism imposed on the state parties an obligation to review their domestic laws and establish penalties against terrorist acts. To enact anti-terrorism legislation as follows:

1- In Sudan, the Sudanese Anti-Terrorism Law was issued in 2001 AD, and the second article of the law explicitly defines terrorism as “every act or threat of violence, whatever its motives or purposes, that takes place in implementation of an individual or collective criminal project, and aims to kill Terror among people, terrorizing them by harming them, endangering their lives, freedom and security, harming the environment, public or private funds, or one of the public facilities or property, or occupying or seizing it, or endangering a national resource or national strategy peril(23)

It is worth noting that the definition of terrorism in the Sudanese law of 2001 AD is similar to the definition provided by the Arab Convention for Combating Terrorism issued in 1998 AD(24)

2- In Somalia, according to the law issued in January 2011, the act of terrorism, especially piracy, was criminalized and anyone involved in those acts was fined between (50,000 to 500,000) dollars, and imprisonment for a period ranging between (5-20) years for the individuals convicted committing the terrorist crime. (25)

3- In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in accordance with the Law of July 19, 2004 on Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism; Any provision, collection or management of funds, financial assets or property, by any means – directly or indirectly – with the intention of using them or with the knowledge that they may be used, in part or in whole, to commit a terrorist act, even if it is not actually committed, is considered a “terrorist crime”. (26)

4- In Nigeria, Nigeria is considered the main actor in the field of combating terrorism in West Africa, given its demographic, political and economic weight, and the factors of instability it is witnessing in which many considerations overlap, and its experience in combating terrorism (27)

  And the legislation in Nigeria indicates that a terrorist act is “an act that may cause serious harm to a country or an international organization for which it is intended, or can reasonably be considered intended to: do something

b- Intimidate the population to a serious degree.

C- Undermining the basic political, constitutional, economic or social systems of a country or an international organization.

D – seriously destroying these systems.

e to influence in one way or another this government or international organization by means of intimidation or coercion,

5. In South Africa, according to Section III of the Protection of Constitutional Democracy Act, any person is guilty of an offense relating to terrorist activity as follows: (28)

a- If he commits any act that enhances the ability of any entity to engage in terrorist activity, including providing skills or expertise or volunteering to provide them, and any person who enters or remains in a country or any person who offers his services for the benefit of any entity that engages in terrorist activity or at the direction of that entity or With his complicity while knowing or should have known or suspecting that the aim of that act was to enhance the ability of the concerned entity to engage in terrorist activity.

(b) any person who provides or offers to provide any weapon to any other person for the purpose of its use by any entity or for the purpose of using it for the benefit of that entity or requests support for or provides support to an entity or provides training or education or receives or participates in it or recruits an entity to receive training or Teaching, recruiting any entity, receiving a document, producing it, or possessing something, and these acts are related to the exercise of terrorist activity knowing, or should have known, or suspected that the purpose of these weapons, this request, training, recruitment, or document Or something related to the exercise of terrorist activity.

6- In Ethiopia, according to the amendment of the Ethiopian Anti-Terrorism Law concluded in August 2009, whoever carries out a terrorist act or act and is found guilty shall be punished with death or imprisonment from (15 years – up to life) (29).

7- In Libya, the Libyan law ignored the main source of terrorism, which is the intellectual aspect and incitement to it and the instigator’s use of the true religion and its use of mosque pulpits, stipulating a twenty-year prison sentence, then life imprisonment, and quoting literally from the Egyptian Criminal Code in Articles (9/10). / 16) Which provides for aggravated imprisonment, and the Libyan law stipulates the establishment of the National Committee for Combating Terrorism in Article 29 of the law, and in the second paragraph of the paragraphs of the tasks assigned to the committee, it was stipulated that coordination with all parties to assist victims of terrorism to ensure physical and psychological treatment for the victims, It was stipulated that a prosecution specialized in terrorism crimes should be established, and criminal departments should be established to look into terrorism cases (30).

