The countries within the Sahel region, more than others, rely heavily on international and humanitarian assistance and support, in almost all areas of C-IED and other counterterrorism efforts. Many of the countries lack the resources to adequately launch attack the network operations and dismantle IEDs.
However, the lack of resources appears to have encouraged Sahel nations to seek better community cohesion. This has not only seen Sahel states utilise civilian volunteers in their military and law enforcement efforts, including intelligence and border security, but has also provided further empowerment to communities that can combat violent extremism and act as a preventative measure against recruitment for example. Such civilian efforts in the Sahel include the CJTF in Nigeria, vigilance committees in Cameroon, and ACM in Niger.
The involvement of civilians in C-IED of this scale is not seen in any of the other regions or globally. That civilians are willing and needed shows the scale of the problem faced, but may also facilitate better chances of combating such violence. However, the fact that civilians must be relied upon clearly places them in danger, and arming them also runs the risk of weapons falling into the wrong hands and accidents being caused by those who are untrained.
Greater international assistance to Sahel nations through funds, training, and equipment for C-IED capacity building is required. Further regional support to assist the cooperation of neighbouring states is also recommended.
To see the areas of the published report, see here. To see a list of all the C-IED actors examined as part of the project, please go here. To read the full report, ‘Addressing the threat posed by IEDs: National, Regional and Global Initiatives’, see here. To see those engaged in the Middle East, the Sahel, North Africa or other highly impacted countries please see here, here, here, and here respectively. This research was made possible by funding from the NATO Counter Improvised Explosive Devices Centre of Excellence (C-IED COE) and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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