In a bid to stem the tide of growing “Jihadism” in the West African region, the British government has deployed soldiers from One Scot Guards and the Royal Marine to help train soldiers from a coalition of West African countries
Countries such as Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad etc are at the heartland of a growing wave of Islamic insurgency exacerbated by the instability in Libya.
Thousands of extremists dislodged from Syria, Libya and other war torn countries in North Africa and the Middle East are believed to have found a safe haven in West Africa. It has become almost a daily occurence for civilians, churches, mosques etc to be attacked in Burkina Faso by Islamic extremists, hoping to establish an Islamic caliphate in the mode of ISIS. In the case of Nigeria, Boko Haram and ISWAP have been waging a decade-long insurgency against civilians, military, schools and government targets across the north eastern part of the country.
‘What none of us want to see is a caliphate anywhere near West Africa that imposes its own regime and Islamic law. That’s the worst case for us.’ said Colonel Matthew Botsford who oversees British military training team in Nigeria.
‘The potential for it [terror] to spread here absolutely is increasing.’ He said the ‘aspiration’ was to avoid a ‘perpetual crisis’ by being ‘pre-emptive’.
Brigadier Gus Fair, who overseas specialised teams of British military trainers across the world, added.
The training team has 30 soldiers within its ranks and its training over 80 soldiers from Nigeria, senagal, Cameroon, Morocco etc.