The attack on the hotel and cafe
A group of armed men in turbans broke into the cafe "Cappuccino" and began to shoot unarmed visitors, choosing as victims only people of the European racial type. When, on an emergency call to the cafe, a police unit arrived, the terrorists ran to the nearby hotel "Splendid", where they took hostages. In the hands of terrorists turned out to be more than 150 people. Since the intentions of the terrorists were unclear and the authorities of Burkina Faso suggested that the criminals would do the same to the hotel guests, as well as to the visitors of the Cappuccino cafe, it was decided to attack the hotel. The hotel was surrounded by police and army special forces. A detachment of French Special Forces who have significantly more experience in conducting anti-terrorist operations than their Burkini colleagues arrived at the scene of the incident. Almost immediately after the start of the special operation to free the hostages, an explosion thundered on the first floor of the hotel, which led to a fire. Hell night had to endure the unfortunate guests of the hotel. It was only in the morning that they managed to seize the building and free the hostages. According to the Minister of Security of Burkina Faso Simon Kompaore, 126 people were released, including 33 injured. Three terrorists were eliminated by the security forces. French Ambassador to Burkina Faso (Burkina Faso is a former French colony of Upper Volta) Gilles Thibault said that 27 people were the victims of the terrorist attack. Later, Burkina Faso’s Minister of Security, Simon Kompaore, announced that 18 citizens of the world were killed in a terrorist act. Already after the terrorist attack in the hospital, 33-year-old Franco-Moroccan photographer Leila Allaoui died. Her work has been exhibited all over the world, and in Burkina Faso, Allawi arrived on the instructions of Amnesty International to shoot a photo material on the status of women in West African countries. A spokeswoman for the Russian diplomatic mission in Côte d'Ivoire, Margarita Kamaldinova, told Interfax that there are no citizens of the Russian Federation among the dead.
Meanwhile, it soon became clear that former compatriots in the Soviet Union were among the victims of terrorists. The fact is that the Cappuccino cafe, which the terrorists first burst into and where they carried out a mass execution of visitors, belongs to a Ukrainian-Italian family. Thirty-eight-year-old Kharkiv-based Victoria Yankovskaya left her native Ukraine more than ten years ago. She married an Italian, Gaetano Santtomenne, opened her own cappuccino in the capital, Burkina Faso. The nine-year-old son Gaetano and Victoria were called Michelle, or simply Misha. On the eve of the terrorist attack, her mother Lyudmila Ivanovna and sister Yana came to visit Victoria. All three women and the boy Misha were killed by terrorists. Yana Yankovskaya was wounded in the stomach, and then shot in the head with a shot. Victoria and her mother Lyudmila were also killed. The boy, Misha, died of suffocation as a result of the smoke that had spread through the cafe after the explosions of grenades that the terrorists threw. Only Victoria Gaetano's husband survived - on that day he was away. The consulate of Ukraine told reporters that a year ago they had recommended that the citizens of the country refrain from traveling to Burkina Faso, and that the Ukrainians who were there would return to their homeland. The reasons for the fears were quite understandable - the situation in this African country is becoming increasingly tense. Burkina Faso is bordered by Mali, which currently has the most active terrorist groups in West Africa, linked to international terrorist organizations. Gradually, radical ideas penetrated into the territory of Burkina Faso, where they found very fertile soil.
Burkina Faso - one of the poorest countries in the world
Recall that Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries of the African continent and the world as a whole. Over 90% of the population is employed in agriculture, the level of illiteracy is very high. The lack of access to the sea also plays an important role in the economic backwardness of the country. More than half of the country's population live below the poverty line. The general misfortune of the countries of the Sahel - drought and desertification of land — strongly affects the material condition of the inhabitants. Once Captain Thomas Sankara - without exaggeration, the most famous Burkian in the world, whose popularity among the inhabitants of West Africa was comparable to that of Che Guevara in Latin America - tried to prevent the destructive processes of desertification by launching a large-scale construction of wells. Sankara has many other positive initiatives aimed at improving the living conditions of the local population - combating illiteracy, disease, improving the status of women, fighting corruption and tribalism in the state apparatus of the country. It is Sankara who owns the authorship of the name of the country - “Burkina Faso”, which means “Country of Decent People”. Before Sankara came to power, the country was called Upper Volta - this is how the territory of the former kingdoms of the Mosi people was listed on French colonial maps. Changing the name of the country to a radically new one, Thomas Sankara, thus, symbolically emphasized the totality and revolutionism of the changes he began in the life of this West African state. However, Sankara was not allowed to complete the unique experiment of turning Burkina Faso into a free socialist country - he was killed, as it turned out later, not without the participation of his friend and colleague Blaise Compaore, who then headed the country for many years.
