The rise of Islamic militancy in parts of the Sahel and Horn of Africa poses growing threats to regional stability. The appeal of these militants stems from their ability to tap into and persuade marginalized communities, particularly youth, that their grievances can be rectified by the establishment of a more pure Islamist culture.
Despite breakthroughs, Islamic militants in Africa typically do not possess great military power and may not seek to govern at the state level. Rather, they tend to be homegrown phenomena, focused on local concerns.
Islamic militant organizations in Africa generally only command the support of small minorities within Muslim communities. However, ill-considered interventions, especially those involving Western forces, can reinforce the militants’ narrative, thereby strengthening their credibility and recruitment.