•The crisis may engulf coastal West Africa —Burkina Faso’s Foreign Minister •10 million people in Lake Chad area need urgent help —UN

With Agency Report

There are fears that the current security problems wracking the country could become worsened soon with reports that jihadists across the West African region are recruiting heavily from aggrieved Fulani pastoralists.

While the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), fears a hike in the population of the displaced in West Africa, other reports warned that militant groups in the Sahel are on their way down to West African coastal countries.

Sahel countries are Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Southern Algeria, Niger, North of Nigeria, Central Chad, Central and Southern Sudan, the extreme north of South Sudan, Eritrea, Cameroon, Central African Republic and the extreme north of Ethiopia.

The coastal countries of the West African region under these threats are Nigeria, Cape Verde, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Benin, Guinea Bissau, Ghana, The Gambia, Cote d’Ivoire, Sao Tome and Principe and Mauritania.

The New Humanitarian news agency (formerly IRIN) a few days ago released a detailed report on the security crisis which may threaten the coastal West Africa with invasion by the militias.

According to the news agency, jihadist groups have recruited heavily from Fulani pastoralists, which it described as “an ethnic group that suffers from social exclusion as well as government and development programmes that favour agriculturalists.” The report added that this has raised tensions with members of other ethnic groups who say they are targeted by the jihadists.

“In the absence of the state, some have turned to self-defence militias, who have indiscriminately attacked Fulani communities,” it said.

“Failure to contain the insurgencies,” it said, “could also result in further regional destabilisation, with militant groups now moving southwards from Burkina Faso towards Ghana, Togo, Ivory Coast, and Benin, where two French tourists were recently kidnapped,” the report said.

“It’s no longer just the Sahel, it’s coastal West Africa and the risk of spreading regionally,” Burkina Faso Foreign Minister, Alpha Barry, told a security conference in Munich in February.

The OCHA has also disclosed that nearly 10 million people, or half the population of the conflict-hit Lake Chad Basin region need humanitarian assistance as the decade-long conflict drags on.

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