THREATS OF TERRORISM IN THE SAHEL REGION OF WEST AFRICA
Halladay, Carolyn C.
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This thesis finds that the African regional response to mitigate terrorist threats in Mali and the Sahel region of West Africa has been more successful than Mali’s local efforts for reasons that cannot be unconnected from the collaborative efforts of regional players who presided at diplomatic engagements, shared intelligence, and participated in combat operations against terrorists. However, terrorists continue to pose isolated threats to Mali and the Sahel. The African regional bodies can curtail the threats through joint military operations by an established joint standby regional force, sound regional border security coordination and management practices, effective intelligence gathering and sharing procedures, and reform of the Malian armed forces to adequately step in and robustly replace the regional forces when they scale down operations in the near future. The African regional bodies have obtained support from their partners—the United Nations, European Union, France, and the United States, among others—and can explore the possibility of obtaining additional resources from the partners when the joint regional standby force is established. However, the extent to which a regional force will be successful depends on its counterterrorist response, its exposure to various types of weapons and equipment, and the degree of its professionalism. The conditions in the Sahel are right for an improved regional response to terror.
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