Islamic State posing ‘growing threat’ in Africa, says Raab

Islamic State posing ‘growing threat’ in Africa, says Raab
‘We must ensure there are no safe havens for Daesh,’ vows foreign secretary

Dominic Raab will warn of the “growing threat” from Islamic State in Africa as the UK commits £12.6m to tackle terrorist groups in the region.

He is to set out his desire to bring about the “lasting defeat” of IS, also known as Daesh, at a meeting of over 45 foreign ministers from around the world in Rome.

The gathering of the Global Coalition Against Daesh on Monday is the first to take place in person since November 2019 and will be co-hosted by Italian foreign minister Luigi Di Maio and US secretary of state Anthony Blinken.

Speaking at the event, Mr Raab will say: “The UK recognises the continuing threat and remains absolutely committed to the lasting defeat of Daesh.

“The coalition must work together to tackle this pressing threat and target the longer-term challenges that are exploited by those who extol violence and terrorism.

“We must ensure there are no safe havens for Daesh.

“We must keep up the pressure on Daesh, wherever its poisonous influence spreads. It will exploit any opportunity to re-establish itself.”

Attacks by Isis in Africa have gone up by a third over the past year while the group has also shown signs of a resurgence in the Middle East.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said a new conflict, stability and security fund programme will support regional military efforts to counter IS and other groups, as well as efforts to safely demobilise suspected low-level members of terrorist groups.

Its £12.6m contribution will focus on efforts in the Lake Chad Basin in West Africa, which covers northeast Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad. Islamic State West Africa (ISWA), an affiliate of Daesh, is active in the area.

Mr Raab said: “Two years since Daesh’s territorial defeat in Iraq and Syria, the threat of Daesh and its hateful ideology has not gone away. Worryingly it continues to grow in Africa which is why we must work with our coalition partners to fight its poisonous propaganda on all fronts.

“We stand shoulder to shoulder with our African partners to tackle the growing threat from Daesh-linked groups across Africa, particularly in the Lake Chad Basin.”

Additional reporting by Press Association


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