The political situation in Burkina Faso became seriously aggravated as early as 2011, when a wave of radicalization spread to West Africa caused by the famous “Arab Spring”. The collapse of the Gaddafi regime in Libya, which was closely associated with Burkina Faso since the 1980-s, also played its role. All the consequences that West Africa has suffered and will suffer as a result of the overthrow of Gaddafi and the collapse of the Jamahiriya regime in Libya have not yet been studied. While Gaddafi was alive, he acted as a certain guarantor of some stability in the region. With his death, not only Libya, but the whole of West Africa, came a massive change. One of them was the civil war in Mali, where the Tuaregs rebelled, advocating the creation of their own state Azawad. It was in Mali that terrorist groups that became representatives of international terrorist organizations in West Africa tested themselves for the first time in action. Almost immediately after the terrorist attack in a cafe and hotel in Ouagadougou, there were weighty reasons to believe that it was the international terrorist organizations, more precisely - their branches in West Africa - that were involved in this monstrous crime. As it turned out, this was indeed the case: the responsibility for the terrorist attacks in Ouagadougou was assumed by the organization Al-Murabitun, which is active in neighboring Mali and is a West African branch of the banned organization Al-Qaeda in Russia. It is known that two months ago, Al-Murabitun militants committed a similar terrorist act in the capital of Mali, Bamako - they attacked the Radisson Hotel, which also included foreign citizens. During the attack on the Radisson, 21 people died, among whom were six citizens of the Russian Federation — employees of Volga-Dnepr Airlines. In Mali, despite the presence of the French military, it is still impossible to restore order and crush the resistance of terrorist groups. The media reported on the Malian militia’s developed links with international terrorist organizations supporting local extremists. The overall socio-economic situation in Mali plays a role, as well as tensions that have long existed in the relations between the “black” and “white” Malians (of course, these definitions are very conditional, but the “black” may include the negroid population of the southern regions Bambara, Malinka and a number of other peoples, and the “white” - the Arab-Berber population of the northern regions of Mali, first of all - the Malian Arabs proper, Moors and Tuaregs). It seems that a similar situation is taking shape in Burkina Faso. This country is a fairly easy target for terrorists due to economic weakness, the presence of a large number of disadvantaged people, which are an excellent base for the campaign activities of terrorist groups, as well as general political instability.
It should be noted that Burkina Faso, like most African states of the former colonies, is not a mono-national and mono-confessional state. The indigenous people of this country are representatives of two large ethnic groups of gur and mande. The gur group includes the largest people of Burkina Faso Mosi (about half of the country's population), who had their own statehood in the pre-colonial era, as well as bobo (about 7%), lobbies (4,3%), gurunsi (6%), gurma (7% ), senufo (2,2%) and a number of smaller peoples. The second group — the Mande — includes the peoples themselves, the house, the sonin, the gullet, the fulbe. In addition, the African people Songhai and Tuareg live in the northern regions of the country. As for the confessional composition of the population, more than 60% of Burkina Faso residents practice Islam, 23,2% - Christianity, first of all - Catholicism, the remaining 15,3% - traditional African cults. As in other countries of the Sahel, until recently religious fundamentalism was not common in Burkina Faso. The population of the country differed very moderate approach to religion, there were frequent cases of interfaith marriages, and the transition from one religion to another - especially often the inhabitants of the country moved from Islam and traditional religions to Catholicism during the French colonization. Then the Christian faith could guarantee an African the possibility of entering the military or civil service in the colonial administration and, accordingly, all the privileges associated with this status.
