Insurgencies in Africa's Sahel Region. Implications for National Security in Nigeria

Academic Paper, 2020

16 Pages, Grade: A



The paper focused attention on the implications of insurgencies in the Sahel region for Nigeria. The Sahel region is one of the poorest and least developed in the world. In recent years, there are over 73 insurgent groups including Boko Haram and Ansaru operating in the region and unleashing unprecedented humanitarian and security challenges. The paper used secondary data to underpin the fact that despite multinational efforts to address the security and humanitarian challenges created by both insurgencies and climate change, the Sahel remains a problematic enclave for countries in the region including Nigeria. The paper highlighted socio-economic, security and environmental implications of the growing insurgencies in the region for Nigeria. Some recommendations such as improving border security through technology, enhanced human security, deliberate countering of jihadist narrative and improved military capability of nations in the region were made. The paper submits that kinetic and non-kinetic approach must be applied to degrade and defeat insurgencies in the Sahel and Nigeria in particular.

Keyword: Insurgency, Sahel Region, Security and National Security.

Table of Contents

Abstract II

I. Introduction
The Sahel Region
National Security

III. Theoretical Exploration of Insurgencies in the Sahel Region

IV. General Overview of Insurgencies in the Africa’s Sahel Region

V. Implications of Insurgencies in the Sahel Region for National Security in Nigeria
SocioEconomic Implications
Humanitarian Implications
Environmental Implications
Security Implications

VI. Conclusion and Recommendations


I. Introduction

Insurgency is a rabid armed struggle for the control of both human and material resources of a country by violent non-state actors. The United States of America (USA) Council on Foreign Relations’ Invisible Armies Insurgency Tracker in its visual history of guerrilla warfare tracked insurgencies as far back as 1775. The database depicts the fact that insurgencies have erupted in various regions of the world including Europe, Asia Americas and Africa among others. For example, in South Asia, insurgencies have raged for decades in countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and India with serious implications for national and regional security. The insurgency in Afghanistan caused at least 21,932 direct violent deaths in 2016. Similarly, the insurgency in Iraq caused the death of 23,584 persons in 2016 and it is still ongoing with attendant implications for Iraq’s national security.

In Europe, the insurgency in the North Caucasus, Russia that started since 2009 has led to the violent death of more than 4000 persons. In South America, the insurgency in Colombia since 1964 caused the death of more than 220,000 persons. [4] It is salutary to note that the recent Peace Accord between the Colombian government and the insurgents will finally stop the carnage in that country and usher in a lasting peace and security.

In Africa, the Somali insurgency that started since 1991 has led to death of more than 500,000 persons. The Sinai insurgency has raged since 2011 and caused the untimely death of about 8202 persons as at December 2016. One of the regions in Africa with rising spate of insurgencies is the Sahel region, with complex and intertwined security and humanitarian challenges. For instance, the Tuareg insurgency exemplified by the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) in Mali, Al-Shabaab, the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria and the activities of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb(AQIM) and its sundry affiliates as well as the allegiance and alignment of these insurgents to Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The insurgencies in the region have adversely impacted security with huge death toll, refugee crisis and millions of internally displaced persons (IDPs). As noted by Waddington (2016) “the geographic nature of the Sahel belt, and perhaps especially in West Africa, lends itself to insurgencies and insurrection”. In this regard, the geographic meeting point of desert and savannah equates a meeting of different and occasionally hostile creeds and ideologies.

Nigeria being one of the countries in the Sahel region has been confronted by the growing insurgencies in the region. Since 2009, Boko Haram, one of the insurgent groups in the Sahel region has waged a deadly war against Nigeria in particular and the Lake Chad Basin countries in general. The aftermath of the Boko Haram insurgency includes the death of over 20,000 persons, displacement of about 2.5 million persons and destruction of property estimated at about. Additionally, militant agitations in the Niger Delta by groups such as Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) and separatist struggles in the South East by Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) among others are equally regarded as forms of insurgencies in literature. Elias (2009) weighed in on this by describing the phenomenon as political marginalization, repression and petro-insurgency.