8- In the Arab Republic of Egypt (31), the Egyptian law of 2015 stipulated in its second article that a terrorist act is all of the following:

(a) Use of force, violence, threat, or intimidation, internally or externally, for the purpose of disturbing public order, exposing the safety, interests, or security of society to danger, harming individuals, or spreading fear among them, or exposing their lives, freedoms, public or private rights, security, or others. Of the freedoms and rights guaranteed by the constitution and the law, or harming national unity, social peace, or national security, or harming the environment, natural resources, antiquities, funds, buildings, or public or private property, or occupying or seizing them, or preventing or obstructing public authorities, agencies, or bodies prevent the judiciary, government interests, local units, places of worship, hospitals, science institutions and institutes, diplomatic and consular missions, or regional and international organizations and bodies in Egypt from carrying out their work or practicing all or some aspects of their activities or resisting or obstructing the application of any of the provisions of the constitution, laws or regulations .

(b) Every behavior committed with the intent of achieving one of the purposes set forth in the first paragraph of this article, or preparing or instigating it, if it would harm communications, information systems, financial or banking systems, the national economy, energy stocks, or security stocks of commodities, foodstuffs, and water. Or safety or medical services in disasters and crises.

(C) Article Twelve stipulates that whoever establishes, establishes, organizes, or manages a terrorist group, or assumes leadership or leadership in it, shall be punished with death or life imprisonment. Temporary imprisonment shall be imposed on whoever joins a terrorist group or participates in it in any way, with knowledge of its purposes. The penalty shall be hard labor for a period of not less than ten years if the offender received military, security or technical training from the terrorist group to achieve its purposes, or if the offender is a member of the armed forces or the police. Whosoever coerces a person to join the terrorist group or prevents him from separating shall be punished with life imprisonment. The penalty shall be death if coercion or prevention results in his death.

(Read more)  The current Iranian policy towards the Nile Basin countries

(D) Article Fifteen stipulates that whoever carries out, in any direct or indirect way, with the intention of committing a terrorist crime, inside or outside the country, prepares or trains individuals to manufacture or use conventional weapons or non-traditional means, wired, wireless, or electronic means of communication, or any other technical means, or taught martial arts, combat methods, technology, skills, tricks, or other means of whatever form to use them in committing a terrorist crime, or incited something of the aforementioned – and shall be punished with imprisonment For a period of no less than seven years, whoever received the training or education stipulated in the previous paragraph of this article, or was found in their places with the intention of preparing or committing one of the crimes referred to in the first paragraph of this article.

(E) Article Sixteen stipulates that whoever seizes, attacks, or enters by force, violence, threat, or intimidation, one of the presidential headquarters, the headquarters of parliaments, the Council of Ministers, ministries, or Governorates, armed forces, courts, prosecution offices, security directorates, police departments and stations, prisons, security or oversight bodies or agencies, archaeological sites, public facilities, places of worship, education, hospitals, or any of the public buildings or facilities with the intent to commit a terrorist crime.

(f) The provisions of the first paragraph of this article shall apply to anyone who places devices or materials in any of the previous premises whenever this is liable to destroy or cause damage to them or to any of the persons residing therein or frequenting them, or threatens to commit any of these acts. The penalty shall be life imprisonment if the act is committed by the use of weapons or by more than one person, or if the offender destroys or damages the headquarters, or resists by force the public authorities while performing their duties in guarding the headquarters or to restore it. If committing any of the previous acts results in the death of a person, the penalty shall be death.

Fourth: The reality of terrorism in Africa

Although there is no specific limit to the number of terrorist groups deployed in Africa; Because of the development of the idea of ​​terrorism, which many actors across the continent are working to sustain, however, there is documentation of the number of terrorist attacks that the continent is witnessing in African and international literature and media, as well as the existence of an international academic standard for defining the act as a terrorist attack – according to the Terrorism Database. (GTD) 2017 at the University of Maryland – a terrorist attack is defined as “the threatened or actual use of unlawful force or violence by a non-state actor to achieve a political, economic, religious, or social objective through the sowing of fear or coercion” ( 32)

As a result of the above, terrorism still poses a serious threat to peace and security in the African continent. Because it is considered a motivating factor in many conflict situations as follows:

1- In West Africa: terrorism almost destroyed the state’s infrastructure, especially in the state (Mali), which has serious repercussions on the stability of the state and the entire region, as the instability of the state is the fertile environment for the spread and continuation of terrorism, at a time when all From (Al Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb – Jamaat al-Tawhid and Jihad in West Africa – Jamaat Ansar al-Din) in northern Mali, which affects the stability of neighboring countries and threatens stability in the region as a whole. (33)

2- In North Africa:

A – The influence of extremist armed groups has increased, especially in the (Sahel and Sahara) region, and among them is the Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb. The scope of its activities expanded, and its targets and ability to plan attacks appeared in (Algeria – Niger) in 2013.

