- The African Union has warned African nations of the return of 6,000 ISIS jihadists
- African nations have been advised to be ready for the security threat posed by the return of these jihadists
- It also advised African countries to work closely with one another for the purpose of countering returning militants
A top security official of the African Union (AU), on Sunday, December 10, warned that 6,000 African jihadists who fought for the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria are coming back to Africa, NAN reports.
Legit.ng gathered that the AU advised that African countries should be prepared for the security threat posed by the return of these jihadists.
The AU’s commissioner for peace and security, Smail Chergui, urged African countries to work closely with one another so as to share intelligence to counter returning militants.
He said: “There are reports of 6,000 African fighters among the 30,000 foreign elements who joined this terrorist group in the Middle East.
“The return of these elements to Africa poses a serious threat to our national security and stability and requires specific treatment and intense cooperation between African countries.”
Tens of thousands of foreign fighters joined the Sunni extremist group after it seized vast swathes of Iraq and Syria and declared a caliphate in 2014.
But the group suffered a host of losses to both its territory and military capabilities in 2016.
Backed by a US-led coalition, Iraqi forces gradually retook control of all territory lost to the jihadists, declaring on Saturday, December 9, that the country was now liberated from its control.
In Syria, the group faces western-backed Syrian rebels, jihadist rivals and government forces that are supported by Russia and Iran.
But the losses have sparked fears that IS’s remaining foreign fighters may now relocate, bringing their extremist ideology and violence with them.
Some of the dislodged fighters have been found in Afghanistan.
Legit.ng had previously reported that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had declared the end of ISIS in an address broadcast live on state TV.
A senior commander of Iran’s revolutionary guards, Major General Qassem Soleimani, also declared the end of the jihadist group operating in Syria and Iraq in a message published on Tuesday, November 21, on Sepah news, the guards' news site.
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