Lome, Togo – (African Boulevard News) – Togo’s President Faure Gnassingbé, during a speech on Friday, confirmed that jihadists have murdered 140 people in the country’s volatile northern region since 2019. He stated that this represented a “war,” and explained that Togo has traditionally been peaceful, with a unique desire to live in harmony with neighboring countries, welcoming all who visit with open arms.
Gnassingbé’s comments came amid increased jihadist activity in West Africa’s Sahel region which has troubled the country despite its being spared major attacks prevalent in other parts of the region, including Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger.
The president warned of the jihadists’ sophisticated tactics, including using children as suicide bombers, in the region’s bloody insurgency that has killed thousands of people and displaced millions since 2012.
“Jihadist terrorism is not a problem limited to a few countries. It is a global issue, and the solution lies in a global response. There must be a surge in solidarity with West African countries to help them in this fight against terrorism,” he said.
While Togo has not been hit by the violence to the extent of its neighbors, it has been the scene of religiously motivated attacks before. In November, a deadly attack on a security post at the Burkina Faso border killed over a dozen soldiers.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International had accused Togo of carrying out extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances of members of the country’s Fulani ethnic group, whom authorities suspect of carrying out raids in northern Togo. The government has denied the allegations.
African leaders and their international partners are grappling with how to tackle the rise of Islamic extremist groups in the Sahel region. They have attempted various military and diplomatic initiatives, but the insurgents continue to proliferate, making it a daunting challenge.
In conclusion, Togo is facing a new threat to its peace and stability, as the jihadist insurgency continues to claim more lives. The nation needs the support of the international community in its fight against terrorism, as Gnassingbé has pointed out. Cooperation and solidarity among nations is essential to tackling a global issue such as terrorism.