The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) has made efforts towards containing the Boko Haram insurgency and activities similar groups through kinetic and non-kinetic approaches including the deployment of Multi-National Joint Task Forces (MNJTF) in collaboration with neighbouring countries such as Niger, Chad and Cameroon. Additionally, the Presidential Initiative in the North East (PINE) now Presidential Committee on the North East (PCNE) and the Victims Support Fund (VSF) were initiated to resolve the socio-economic contradictions that fuel the insurgency.

However, despite these efforts to defeat insurgency in the Sahel region, there is apparent growing spate of the phenomenon in many countries including Nigeria with attendant implications for national security. For instance, the Boko Haram, although technically defeated according to the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) who captured the Sambisa Forest stronghold of the insurgents in December 2016 has splintered into two. This further complicates counter-insurgency efforts by Nigeria. However, the insurgents continue to hold some of the kidnapped victims including the Chibok girls and perpetuating suicide bombings with huge civilian death tolls. The purpose of this paper therefore, is to proffer strategies toward addressing the security implications of the rising phenomenon of insurgencies in the Sahel region for Nigeria. In order to achieve the aforementioned core objective, the chapter covers a conceptual and theoretical explanation of the key concepts. Thereafter, it presents an overview of insurgencies in the Sahel, taking due cognizance of the issues involved. Furthermore, the chapter highlights the implications of insurgencies in the Sahel for national security in Nigeria. Finally, a conclusion, policy and academic recommendations are proffered.

II. Conceptual Clarification

The key concepts to be interrogated in this chapter are insurgency, the Sahel region and national security. It is deemed necessary to conceptually clarify them to provide a better understanding of the context in which they are used in this chapter.


According to Drew, an insurgency is nothing more than an armed revolution against the established order”. This definition underlines the violent nature of insurgency, but did not consider the objective of insurgencies. It is therefore considered not comprehensive for purpose of this chapter.

The Guide to the Analysis of Insurgency (2012) defines insurgency as a protracted politicalmilitary struggle directed towards subverting or displacing the legitimacy of a constituted government or occupying power and completely or partially controlling the resources of a territory the use of irregular military forces and illegal political organizations. The foregoing conceptualization not only identified the purpose of insurgency, it also isolated the means through which insurgent groups seek to realize their objectives. Consequently, this paper stays with this broad definition. According to Salih is a social and political activity in which violence and warfare are used to attain political goals. (Mohamed salih “Insurgency in the Sahel: Multi-faceted Approach to Combating the Insurgencies and Foreign Fighters” (

Insurgencies seek to undermine the ability of the government and also to obtain the active support of the population. They equally seek to provoke government into committing human rights violations that drive neutral civilians toward the insurgents and solidify the capacity of insurgent supporters. A common thread running through most insurgent groups is their objective of gaining control of a population or a particular territory, including its resources. This is particularly the scenario being played out in the Sahel region. Metz and Millen carved out a dichotomy between national insurgency and regional liberation. National insurgency is where the primary antagonists are the insurgents and a national government. The aim is to overthrow existing regime in a bid to alter the rules of the political game. Regional insurgency is the struggle for self-determination or self-rule. It is driven by aspiration to establish national sovereignty or improve the lot of marginalized and oppressed people by opting out of an established state. The two brands of insurgencies exist in the Sahel and in Nigeria in particular at one point or the other. (Metz and Millen 2005)

The Sahel Region

According to Smith (2008), the Sahel region is an eco-climate zone located on the southern edge of the Sahara desert. The region spans across Nigeria, Sudan, Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad (Ethiopia and Somalia are sometimes included in the Sahel region). The name, Sahel, comes from the Arabic work for “border” or “margin”. The region gained this name because it serves as the southern border to the Sahara. It is the transitional zone between the dessert and the more tropical south central Africa. (The Sahel Region, CE397 – Transboundary Water Resources, February 7th, 2008, Virginia Smith)

