At least 800 ISIS prisoners who escaped from their Ayn Issa camp, north-eastern Syria, in October 2019, five days before Turkey began their military offensive in northern Syria, following a deal with U.S. President Donald Trump, are now fully present in Africa and are wreaking havoc, writes Taiwo Lawrence Adeyemi.
The alarm sounded well enough, but G-5 Sahel [Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger and Mauritania], Greater Sahara, Nigeria and Cameroon didn’t heed the advanced warning of the resultant effect of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS] escapees’ extremists and jihadists fighters from their Ayn Issa detention camp, north-eastern Syria jail breaks will have on; The G-5 Sahel [Niger, Mali, Mauritania, Chad and Burkina Faso], Greater Sahara, Nigeria, Cameroon, and the entire West Africa sub-region.
More than 800 Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS] prisoners escaped from their Ayn Issa camp, north-eastern Syria in October five days before Turkey began their military offensive in northern Syria.
The jail breaks have helped fuelled Islamic State of Syria and Iraq [ISIS] terrorists’ activities in the G-5 Sahel [Mali, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso and Mauritania] and Greater Sahara. “At least 10,000 Islamic State prisoners are in camps across northeastern Syria and about 2,000 are foreign fighters’, according to Kurdish and US officials
Now, the predictions has finally comes home to roost and there is no stopping extremists and jihadists relentless and unhindered annihilation of people in The G-5 Sahel [Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Chad], Greater Sahara, Nigeria and Cameroon.
It has become a daily routine and rituals in The G-5 Sahel [Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Chad], Greater Sahara, Nigeria and Cameroon, as these deadly extremists and jihadists continued in their killings, maiming, annihilations, executions and destruction. Innocent blood keeps flowing on a daily basis in these restive countries; Mali, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Niger and Chad.
Niger, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Chad and Cameroon have been on the receiving end, as casualties figures keep mounting. How efficient were G-5 Sahel [Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad and Mauritania] managing and tracking of intelligence flow of the impending Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS] jailbreaks from Ayn Issa camp in north eastern Syria, despite the advanced security problems warning and downplay the seriousness of the jailbreaks?
The G-5 Sahel [Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Chad and Niger], Greater Sahara, Nigeria and Cameroon has become the ‘Killing Fields’ of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS], Islamic State of West Africa Province [ISWAP], Boko Haram Terrorists, Islamic State in the Greater Sahara [ISGS] extremists and jihadists.
The roads from Libya into G-5 Sahel [Mali, Niger, Mauritania, Chad and Burkina Faso], and Greater Sahara countries remains porous and lack effective aerial surveillance and this has created a leeway for these extremists and jihadists to take delivery of arms and ammunition from their Maghreb, North African and over 45 countries active cells.
In 2015 Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS] was said to have an annual budget of more than $1.5 billion and a force of more than 30,000 fighters. Ninety percent of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS] weapons originated from China, Russia, Eastern Europe and captured weapons of Sadaam Hussein’s Iraqi stockpiles and taming, curtailing them and break their numerous cells will require a dedicated, committed, relentless and sophisticated measure.
Islamic State of West Africa Province [ISWAP] and Islamic State in the Greater Sahel [ISGS] pledges allegiance to Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS]. Captured military hardware from their attacks on ‘state armed groups’ locations had these extremists and jihadists become daring and effrontery.
The Sahel and The Greater Sahara countries witnessed some unprecedented terrorists, extremists and jihadists’ attacks activities. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, UN Special Representative and Head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel [UNOWAS], told the Council in its first formal meeting of the year.
The United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel [UNOWAS] chief elaborated on terrorist-attack casualties in Burkina Faso Mali and Niger, which have leapt five-fold since 2016 – with more than 4,000 deaths reported in 2019 alone as compared to some 770 three years earlier.
According Mohammed Ibn-Chambas, “West Africa and G-5 Sahel and Greater Sahara countries region has experienced a devastating surge in terrorist attacks against civilian and military targets”.
“Most significantly,” Mohammed Ibn-Chambas said, “the geographic focus of terrorist attacks has shifted eastwards from Mali to Burkina Faso and is increasingly threatening West African Coastal States”.
Mohammed Ibn-Chambas previously served as the UN SRSG and Head of the Joint UN-AU Peacekeeping Mission in Darfur [2012-2014], the Secretary-General of the African Carribean and Pacific Group of States [2010-2012] and the President of the Economic Community of West African States [ECOWAS, 2006-2009]
The G-5 Sahel [Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mauritania] and Greater Sahara is the most militarized zone in the entire sub-Saharan Africa and home to;
1. United Nations 15,000 Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission [MINUSA] in Bamako, Mali [the third largest UN Peacekeeping troops in the world].
2. European Union-EUCAP Sahel, Mali and EUTM Mali.
3. United States Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance [ISR] 201 Air Station, in the northern city of Agadez, Niger.
4. France 4,500 Operation Barkhane, stationed in N’Djamena, Chad.
5. French Army 3 Reaper Drones Airbase, near Niamey, Niger.
Yet extremists and jihadists’ attacks seem unstoppable in the G-5 Sahel [Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mauritania], Greater Sahara, Nigeria and Cameroon…..