British-American funding to counter ISIS expansion in West Africa
During a meeting in Rome of the foreign ministers of the countries of the international coalition to confront ISIS, the attendees expressed the need to confront ISIS’s expansion in Africa, specifically in West Africa, as Britain announced funding for the international coalition in the Lake Chad Basin, which covers northeastern Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad, in addition to the commitment of the United States to support the coalition to reduce the threat posed by the terrorist organization.
Confronting ISIS in Africa
During the meeting, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced his country’s contribution of £12.6 million to support the military operations undertaken by the region’s leaders against ISIS and to establish projects to encourage militants to abandon involvement in terrorist groups.
The foreign ministers of more than 45 countries met to discuss deepening cooperation between them to combat ISIS and other terrorist groups, including emerging threats across the African continent.
This is the first meeting in which the foreign ministers of the international coalition have met since November 2019, and it is co-hosted by Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
During the meeting, London highlighted its concern about the fragile security situation in Iraq and the violence in displacement camps and detention centers in northeastern Syria, urging partners in the international coalition to work together to address this imminent threat and to target the longer-term drivers of terrorism in both the Middle East and areas of Africa where attacks by ISIS-linked groups are on the rise.
Regarding ISIS’s expansion, Raab said that two years after the defeat of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the threat of the organization and its hateful ideology has not disappeared, and it is worrying that it continues to expand in Africa. He stressed that the partners in the international coalition must cooperate to counter its toxic propaganda on every level.
It is noteworthy that ISIS recently issued a new message by the organization's spokesman, the first since October 2020, in which the spokesman congratulated its affiliated organizations for their attacks, including those carried out in West Africa.
On the other hand, the United States announced the renewal of its full commitment to the international coalition against ISIS during the ministerial meeting in Rome.
The US Embassy in Italy said in a statement on Tuesday, June 29, that the 83-member coalition has been working since 2014 to reduce the threat posed by the terrorist organization to international security, stressing that the coalition’s joint efforts have reduced ISIS’s military capacity, weakened its territorial control, and decreased its financial resources and influence over the internet.