National Security

In the words of Lippman (1943) “a nation is secure to the extent to which it is not in danger of having to sacrifice core values, if it wishes to avoid war, and is able, if challenged, to maintain its core values and avoid war, and if challenged, its ability to maintain such core values by victory in such a war”. Lippman’s assertion is narrow and state-centric as such not comprehensive enough. Nwolise (2008) defines national security as actions dealing with the activities and services of security agencies in ensuring the maintenance of peace, law and order, as well as the security of live and property. These include combating smuggling, armed robbery and armed rebellion and violent conflict among others. Nwolise’s view is considered broad based and inclusive of both military and non-military dimensions of national security. Having explored the two major concepts, it is important therefore to consider a theory that could be adopted to underpin the paper.

III. Theoretical Exploration of Insurgencies in the Sahel Region

There are three major explanations for why people organize to violently fight the government. These are grievances, greed and opportunity. It is trite to note that each of the reason is flawed and each also has merit.

Grievance is a theory advanced by Gurr (1970) and Horowitz (1985). The point is that groups who fail to fulfill expected needs sometimes resort to aggression. This stems from relative deprivation, horizontal inequality. Relative deprivation is a perception of being worse off than others in society. This can be political, economic or otherwise. Conflicts arise when a group is deprived or even perceive itself to be deprived by other group. Horizontal inequality is relative deprivation along multiple dimensions.

Samuel Huntington, More and Skocpol in their modernization theory argue that economic shifts leave winners and losers along class lines. The modernization perspective posits that conflict formed between middle class and aristocracy, working class and peasants, etc. politically excluded groups, economically unequal groups are more likely to rebel.

Greed. According to Grossman (1998) greed pushes rebels to take violent action. Rebels are motivated by profit as grievances are used opportunistically to shore up popular support. Collier and Hoeffer (2004) conducted a study to test greed versus grievance.

Opportunity. Fearon and Laitin (2003) argue that neither grievances nor ethnic diversity lead to insurgency. The growing spate of insurgency in the Sahel region could be understood by applying different theoretical schemas as enunciated above. It is however, noted that the three explanations illustrated above fit different context as no two insurgencies are the same even though the objective of insurgencies are the same to gain control of territory and resources.

IV. General Overview of Insurgencies in the Africa’s Sahel Region

The Sahel region, a geographic belt separating desert from savannah, stretching from the west coast of Africa to the east coast, faces numerous security and stability threats. Non-state actor groups consisting of militants, rebels and terrorists are a particular source of instability and violence. These groups include: al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and its various affiliates and offshoots who are concentrated in north-western Africa; Boko Haram in north-eastern Nigeria and the Lake Chad area; and al-Shabaab in Somalia and Kenya. In addition, there is Al-Qaeda in West Africa (AQWA) To a limited but increasing extent, groups or factions within pre-existing militant movements, aligned with the Islamic State (ISIS), are also making their presence felt across the region. (Harmon: 2016)

As underlined by Salih (2016) between 2000 and 2014 there were about 82 active insurgent groups in the African Sahel. With the end of combat activities of some insurgencies in Djioubti, Ethiopia, Cote D’Ivoire, Mozambique and Senegal, it is estimated that as of October 2014, there are 73 active insurgent groups in the Sahel. Eleven Sahelian countries are home to about 45 percent of the total insurgencies in Africa. Three countries in the Sahel namely South Sudan, Sudan and Mali are hosting about 60 percent of the total number of insurgent groups in the Sahel or 26 percent of the total insurgent groups in the whole of Africa. (Salih: 2016) Details of major active insurgencies operating in the Sahel are contained in Appendix 1. From the list, Nigeria is home to four major insurgent groups. In a bid to combat these insurgent groups counter-insurgency measures have been launched.

