Israel Supports African States to Fight Terrorism

(YaleGlobal) Raluca Besliu - An Israeli campaign is underway in sub-Saharan Africa on winning over African nations. In June 2017, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the first non-African leader to participate in a summit of the Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS. The following November, he attended Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta's swearing-in ceremony in Nairobi. With growing investments in East and West African countries, Israel is becoming a key player on the continent. More than 30 Israeli diplomatic missions operated in Africa until the 1973 Yom Kippur War. In the war's wake, the Organization of African Unity instructed its members to cease diplomatic ties with Israel. All except Malawi, Lesotho and Swaziland did so. Israel currently has ties with 40 out of the 48 sub-Saharan African countries. Regardless of stances on the Palestinian question, many African countries seek closer ties with Israel in fields such as security and counterterrorism. Extremist movements, such as Boko Haram in Nigeria and Al-Shabaab in Somalia, are a threat in East and West Africa alike. Israel's security knowledge is perceived as beneficial, especially in surveillance, collecting personal data, and border-control systems. Israel has a direct interest in supporting African states to fight terrorism and monitor jihadist movements, and prevent the destabilization of Egypt, its southern neighbor. "Israeli security is intrinsically connected with the total extrication of terrorist groups from all parts of the world, including from African countries," said Olusola Isola, a Woodrow Wilson Center scholar.

2018-04-13 00:00:00

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