Radical movements and their recruitment strategies in Africa: some theoretical assumptions

SOURCE: Africa Insight
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2016
TITLE AUTHOR(S): N.A.Check
KEYWORDS: AFRICA, TERRORISM
DEPARTMENT: African Institute of South Africa (AISA)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 9768

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Abstract

The paper examines some theoretical assumptions to the recent and recurring wave of terror attacks across the African continent. The paper notes that poverty, inequality, citizenship, state formation, dependency, development theories, together with the fluidity of African geographical boundaries are major contributing factors to terrorism on the continent. However, the paper focuses on post-modernism, structural functionalism and colonialism as the perennial theoretical assumptions that have masterminded terrorism on the African continent. This is made complicated by the seeming inability of many African economies to function and compete effectively in the global arena, which in essence has led to pervasive poverty and unemployment, thereby facilitating the enrolment of young and energetic people into terror group cells around the continent. The African Union???s counter terrorism framework, more particularly the 1999 Organisation of African Unity (OAU) Convention on the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism, the African Union (AU) plan of action on the prevention and combating of terrorism and the Dakar declaration against terrorism are some key strategic approaches which the AU has undertaken to stem this phenomenon on the continent. Nonetheless, acts of terrorism have intensified over the years. The paper asks the question, why these recurring attacks? The paper makes a strong point on the reassessment of the AU counterterrorism approach with special regards to the east African region affected by Al-Shabaab and the west/central African region impacted by the activities of AZAWAD and Boko Haram. This should be done in collaboration with state and non-state actors in the security and social fields in order to come up with a concerted coalition to address this phenomenon. The paper concludes with some policy recommendations for the affected countries.