To an extent, the geographic nature of the Sahel belt, and perhaps especially in West Africa, lends itself to insurgencies and insurrections. Within many of the countries crowding the Sahel region, that geographic meeting point of desert and savannah also equates to a meeting of different and occasionally hostile creeds and ideologies. Nomadic pastoralists come into contact with agrarians, while predominantly Muslim northerners meet with Christian and animist southerners. Arabs, Berbers and Tuareg meet black Africans. While this meeting of different peoples can result in instability or even incidents of violence by itself (as in clashes between nomadic herders and agrarian farmers in Niger, or sectarian violence in Nigeria’s middle belt), the north-south polarisation of the Sahel plays out in another manner.

Taking the examples of Mali and Nigeria, the north-south split in each country has defined the political landscapes of each. In Mali, government resides in Bamako in the far south of the country, while the north, which has a large Tuareg population, has historically been economically and politically sidelined, resulting in deep discord and prompting repeated uprisings by the Tuareg. The most recent such uprising was in 2012 and resulted in a political collapse and civil war. In Nigeria, there was an agreement of sorts within the previous ruling party that the presidency should rotate between a northerner and a southerner every two terms to maintain a balance in political representation.

In both the examples of Mali and of Nigeria, Islamist militant groups have sought to leverage and exploit those socio-political features to their own ends. Weak governments and militaries, hamstrung by the political challenges of balancing often deeply opposed ethno-ideological constituencies, provide a security void in which militants can establish themselves. Fractured societies present opportunities that insurgents can exploit, whether by intentionally attempting to stir up underlying conflicts, such as Boko Haram stoking sectarian tensions in Nigeria, or by piggy-backing on pre-existing grievances, as when Islamists hijacked the 2012 Tuareg uprising in Mali.

In addition to demographics and political histories, geography itself plays a major role in shaping the security environment in the Sahel region. Vast tracts of open or hostile terrain make for extremely difficult operational environments for security forces seeking to control borders. Without effective border control, militants seeking safe haven, resupply or operational space can move freely from one country to another. Thus, scale of the borders of Sahel countries makes securitisation efforts herculean, if not impossible.

According to Yamamoto (2013) security in the Sahel and North Africa are inextricably linked. Porous borders and limited government presence and capacities mean that insecurity in one part of the region can quickly become a security threat in another. In 2011, one result of the Libyan revolution, among many others, was an increase in the flow of dangerous weapons and well-armed, experienced fighters into the Sahel. The collapse of Libyan security institutions caught the Sahel at an especially vulnerable time. In Mali, a rebellion in the north by heavily armed, primarily Tuareg rebel groups, together with weak governance in Bamako, corruption, and an ineffectual counterterrorism response, culminated in a March 2012 coup d’état. Terrorist and extremist groups, including al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), exploited the resulting political vacuum and seized control of the northern two-thirds of Mali. Terrorists enjoyed greater freedom of movement and, temporarily, access to a larger pool of potential recruits and training opportunities.

Counter-insurgency or counter-terrorism efforts across the Sahel region take on many forms, with various countries’ security forces seeking to contain the threat posed by militants who either reside in their territory, or cross over the poorly designated and largely unsecured borders to launch attacks. Such containment efforts have met with mixed success. Multilateral or joint cooperative efforts are rare, and have similarly met with limited success. Arguably, interventions by regional or international forces acting as UNor African Union-mandated peacekeepers have been the most effective option for countering regional militant threats. In West Africa, conflicts centred in northern Mali and north-eastern Nigeria provide illustrations of both the effective and the counter-productive aspects of joint and unilateral efforts to defeat militant insurgencies. The battle for the Sahel could ultimately rest on whether regional powers are able to cooperate for their collective security.

