While Togo suffered its first ever jihadist attack in Nov. 2021, yesterday’s large assault represents the first loss of life from such violence in the small West African state. At least 8 Togolese troops were killed and 13 others wounded in an attack on a base and subsequent IED blast.
As violence continues to spread across the Sahel, particularly in Burkina Faso, the violence is now seeping into the states of Ivory Coast, Togo, and Benin.
Northern Ivory Coast has seen a substantial increase in suspected jihadist attacks since March of this year. Much of the violence is emanating from southwestern Burkina Faso, where al Qaeda’s Katibat Macina is expanding.
Caleb Weiss joins Tom and Bill to discuss France’s intervention in West Africa. Branches of both Al Qaeda and ISIS are fighting for territory, but France’s patience may be starting to wear thin.
While JNIM has not claimed the assault, its Katibat Macina is widely suspected of perpetrating the attack. This comes after sustained operations against it in the area last month.
Rising communal violence in both northern and central Mali further weakens the already fragile state, which in turn, further helps jihadists exploit these problems for their own gain.
At least 276 attacks in Mali and its neighboring countries were linked al Qaeda in 2017. This includes a significant shift of violence to central Mali, as well as northern Burkina Faso.
At least a dozen females and another five males have been used in suicide attacks so far this month. The rate of which females are used in this tactic remain on pace to quadruple in 2017 compared to last year.