B – As for Libya, the group (Ansar al-Sharia) has strengthened its presence in the east of the country, especially in (Derna – Benghazi), and has assassinated many members of the national security forces and other state institutions, and has prepared porous borders and weak infrastructure for the state in southern Libya A fertile environment for increasing the presence of terrorist groups and their activities in the Sahel region, especially the Islamic State (ISIS), in addition to causing instability to spread directly to neighboring regions, as the flow of weapons from Libya to the Central African region, especially the Republic of

(Central Africa) in the escalation of violence, which poses a great threat to security and stability in the entire sub-region, (34) Egypt – the country neighboring Libya – has also suffered from exposure to terrorist acts supported by weapons smuggled from Libya (35)

C – Despite the firm measures taken by the governments concerned with combating terrorism in Africa, both (Boko Haram – its affiliated Ansar Group) launch their deadly attacks in Nigeria. Boko Haram took advantage of the porous borders between Nigeria and Cameroon and kidnapped foreign nationals in Cameroon, as well Terrorist activities have caused an estimated 45,000 refugees and migrants to flee to Chad, Cameroon and Niger (36).

3- As for Central Africa, it has also become the main arena for operations of the (Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army), which is responsible for committing serious and widespread violations of human rights, and which the African Union considers one of the fiercest terrorist groups on the continent (37).

4- In East Africa:

A- The (Shabab Al-Mujahideen) movement has become increasingly involved in irregular warfare, due to the military campaign launched by the African Union Mission in Somalia and the Somali National Army, and the Al-Shabaab movement has shown an improvement in its ability to launch complex terrorist attacks, as demonstrated in the attack it launched in September 2013. On the “Westgate” mall in Nairobi, this is due to the (Shabab Al-Mujahideen) movement obtaining support from other international terrorist networks, especially those linked to Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

B – There is some information that was received by some of the various security agencies that the Mujahideen Youth Movement provided training to members of the two groups (Boko Haram – Al-Hijrah), which became almost certain after the attacks of the Youth Movement and its affiliated groups that it launched in (Uganda – Kenya); As those attacks reflected the extent of the expansion of the operations of these groups, and their ability to recruit in the Somali communities in those countries, such alliances would make those groups a broader and more influential effort aimed at destabilizing the entire African continent (38).

5- As for the southern African region, it was also not spared acts of terrorism. A series of individual incidents occurred, ranging from bombings to allegations of conducting training in South Africa related to Al-Qaeda. Warnings were also issued about the existence of Al-Qaeda cells in Zambia.

 (South Africa – Zambia) in 2013 persons suspected of being terrorists (39).

In all, the scene is becoming increasingly complex due to the increasing coordination and cooperation between criminal networks and terrorist groups, especially in West Africa and the Sahel region, where organized criminal networks pose a great threat to security and stability. Therefore, the increasing evidence of the existence of an intersection of interests between organized criminal groups and terrorists confirms the necessity of providing regional and international coordination and comprehensive multidimensional assistance to address the overlapping security challenges.

Fifth: Characteristics of new wars in the world and their connection to terrorism

Looking at terrorism as one of the phenomena of new wars, we note that the new wars include many actors such as (networks of governmental and non-governmental agencies – the regular armed forces – private security and guard companies – mercenaries – jihadists – warlords and paramilitaries, etc.), and the waves of new wars are varied With the diversity of the actors in it, in contrast, the old wars did not exceed (18) wars in which regular armies of certain countries participated in the world. And the tool for the outbreak or outbreak of war here is one or all of the following (religious ideologies – imbalance in the distribution and sharing of resources – unfairness in the distribution of financial gains, control of power or territory, and so on).