Economics and environmental factors could also spark further violence in the Sahel region. With the ongoing fragility of the global economy, investment in the region has been, and will remain, muted. A lack of development means limited economic growth, which in turn creates resentment and opportunities for radicalisation and recruitment. Slow burning dissatisfaction could similarly spark violence going into 2016. Both Niger and Chad have major elections set for 2016, which, given the instability and insecurity in the region, could cause substantial tensions, and may also present a target for militant groups seeking to exploit that tension and international attention

Other factors are similarly expected to contribute to worsening security and instability in the region. A competition of sorts between al-Qaeda and ISIS has taken shape, with various militant Islamist groups across the Sahel subsequently pledging allegiance to one group or the other. Boko Haram has attempted to rebrand itself as the West African branch of ISIS, and has received telling support for its propaganda campaign, which now regularly releases highly stylised videos of their exploits. In East Africa, al-Shabaab has officially retained its allegiance to al-Qaeda – specifically to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), although some elements have, in the final quarter of 2015, begun to fracture off the main group and are now aligned with ISIS

Islamist militant groups aligned with AQIM conducted a brazen attack on a hotel in Bamako in Mali in November 2015, within days of the ISIS attacks in Paris, but it appears that the timing was a coincidence. Nonetheless, it is possible that regional militant groups could seek to conduct more high profile attacks (the kind that target Westerners or otherwise garner substantial international media attention), specifically in order to emulate and ingratiate themselves with their respective affiliate bodies.

With the above-mentioned difficulties facing securitisation efforts in the Sahel region, cooperation between regional neighbours is vital. Joint military operations are critical to effectively contain foes and reduce their ability to dictate the strategic tempo and locations of attacks. The Boko Haram insurgency in north-eastern Nigeria is illustrative of this: insurgents were at times able to exploit porous borders with Cameroon, Chad and Niger for logistical purposes and to infiltrate, attack and exfiltrate. It is worth noting that unsecured borders are just one aspect of that conflict that has allowed Boko Haram to conduct its insurgency in the way that it has since 2009, but since the intervention and heightened cooperation among those regional neighbouring states, the group has been under significantly greater military pressure.

Border security is just one matter compelling regional cooperation. Intelligence sharing and general military cooperation in the form of, for instance, the facilitation of ‘hot pursuits’ of militants across borders, are also crucial tools for counter-insurgency efforts. Full joint military cooperation is an additional step up in operational and political complexity from shared border security. A crucial West African security initiative is the multinational joint task force (MNJTF) created between Lake Chad Basin Commission members (Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria) to fight Boko Haram in the Lake Chad area. Other examples include multilaterally mandated intervention or peacekeeping forces, such as the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). That mission began as an Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS) supported intervention spearheaded by France in 2013, before transitioning into an African Union mission that eventually received a full UN mandate. Both the MNJTF and MINUSMA raise other difficult aspects of cooperation, such as logistical and operational incompatibilities or language barriers

With regard to logistics, countries in the Sahel region have limited, airlift capability, meaning that the movement of large numbers of troops to conflict areas is difficult, requiring private outsourcing, foreign aid, or resorting to slow and cumbersome land-based travel. Regional militaries also suffer for constrained budgets and limitations on the numbers of ‘operations capable’ forces (frontline combat troops who can be spared for extended deployments). Moreover, the actual logistical provisioning of a force in the field provides a significant challenge to the region. Poor infrastructure, where roads and bridges are inadequate, creates difficulties in keeping necessary food/water/ammunition/spares/replacements moving. For instance, Chadian troops have been pledged or committed to several conflicts in the region over the past half-decade, including costly frontline combat in Mali, and have subsequently suffered from overstretch.

