Terrorism and National Security in Africa: A Developmental Paradox, 1989-2014

S. I. Okoro


Seen as a clash between Eastern (Islamic /Arabian) and Western (European/ Christian) civilization and culture, Africa may be expected not to be that much of a target for terrorism and terrorist organizations. Recently however, the clash of civilization thesis appears to have been debunked by the French President, Francoise Hollande, following the Bataclan incident. In spite of this claim however, mainstream terrorism is still largely seen as an attempt to get even with the West and their collaborators/ allies, for perceived wrongs or grievances; whatever they may be! It is largely in pursuit of the later objective that African countries and societies have become not just vulnerable but indeed targets of terrorist organizations and activities. This paper focuses on terrorism and terrorist activities in the various sub-regions of Africa since the end of the Cold War in 1989-East Africa and the Horn, North Africa, Central Africa and the Sahel region, Southern Africa and West Africa. Our intention is to determine the motivations, objectives and expected outcome of the terrorist activities on the developmental trajectory of the countries and societies affected. Using the instrumentalist and constrictivist models of conflict analysis in plural societies, the work relies heavily on secondary data and collections of security and intelligence agencies to reach its conclusions.


Terrorism, National Security, Development, Civilization, Africa.

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