by Jean Damascène Hakuzimana
June 10 marked a blow to Al-Qaeda in Maghreb, when the Islamic terrorist group’s chief Abdelmalek Droukel was captured in a raid by the French army and the Sahel Coalition, according to the BBC.
France’s Defense Minister Florence Parly told the BBC that Droukdel had been killed along with members of his inner circle in Mali. French forces also captured a senior Islamic state group commander in May. The France Defense Minister called these operations a “severe blow to the terrorist groups.”
Terrorist groups have been responsible for a long series of deadly attacks in North Africa. The 2016 attack on a hotel in Burkina Faso’s capital city of Ougadougou killed 30 civilians and injured 150, and was orchestrated by Droukdel, who was based in the Maghreb, according to the BBC.
In February, Amjambo Africa reported on the launch of the Sahel Coalition, which was formed to combat terrorist groups that have attacked and killed both governmental forces and French forces established in the region: “African countries, France form ‘Coalition for the Sahel’ to defeat terrorism.”
Relief in North Africa has been matched by grief in West Africa. Al-jazeera reports that the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), a faction of the Boko Haram terrorist group, has claimed responsibility for coordinated attacks that have killed at least 81 people between June 9 and 13. Additionally, a United Nations humanitarian base and a police station in Nigeria’s Borno State were both burned to the ground. The terrorists had warned local residents not to work with government and international aid agencies.
Boko Haram is an Islamic terrorist group based primarily in Nigeria, whose operations swing between Nigeria, Niger, Chad, and Cameroon. Boko Haram hopes to turn Nigeria into an Islamic state governed by Sharia law. “Boko Haram” means “opposing western education.”
Jean Hakuzimana worked in Chad in 2017. He visited communities on the Chad-Niger border, among them communities displaced by Boko Haram terrorists.