In the aftermath of the terrorist takeover of northern Mali, neighboring countries – including Mauritania, Burkina Faso, and Niger –intensified their own efforts to block violent extremists and criminal networks from expanding their operations into other parts of the region. The Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP) has been the United States primary vehicle to assist these and other countries in the region to improve their capacity to monitor and control border areas and improve their overall counterterrorism capability. TSCTP supports a coordinated and comprehensive U.S. Government approach to building long-term security capacity in Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania, Niger, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tunisia. The program is designed to support partner and regional efforts to contain and marginalize terrorist organizations, disrupt efforts to recruit and train extremists, counter efforts to establish safe havens, and disrupt foreign fighter networks. Niger, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Chad are utilizing the training and equipment provided under TSCTP to contain the threat of AQIM and other extremist groups. Notably, the Sahel remains one of the poorest and least developed regions of the world, which makes it produce huge army of unemployed youth. The growing spate of insurgencies in the African Sahel has tangible and intangible as well as direct and indirect implications for Nigeria in particular and the region at large. These are explored below.

V. Implications of Insurgencies in the Sahel Region for National Security in Nigeria

The implications of insurgencies in the Sahel include socio-economic, and humanitarian. Others are environmental and security. These are discussed subsequently.

SocioEconomic Implications

Insurgencies in the Sahel have produced huge social and economic contradictions. For instance, Boko Haram insurgency has led to destruction of socio-economic infrastructure such as schools, hospitals and markets among others. Boko Haram insurgency has culminated in the destruction of heal facilities in most of the north eastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe. Health workers have either relocated to other states or neighbouring countries. Similarly, the Boko Haram insurgency has been major obstacle to educational development in the north east since 2009. According to Omilusi (2016) the Islamic militants have serially attacked students and facilities in educational institutions in different northern states. For instance, over 600 teachers lost their lives to terror attacks. These include 308 in Borno, 75 in Adamawa, 18 in Yobe, 25 in Kaduna, 120 in Plateau, 63 in Kano and 2 in Gombe. This is in addition to 19,000 teachers displaced by the insurgency. (Omilusi: 2016) Furthermore, girl child education in the north has suffered huge set back due to abduction of female students by insurgent groups. The number of children out of school in the north east is 30 times higher than in the south east. In terms of economic cost, insurgency has scared away investors not just from the north east but in Nigeria as a whole. There is the impression that Nigeria is not safe for investors. Naturally, no investor will come into a country where his life and investment are not safe. Insurgencies divert foreign direct investment (FDI) away from Nigeria, destroy infrastructure and redirect public expenditure largely to security. Huge sums of money are usually devoted as security vote to fight insurgency and terrorism. Indeed, most northern state governors have used the alibi of fighting Boko haram for their woeful failure to provide development in their respective states.

Humanitarian Implications

Boko Haram insurgency has generated an unprecedented huge humanitarian crisis in the north east. There are over 2.5 million persons that are IDPs and over 300,000 refugees generated by the insurgency in the Sahel into neighbouring countries of Cameroon, Chad and Niger among others. It is also estimated that 10 million people remain at risk of food insecurity in the Sahel. Sadly, food shortages are nothing new for the arid Sahel, which has experienced debilitating, recurring droughts throughout its history. More attention is needed to alleviate chronic food insecurity and break the cycle of emergency assistance. Due to the insurgency by Boko Haram, farmers are scared to go to their farms for fear of being attacked. Boko Haram insurgency not only created humanitarian crisis in the north east, the impact is also felt in the southern quadrant of Nigeria and the Sahel region in general.

Environmental Implications

The environmental implications of insurgency will definitely worsen the effects of climate change in the region in general and Nigeria in particular. There has been attempts to explain the Boko Haram insurgency in the north east within the context of resource scarcity and environmental degradation. Climate change has been implicated by some analysts. The recurring Farmers/Herdsmen conflict caused partly by desertification and drought have forced nomadic pastoralist mostly Fulanis looking for pastures in other parts of the country. Insurgencies compound and exacerbate the effects of climate change and by implications undermine environmental security.

