US General Warns Over Rise of Islamic Jihad in Africa

According to the head of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), there has been a significant increase in the number of Islamic jihadist terrorists in Africa. 

U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Michael Langley, commander of AFRICOM, discussed on Sunday, prior to the African Chiefs of Defense Conference in Gaborone, Botswana, the various threats posed by China, Russia, and Iran. He also shed light on a potential change in U.S. military strategy, specifically in West Africa, in response to Niger’s decision to expel 1,000 U.S. personnel.

The general mentioned that they have been closely monitoring and identifying indications and warnings related to Islamic terror for a number of years. For statistical purposes, it is worth noting that in 2008, the presence of Islamic jihadists on the global stage was only 4% in Africa. Currently, the percentage has reached 40%. Executing AFRICOM’s mission is crucial for ensuring the protection of our homeland. It involves providing indications and warnings, as well as monitoring and responding to potential threats.

According to him, AFRICOM is responsible for deterring threats in Africa, gaining access and influence, and being prepared to respond to crises.

Langley expressed his particular concern regarding Chinese operations in Africa. The People’s Republic of China is a dangerous power because, when necessary, it is willing to exploit and force others. Its involvement in many projects throughout the continent as part of the Belt and Road Initiative is a prime example of this.

Russia became the center of attention for the AFRICOM commander. Over the past few years, he has seen Wagner’s business grow in other African countries. According to him, they have been trying to portray themselves as the go-to security partner in a number of nations, including Libya, the Central African Republic, and the Sahel area. They have also been disseminating misinformation.

According to the general, after Yevgeny Prigozhin’s demise due to their misinformation tactics, the Russian MOD (Ministry of Defense) has now assumed sponsorship. He said that we need to improve our information operations and fight these misinformation campaigns. He thinks the United States should make sure it works well with African allies. Together, we will tackle several problems, such as global warming and deadly extremist groups.

Langley has arrived in Botswana for this week’s Africa Chiefs of Defense Conference. About 35 nations will attend the event, which the United States and Botswana are co-hosting. This shows that the United States is serious about supporting African leadership and addressing the continent’s (particularly the Sahel’s) major security issues.