The National Security Adviser (NSA), Retired Major-General Babagana Monguno, has named three groups supporting terrorist organisations in the Sahel region.
He identified them as Jama’at Nasr al-Islam Wal Muslimin (JNIM), the Islamic and Muslim Support Group (GSIM), and Islamic State in Greater Sahara (ISGS).
Monguno made the disclosure on Tuesday in a speech delivered at the 14th workshop of the League of Ulamas, preachers and Imams of Sahel countries in Abuja.
“Terrorism and the rapid escalation of violent activities by militant Islamist groups in the Sahel since 2016 have been primarily driven by the Islamic State in Greater Sahara (ISGS), which mainly operates in Mali and extends to the Niger Republic and Burkina Faso,” he said.
“It is bolstered by activities of groups such as Jama’at Nasr al-Islam Wal Muslimin (JNIM), the Islamic and Muslim Support Group (GSIM), and ISGS, which have continued to pose an imminent threat to the stability of the region.
“In Nigeria, Boko-Haram and Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) dominate terrorist activities, especially in the North-Eastern part of the country.”
The situation in the Sahel, according to the NSA, has never been grimmer as extremist violence continues to spread with the number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) rising and increasing rate of food insecurity.
For him, there is a need to reassess and reset foreign and regional government strategies towards the Sahel and set aside faulty assumptions.