 As a result of the above, new wars forge unique ways and characteristics of warfare; Where there are (6) features of the new wars, all of which are fundamentally linked to terrorism, as follows: (41)

1- The first feature: the attacks are disproportionate in nature; As the attacks of these wars are usually disproportionate, which contradicts the law of armed conflict, after launching any attack, the perpetrator may not be known – only, but there is a claim of who committed the act, and many terrorist activities occur as one of the phenomena of those wars in the practices of each (Boko Haram – Al-Shabab Movement), which means that terrorism is a manifestation of new wars; Where both (Boko Haram – Al-Shabaab) wage wars using disproportionate attacks, which are not usually directed against their rivals but mostly against the innocent civilian population or civilian objects, and evidence of this is the Boko Haram attacks on schools, and the arrest of school girls (Chibok )(42).

2- The second characteristic: the method of financing wars. Unlike the old wars, which were funded by states through taxes, the new wars are funded privately by unknown individuals or unknown funded entities. Both (Boko Haram – Al-Shabaab) are funded by unknown private parties, with huge donations. from some sympathizers.

3- The third feature: the mass displacement of the civilian population, which is an integral part of the terrorist activities perpetrated by these two groups.

4- The fourth feature: the range of war fires; In the old wars, the firing range was mainly aimed at military targets of competing armies, but in the new wars, the civilian population itself became the target of fire through their displacement, including women and children. Therefore, the world is still witnessing large numbers of displaced persons seeking safety either within or outside borders. their countries

 These displaced persons are targets for recruitment into the ranks of terrorist groups; It is the only safe escape for him, in addition to the temptation of these groups for this group, especially young people, so they provide a safe haven and funds that meet their desires and needs in exchange for their joining as fighters in the ranks of those groups, these groups take advantage of the lack of security and the spread of injustice and poverty in society and attract through it young people looking for life They are lured into the life they wish for in exchange for joining them, and thus the civilian population becomes a target for fighting and recruitment at the same time, which is one of the most important features of the new war; And with the presence of a propaganda tool and media arms for these groups, their youth base increases, and the matter goes even further, which is the leadership of youth in the terrorist practices of many terrorist groups on the continent (43)

5- The fifth feature: Extremist religious ideology. In the past few years, the world has witnessed an increasing spread of terrorist groups that are motivated by an extremist religious ideology, which distort some texts of religion and exploit them as a motivating belief to fight, in which young people believe. Where each of (Boko Haram – ISIS – Al-Shabab Movement) seeks to popularize (distorted) Islamic beliefs in some countries of the region, and thus the extremist religious ideology has turned into a fertile ground for recruiting people into terrorist groups, because individuals who have strong beliefs in an ideology similar to those that enjoy Terrorist groups are more likely to be easily recruited into the ranks of those groups (44).

6- The sixth characteristic: the use of technology and the Internet, especially social media platforms such as (Facebook – Twitter) and other forms. For each of (Boko Haram – ISIS – Al-Shabaab), the use of the Internet or social media is very important and useful in achieving their most important goals. , which is reaching out to young people, especially through advertising job opportunities, and the Internet is also used as a communication and coordination tool before and during attacks, in addition to using the Internet to collect operational funds to support the fighting. (45)

Sixth: The future of terrorism in Africa

A- The future of terrorism in the region (East Africa – Horn of Africa)

(Source: International Information Network)

Terrorism is spreading in the Horn of Africa and destabilizing entire regions of the continent, especially the Africa region

(the coast and the desert); Where the group (Boko Haram) continues to terrorize the local population and attack the security forces in northeastern Nigeria and the Lake Chad basin; This inflicts lasting harm on individuals, families and communities. In Africa, like anywhere else terrorism is prevalent, terrorists continue to use sexual violence to spread fear and assert control and influence. Children are often forced to join terrorist groups as a matter of survival.

On the other hand, and despite the large military and economic investments, there is no evidence of a decline in the rise and influence of the Shabab al-Mujahideen Movement, as the ability of the Shabab movement to obtain money and financial resources is increasing, to a large extent through extortion, and the implementation of coordinated attacks collectively to cause A strong influence is represented by the spread of injuries throughout Somalia, and the merging of sleeper cells into each of the (police – military institutions – government institutions) for their ranks, and the threat of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Somalia continues to increase in northeastern Puntland region in Somalia (. 46)

(Read more)  The intersection of maps of the Western military presence and the terrorist phenomenon in Africa

Despite the temporary silence due to the rivalry between (ISIS-Harakat Al-Shabab Al-Mujahideen) and the practice of repression by the security forces, ISIS and its ideology remain attractive, especially to disaffected Al-Shabaab members, which supports the aspirations of the organization. (ISIS) beyond the borders of Somalia; As ISIS continues to show its expansionist motives in (Kenya – Ethiopia), in compensation for the collapse of its influence in Syria and Iraq, it works to attract attention again by exercising the threat it poses and practices in East Africa and the Horn of Africa, whether publicly. His responsibility for any terrorist events or the responsibility of another group affiliated with him (declaration by proxy). (47).