Security Implications

The insurgency in the Sahel especially by Boko Haram has precipitated huge insecurity in the region. Nigerian citizens especially in the north now live in perpetual fear. Insurgency has in grained fear in the psyche of the people. Insurgency undermines human security include personal and community security. The rising spate of herdmen/ farmers conflicts that have claimed hundreds of lives in States such as Benue, Kaduna, Nassarawa, Plateau and Enugu among others have been linked to the Boko Haram insurgency. Furthermore, the growing insurgency in the Sahel has dire consequence for regional security as it promotes transnational crimes such as drug and human trafficking as well as proliferation of small arms and light weapons.

VI. Conclusion and Recommendations

The paper examined the implications of the growing insurgencies in the Sahel for Nigeria’s national security. It underlined the worsening security situation in Africa’s Sahel region occasioned by a plethora of factors such as underdevelopment, bad governance, unsecured border and twisted religious ideologies among others. A general overview of the Sahel revealed the existence of more than 73 insurgents groups pledging allegiance to either Al-Qaeda or ISIS, This unfortunate development problematizes the securitization efforts in the region.

Nigeria is home to about 4 major insurgent groups including Boko Haram and Ansaru. These groups have unleashed terror with catastrophic consequences for Nigeria and the countries in the Sahel region. The numerous implications of the growing insurgencies in the Sahel region especially for Nigeria were highlighted. These include socio-economic, humanitarian, environmental and security implications.

The paper espouses the need for an approach to security in the region that recognizes the intricate interconnections at work in the Sahel from corruption of government officials to the prevalence of organized criminal networks and activities as well as political Islam. Furthermore, this chapter reiterates the need to adopt both kinetic and non-kinetic approaches to combat insurgencies in the Sahel in general and Nigeria in particular. In this regard, the paper recommends the imperative of improved border security through technology, deepened cooperative efforts such as the MNJT and enhanced human security in terms of food, personal, community, health, environmental and economic security. It is also recommended that the international community need to encourage good governance that will unleash rapid development, deradicalisation programmes and deliberate countering of jihadist narratives are necessary measures to defeat insurgency in the region. Lastly, it is recommended that the regions’ military capability needs to be upgraded through training, acquisition of modern defense equipment and intelligence sharing. This would require both regional and international partnership to achieve.

It is the submission of the paper that insurgencies in the Sahel region portend serious implications for countries in the domain and Nigeria in particular. It is therefore, important to evolve a multinational cooperative approach that involves both kinetic and non-kinetic methods in order to combat and defeat these insurgent groups.


Elias, C; (2009) ‘Political Marginalisation, Repression and Petro-Insurgency in the Niger Delta” in Journal of Nordiska Afrikainstitute, Uppsala.

Harmon, S.A. (2014) Terror and Insurgency in the SaharaSahel Region: Corruption, Contraband, Jihad and the mali War of 2012-2013 (USA: Ashgate)

Omilusi, M (2016) “The Multi-Dimensional Impact of Insurgency and Armed Conflicts on Nigeria” Global Journal of Human Social Science: F Political Science, Vol 16, Issue 2.

Mohamed Salih “Insurgency in the Sahel: Multi-faceted Approach to Combating the Insurgencies and Foreign Fighters”

Waddington, C (2016) “The Battle for the Sahel: Confronting Islamist terror groups throughout the region”

Yamamoto, D. Y. (2013) “The Growing Crisis in Africa's Sahel Region

Bureau of African Affairs, Washington, DC.

Excerpt out of 16 pages


Insurgencies in Africa's Sahel Region. Implications for National Security in Nigeria
Strategic Studies
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
africa, implications, insurgencies, national, nigeria, region, sahel, security
Quote paper
Chinedu Udeh (Author)Kemal Ozden (Author), 2020, Insurgencies in Africa's Sahel Region. Implications for National Security in Nigeria, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


  • No comments yet.
Look inside the ebook
Title: Insurgencies in Africa's Sahel Region. Implications for National Security in Nigeria

Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free