Counter-terrorism measures in the West African community: an ‘Afri-Sensed’ assessement
Using an Afrisensed (also read as Afrocentric) perspective, this article explores counter-terrorism responses to address the escalating terrorist attacks in West Africa. To locate the root causes of terrorism, the study traces the history and impact of terrorism on the African continent and uses this insight to explore some of the major challenges facing African states in combating terrorism on the continent. Although not new, the fight against terrorism in Africa, led by the African Union’s (AU) counter-terrorism measures, has prompted leaders to constantly consider variety of ways to fight religious extremism. This study argues that it is not only the responsibility of the United Nations (UN) and AU to combat terrorism in Africa but the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has a significant role to play in initiating collective counter-insurgency strategies within the region. The authors establish that, in the response to the current terrorist menace in West Africa, the ECOWAS must play a pivotal role, but supported by both the UN and AU to effectively combat terrorism. The article makes the point that it is important for ECOWAS member-states and indeed African leaders to consider a multi-stakeholder approach that coherently addresses some of the root causes of terrorism. Thus, anti-terrorism initiatives in West Africa must go beyond the rhetoric of military approach in the quest to defeat the common enemy (terrorism).
Keywords: Counter-insurgency, African Union, Afrocentricity, Nigeria, Terrorism, West Africa.