B- The future of terrorism in (West Africa)

The next few period will witness the progress and spread of terrorist groups in West Africa further to both

(Togo – Benin – Ghana), as the upcoming presidential elections and the impact associated with them in each of (Ivory Coast – Guinea – Togo), will lead to more tensions that terrorist groups exploit, as part of the global retreat of the United States of America, which resulted in, leaving West African military forces, leaving the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), France, and the Group of Five for the Sahel, on their own and their limited capabilities to face stagnation and try to prevent the spread of terrorism in West Africa.

On the other hand, the weakness of the border security forces, the increasing capabilities of terrorist groups in (Burkina Faso), and the clear interest in expanding operations to neighboring countries, all of this will lead to an increase in danger and threats in each of (Togo, Benin and Ghana). (48)

(Source: International Information Network)

As for the jihadist groups there, especially (JNIM – Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS), they depend on seducing their fighters with financial incentives and high prestige by moving to neighboring countries, and imposing more control over parts of West Africa, so that they can reach Ports, control of trade, and benefit from the money flowing in by controlling the gold mining industry(49)

This, in addition to terrorist attacks deliberately exploiting political tensions and mobilizing local support for them, increases the possibility of larger attacks that attract attention against Western interests, including mining companies, hotels, foreign companies, and tourists in cities such as (Cotonou-Porto-Novo) in Benin.

On the third hand, one of the most important reasons for the movement of terrorist groups to West Africa is poor border control, the presence of experienced smugglers and smuggling networks, and the spread of local corruption. As West Africa is a major transit point for drugs smuggled from South America and Asia to Europe, other goods such as people, migrants and weapons are also smuggled across borders. (50)

The Group of Five for the Sahel region, (G-5 Sahel), in addition to its lack of resources and capabilities, focuses only on each of (Burkina Faso – Mali), and does not look at the bigger picture – including the possible spread of terrorism in each of (Togo – Benin – Ghana), in addition to the dispersion of the (ECOWAS) organization and its division in sharing sensitive security information among the participating countries. Health and education – the spread of ethnic tensions) in the already weak neighboring countries.

For example, the state of (Togo) faces frequent disputes and disputes over land between local elites and others, and there is mutual violence between farmers and herders and conflict over resource management and extreme poverty, so what would happen if jihadist groups intervened in that conflict? Especially since the state of (Togo) was included in the Fragile States Index for the year 2019 issued by the (Peace Fund) as one of the five countries most at risk. Urban and rural areas, high levels of illiteracy, and these issues logically undermine citizens’ trust in their governments and often encourage them to search for alternative radical ideologies, especially since there are no initiatives in the previous examples to provide job opportunities and improve the standard of living.

All this in parallel with the catastrophic effects on the security and social level in (Burkina Faso), the neighboring country of those countries, as it is one of the fastest growing humanitarian and security disasters in the world. In the period (1-21) February 2020, more than 150,000 people were displaced at the hands of jihadist groups. ; Armed attacks on civilians are on the rise, and terrorist groups have inflamed ethnic tensions and exploited them to strengthen their ranks.

Seventh: conclusions and recommendations

As a result of what this study dealt with, I came to the following conclusions and recommendations:

A- Results:

The results of the study are as follows:

1- African governments have not made a real effort to combat terrorism since the beginning of its spread, taking advantage of the American anger to take revenge after the events of September 2001. Rather, African governments competed to settle their scores internally by opening the way for American intervention in their lands under the pretext of combating terrorism on the one hand, and on the other hand they sought Those governments to support the American war against terrorism to remove the suspicion of complicity from themselves.

2- The spread of terrorist crimes in Africa was not due to deficiencies in the legislation of those countries to combat terrorism, whether at the national or continental level, but rather for other reasons, the most important of which is the absence of regional and continental coordination.

