Drones, the US and the new wars in Africa
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Since the early 20th Century, Africa has witnessed varying degrees of subversion from the Mau Mau nationalist campaigners in Kenya in the 1950s to acts by rebel groups in the infamous intrastate wars of Sub-Saharan Africa. While the first movement evolved mainly from political acts geared towards the struggle for independence, the latter was mostly evident in attempts to obtain psychological or strategic advantages by combatants in the brutal civil wars of Liberia, Sierra Leone, the African Great Lakes region and a number of such civil war theatres in Africa. The element of unrestrained violence commonly identified as a defining feature of terrorism (Attuquayefio, 2006), was palpable in all these movements, yet the socio-political or military drive for these movements barely included religion. The 1990s, however, marked the dawn of religious fundamentalism and its induced terrorism in Africa. With an overwhelming proportion of these terrorist movements tracing their foundations to Islam, a religion that is ordinarily portrayed as one of peace ironically continues to roll out some of the worst acts of terrorism in Africa. This arguably came to the limelight with the August 7, 1998 terrorist bombings of the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam that killed over two hundred people. Subsequently in 2002, an Israeli-owned hotel in Mombasa, Kenya was attacked. (Lyman & Morrison, 2004) The attribution of these events to the Egypt-based Islamic Jihad and other Al Qaeda surrogates such as its name sake in the Islamic Maghreb was the first public indication that international terrorist organisations were inducing affiliates on the continent. Subsequently, actions of Al-Shabaab in Somalia, the rise of Boko Haram in Northern Nigeria, the insurrection of Islamic Fundamentalists in Mali in March 2012 as well as the renewed interest in security on the continent by the US and key European countries such as the United Kingdom and France all point to Africa’s emerging relevance as a frontier for the global War on Terrorism.
Attuquayefio, P. (2014). Drones, the US and the new wars in Africa. Journal of Terrorism Research, 5(3), pp. 3-13.
Journal of Terrorism Research
This is an open access article published in Journal of Terrorism Research. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)
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