North Africa at risk of being overrun by al-Qaeda

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London, Oct. 22 (ANI): Al-Qaeda is poised to overrun five states in North Africa and the Middle East, creating terrorist safe havens from which the network can launch attack on the West, Europe and the US have been warned.

According to The Telegraph, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Somalia and Yemen have been waging a losing battle against resurgent jihadist armies that have claimed the lives of dozens of troops.

Al-Qaeda's regional affiliates have expanded dramatically throughout this belt of states, exploiting the administrative weaknesses and corruption of their governments.

Amadou Marou, the President of Niger's National Consultative Council has been in Europe with a grim message for governments. "Somalia got away from us", he said, "and northern Mali is in the process of getting away from us".

Mohamed Abdillahi Mohamed, Somalia's new Prime Minister, has also called on the US and Europe to "step up to the plate".

"There's obviously a lot that needs doing in countries like Somalia", says Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, an American counter-terrorism expert, "but it isn't obvious how to do what needs doing".

Local efforts to address the problem have had little success.

Amisom, the African Union's 7,000-strong peacekeeping force in Somalia, has been unable to restore government control over even the capital, Mogadishu. Peacekeepers received no wages for six months last year. Poor security conditions have made aid work all but impossible. (ANI)

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