Responding to Islamic Extremism in the Sahel
The rise of Islamic extremism in the Sahel has destabilized the region and drawn attention from much of the international community. Groups like Jama'at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin, Ansaroul Islam, and the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara have largely operated in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger, and those states have been unable to adequately address the crisis. International interventions have come primarily from France and the UN, and those missions have partnered with African bodies such as the G5 Sahel Joint-Force to fight the growing insurgency. These responses have largely failed in their efforts, and jihadist leaders continue to exploit ethnic conflict and waning faith in the state to increase their power. This paper focuses on evaluating the extremist groups in the region, the causes of their rise to prominence, and the subsequent responses. An understanding of this conflict will help us to better understand its causes, and how to better address similar conflicts in the future.