3- Among the most important security challenges facing the African continent that reinforce the presence of terrorism is the proliferation of small and light weapons, and the ease of movement of illegal armed groups and terrorist groups, especially with the presence of gaps in the common borders with fragile or unstable neighboring countries.

4- The responsibility for combating terrorism does not lie solely with the continental organization, but African countries must be well aware that regional cooperation may contribute effectively to addressing this phenomenon, but this cooperation requires real political will that also works to marginalize existing differences between countries, and research New ways of African cooperation and integration, especially on the economic side, which will reflect on the living conditions of the continent’s population, as well as cooperation in the field of combating terrorism.

B – Recommendations

The recommendations of the study with regard to ways to limit the spread of terrorism in Africa are as follows:

1- Taking urgent measures from regional bodies in Africa, especially from countries (sub-Saharan), related to ensuring the validity and accuracy of information. Policy makers in the region need more accurate intelligence information – in terms of local knowledge, research and analysis – about the capabilities and resources of terrorist groups and their strategy. This would help neighboring countries not only disrupt planned attacks but also impede the movement of resources and propaganda, and focus on potential links between people smugglers and terrorist groups.

2- International partners such as the United Nations should support ECOWAS in exchanging intelligence information in a timely manner and coordinating efforts to combat cross-border movements of terrorist groups.

3- Focusing international support, especially (US-French), on improving border security, especially between West African countries, and it must include – as a minimum – more effective vital methods and standards and advanced training for border control elements, especially with the rapid development of drone technology in managing Border crossings in the fight against smuggling of weapons and individuals.

4- Activating better governance, greater humanitarian aid, and comprehensive development programs so that security can be achieved on the African continent. This is the best and surest way to deal with the ideologies of jihadist groups; There is a living example and a great opportunity for this; In the country (Togo), new mayors were elected last summer for the first time in more than (30) years, which is a distinct opportunity to conclude a better social contract between the local population and the ruling regime, which in turn is reflected in building other services such as health care and Better education in parallel with enhancing security through the involvement of local citizens in a more active role within the framework of strengthening the early warning mechanism, by forming a joint committee between these citizens and ministries or government agencies that collects data such as the movement of people, guns and signs of extremism among the local population.

5- Expanding programs aimed at countering extremism and propaganda efforts by terrorist groups, such as specific mediation and job opportunities, by development actors and humanitarian agencies.

6- Enhancing specialized training opportunities for investigators, prosecutors and judges, in various fields such as (combating the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes – providing support and assistance to victims of terrorist acts – combating chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear terrorism – combating transportation-related terrorist crimes – combating terrorist financing).

7- Strengthening the role of women as half of society, through their important contribution in the field of combating extremism and cultivating extremism. There is a need to further integrate the role of women in counter-terrorism programs at the national and regional levels.

8- African countries, especially (West Africa), conducting a real test of innovative and collective preventive diplomacy, which adapts to the increasing risks, builds local flexibility, and prevents the coming security and humanitarian catastrophe. In recent years, international diplomacy has failed to confront the devastating crises in both (Syria – Yemen – Mali – Burkina Faso – Libya).

9- Increase partnerships, connections, and innovative discussions between state, local, and international governments to help prevent the spread of terrorism that could exacerbate underlying political and ethnic vulnerabilities and lead to a greater humanitarian catastrophe.

List of references

1- Sam Makinda,” History and root causes of terrorism in Africa”, in Wafula Okumu and Anneli Botha (eds), Understanding Terrorism in Africa: In Searching for an African Voice (Pretoria: Institute for Security Studies,2006).

2- Ibid.,

3- Muhammad Ashour, Political Borders and the Reality of the State in Africa, (Cairo: Center for African Future Studies, 1997).

4- Sam Makinda, op.cit.,

5- Same.

6- Nigeria: Bush to Obasanjo; We’ll Capture Bin Laden

7- Nations Ask for Caution in Anti-terror war “, South African Press Association (Johannesburg), 2001

8- Pretoria says us must aim at culprits”, Business day (Johannesburg), 2001.

9- Alfred Wasika, “Kampala on Bin Laden Hit List”, New Vision (Kampala),2001.

