Climate change is heating up the terrorist conflict in Africa’s Sahel region
In Africa’s Sahel region — the current hotbed of terrorist violence — climate change has become a leading cause of worsening conditions.
Although Nigeria is not new to security challenges, some commentators in the country recently have linked the worrying crime statistics to foreigners who find their way into Nigeria through the Sahel region — encompassing Mali, Senegal, Mauritania, Chad, Burkina Faso, Niger, Cameroon — either to join ranks with the terrorist group Boko Haram or to engage in criminal activities.
With climate change posing a threat to arid regions of the African continent, livestock farmers in search of grazing routes have, over the years, found their way into Nigeria via the country’s numerous unmanned border crossings. Some observers now believe that criminal elements and terrorists, posing as herdsmen, have infiltrated the ranks of Nigerian herdsmen traversing the country in search of grazing lands or have teamed up with terrorist groups like Boko Haram.
Many of the itinerant herdsmen, armed with sophisticated weapons, are today scattered across forests in Nigeria with their animals, from where they are alleged to emerge to perpetrate havoc on citizens.
There’s also an economic incentive to terrorism that is accelerated by climate change, according to William Assanvo, senior researcher with the Institute for Security Studies office for West Africa.
In a recent interview, he told BNG that research by his organization shows many who joined extremist groups in the region did so for economic reasons
“We conducted research questioning why people, particularly young people in Mali, join terrorist groups,” he said, explaining that a main factor identified was economics. “You can see people joining because they want to get money.#globalwarming #climatechange #carboncompensation #bluesky #climateemergency #climatecrisis #blueskye #blueskyefoundation
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