The only place in the world where fighters linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group are cooperating is in West Africa’s sprawling Sahel region, giving the extremists greater depth as they push into new areas, according to the commander of the U.S. military’s special forces in Africa.
As extremist violence grows across Africa, the United States is considering reducing its military presence on the continent, a move that worries its international partners who are working to strengthen the fight in the tumultuous Sahel region.
The U.S. military in Africa has taken steps to increase the security of troops on the ground, adding armed drones and armored vehicles and taking a harder look at when American forces go out with local troops, the head of the U.S. Africa Command said Monday.
Niger’s military has detained a suspect who it believes could be the militant leader who was being pursued when an ambush left four American soldiers dead in October, the American ambassador said Tuesday.
Six months after the deaths of U.S. soldiers in Niger led to questions about the military’s presence in the West African nation, the U.S. special operations command in Africa on Wednesday opened its annual counterterror exercise in the face of a growing extremist threat.
Rallying behind the slogan of “Ghana First,” thousands of people in the West African nation have protested a new defense cooperation deal with the United States, with many in the longtime U.S. ally saying they worry the expanded military presence could attract extremists and harm their country’s sovereignty.
Violent extremist groups and their affiliates are collaborating more in northern Africa, and regional forces must be built up and supported with deeper intelligence sharing to counter the increasing threat of attacks, the head of the U.S. military's Special Operations Command Africa said Monday.