10- Muhammad Ashour, “The Events of the American Day and Muslim Issues in Africa,” (Cairo: Civilization Center for Political Studies, vol. 2004, p. 5, 2004)

11- “Opposition group urges international community to help”, UN Integrated Regional Information networks, 2002

12- Somalia Next War target”, rollout news, 2001.

13- “Joint Mechanism with Somalia”, Africa Research Bulletin, March 2002,

14- “ Did US Rush to judge Somali company?”, The East African (Nairobi), 2002


15- Western Sahara: 11Sept.hasn’t influenced Western Sahara’s Situation”, Afrol news, 2002.

16- “Gaddafi offers to help Get Binladen”, This Day (Lagos), 2001.

17- Ethiopian police slammed for killing protesters”, Afrol News , /2

18- Anneli Botha,” Political Dissent and Terrorism in Southern Africa”.,Occasional,(Pretotia: Institute for security Studies, August 2004.),p90.

19- Ramy Ashour, The Terrorism Dilemma (Abu Dhabi: Vision News Network, 2016)

20- Jolyon Ford,” African counter-terrorism legal frameworks a decade after 2001”, (Pretoria: the Institute for Security Studies,2011)pp68-69.

21- Hamad Abul-Hassan Zard, “Anti-Terrorism Laws in African Countries: Between Protecting Society and Ensuring Human Rights” (Cairo: State Information Service, African Horizons, No. 26, 2007)

22- Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want.

23- Joint Assessment Report on Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Khartoum: Financial Action Task Force for the Middle East and North Africa Region, 2012), p. 5.

24- Badr El-Din Abdullah Hassan Hamad, Terrorist Crimes in Sudanese Legislation and International Covenants, research submitted to the International Terrorism Conference at Al-Hussein Bin Talal University – Jordan, June 2008.

25- Somalia: Special Courts and Anti-Piracy Law Proposed


27- Gani Yoroms, “counter- Terrorism Measures in West Africa”., in Wafula Okumu and Anneli Botha (eds), Understanding Terrorism in Africa: Building Bridges and overcoming the Gaps, Op.cit.


29- Criminal and penal law

30- Anti-terrorism law in Libya

31- The Egyptian Anti-Terrorism Law (Cairo: The Official Gazette, p. 33 bis, August 2015)

32- Lweendo Kambela, Terrorism in Africa ..A manifestation of new wars

33- Same

34- Report of the Secretary-General on the wok of the United Nations to help States and subregional and regional entities in Africa in fighting terrorism,( New-York : Security Council, 2014) pp31-32.

35- David D. Kirkpatrick,Egypt’s Arrests of Smugglers Show Threat of Libya Arms

36- Report of the Secretary-General on the wok of the United Nations to help States and subregional and regional entities in Africa in fighting terrorism,op.cit,p33.

37- UN: Lord’s Resistance Army has increased attacks in the Central African Republic

38- Report of the Secretary-General on transnational organized crime and illicit drug trafficking in West Africa and the Sahel region,( New-York : Security Council, 2013) p9.

39- Same.

40- Kaldor, Mary, New and Old Wars: Organized Violence in a Global Era

41- Lweendo Kambela, Terrorism in Africa ..A manifestation of new wars, op.cit

42- Ekaterina Stepanova ,” Terrorism in Asymmetrical Conflict Ideological and Structural Aspects”( New York : OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS,2008),p.5.

43- FATF REPORT on “Financing of Recruitment for Terrorist Purposes”,2018

44- Lweendo Kambela, Terrorism in Africa ..A manifestation of new wars, op.cit


46- Harun Maruf, Under Pressure, IS Militants in Somalia Look to Ethiopia

47- Ardian Shajkovci, Somalia’s Foreign Policy, Al Shabaab, ISIS: Implications for Somalia, the Horn of Africa, and Beyond

48- JAMES BLAke,West Africa Is Increasingly Vulnerable to Terrorist Groups

49- Sahel – a new battlefield between IS and Al-Qaeda?

50- ditto

SAKHRI Mohamed
SAKHRI Mohamed

I hold a bachelor's degree in political science and international relations as well as a Master's degree in international security studies, alongside a passion for web development. During my studies, I gained a strong understanding of key political concepts, theories in international relations, security and strategic studies, as well as the tools and research methods used in these fields.

Articles: 14301

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *