Islamic Extremists in Africa: Security Spotlight on Kenya and Nigeria

Islamic Extremists in Africa: Security Spotlight on Kenya and Nigeria

Maurice Dawson (University of Missouri – St. Louis, USA) and Wale Adeboje (South Wesleyan University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0703-1.ch005
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Abstract

Security is a growing concern on the African continent as the Regional Economic Communities (REC) move toward economic integration. Furthermore, these regions collectively make up the African Union (AU) which has an objective to promote peace, security, and stability on the African continent. In recent years, Africa has been plagued with political uprisings, civil wars, extremists, corrupt politicians, and the battle for natural resources. In particular, Kenya and Nigeria are facing Islamic extremists that threaten the foundation of multiple nations. In both countries, they are using military force to combat these threats. This chapter provides insight into these West and East African nations and their means to provide security assurances to their citizens.
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African Union

The African Union (AU), formally called Organization of African Unity (OAU) was founded in Cairo in the 29th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the organization that was held from the 28th to 30th of June 1993. The name of the union was changed from OAU to AU in May 2001. AU is a union of fifty-four countries in the African continent with its headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. All the countries in Africa are members of the AU except Morocco due to the present status of the Western Sahara. The highest level decision-making body of the African Union is the Assembly of the African Union (AAU). The AAU is made up of all members of states and is currently headed by Robert Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe.

The objectives of the AU include:

  • 1.

    To defend the African territory and its member states.

  • 2.

    Promote peace, security and unity among its member states.

  • 3.

    To encourage and promote political and socio-economic cooperation among its member states.

  • 4.

    To promote development in the African continent by encouraging research in all fields most especially in the areas of science and technology.

  • 5.

    To eradicate and combat preventable disease and encourage the promotion of good health on the African continent.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Union: The African Union established by the present Constitutive Act (Union, 2010 AU48: The in-text citation "Union, 2010" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

Fulani Militants: A terrorist group in Nigeria that also operates in the Central African Republic (CAR).

Islamic States West Africa Province: New name for Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram.

African Union: A continental union consisting of fifty four countries in Africa (Union, 2010 AU46: The in-text citation "Union, 2010" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

Extremists: A person or group holding extreme political or religious views that can resort to extreme action (El Fadl & K, 2005 AU47: The in-text citation "El Fadl & K, 2005" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

Al-Shabaab: An al Qaeda affiliate in Somalia that has conducted terrorist attacks in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia.

Boko Haram: A terrorist group founded in 2002 in northern Nigeria that promotes a version of Islam that makes it forbidden for Muslims to take part in any political activities association with the western society ( Chothia, 2012 ).

Organization of African Unity: Former international organization, established in Ethiopia, by thirty seven independent members focused on removing all forms of colonialism.

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