Burkina Faso could not stay away from the political processes that engulfed in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. the whole region of the Sahara and the Sahel. Radical religious-political organizations began to penetrate the country. Their distribution, in the first place, came from countries north of Burkina Faso, especially from Mali. The turning points for the country were the 2011-2014 years, when the political situation in the Arab world and neighboring African countries became especially acute. We are talking about the events of the "Arab Spring", swept away a number of political regimes and most actively manifested itself in North Africa. Three powerful regimes - the regime of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, the regime of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and the regime of Ben-Ali in Tunisia collapsed under the blows of rebels and demonstrators supported by the West. In fact, in North Africa there was a global change of political elites and development vectors, which could not but have a decisive influence on the countries located south of the Sahara.
"Black Autumn" - the daughter of the "Arab Spring"
The Arab Spring sprouted in Burkina Faso only in 2014. Before that, for 27 years, the country was headed by Blaise Compaore, a former soldier who came to power after the assassination of Thomas Sankara. It is known that Western intelligence services, including French and American, may be involved in organizing the killing of Sankara and coming to power in Burkina Faso Blaise Compaore. During the years of Compaore’s rule, virtually all the gains of those revolutionary years when Thomas Sankara was in power were eliminated. Repeatedly Kompaore resorted to the practice of repression against his political opponents, first of all - against the left-wing radicals who supported the return of the political course of the murdered Sankara. Due to political repression, many sankarists were forced to leave Burkina Faso and move to other countries in Africa, and even to France.
International experts called the army of Burkina Faso as the main pillars of the Compaore regime, they led the political party “Congress for Democracy and Progress” and traditional leaders, whose authority is especially strong in rural areas (and the majority of Burkina Faso’s rural population). In the end, the policy of Compaore, and especially his corrupt supporters, provoked massive popular uprisings in the country. The first formal pretext for them was the murder of a schoolboy who was beaten up on the eve of his death by police at a peaceful demonstration. Nevertheless, Compaore, until a certain time, felt quite stable. He managed to maintain a good relationship, on the one hand, with Muammar Gaddafi, who enjoyed great influence in West Africa, and on the other hand, with the former metropolis.
After the death of the President of Côte d'Ivoire, Félix Houphouet-Boigny, who was considered one of the key French leaders in the region, Compaore became one of the main allies of France in West Africa. French leaders adhered to the “better dictator than destabilization” rule, so they collaborated with Compaore, extracting their preferences from this cooperation. Not remained in the loser and Compaore. Thus, he actively supported the armed opposition in neighboring Côte d'Ivoire, as a result of which the country plunged into the abyss of civil war, and Burkina Faso could seriously press Côte d'Ivoire on the world cocoa market. Finally, Blaise Compaore was closely associated with the Tuaregs of neighboring Mali, who were fighting for the liberation of Azawad, the “country of Tuaregs.” When the political situation in Mali was seriously destabilized in 2013, where the real war of Tuareg separatists against the central government broke out, Compaore played an important role in the events, acting as an intermediary between the Tuaregs and the French special services. Compaore’s Tuareg leaders took to Ouagadougou, provided them with the necessary support, but he also reported their plans to the French and American intelligence agencies. However, even this factor did not save Compaore from overthrow. For twenty-seven years, the president has managed to pretty much bore his fellow citizens that French and American diplomats working in West Africa knew perfectly well. Therefore, the United States and France supported the idea of Kompaore leaving the presidency, deciding that the time has come for change in Burkina Faso and that the country is not completely destabilized, it is better to remove the president on time. On the need to leave Compaore hinted the most senior people in the United States and France - Presidents Barack Obama and Francois Hollande. I didn’t want to defend the president and the army, as the servicemen were increasingly suffering from low salaries and the lack of real concern for improving the quality of life of soldiers and officers. October 30 A military coup took place in Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaore resigned as president of the country.
16 November 2015. The new president of the country was 72-year-old Michel Kafando - diplomat, the first civilian to head Burkina Faso for almost fifty years after the first military coup. At the same time, civilian President Michel Kafando remained under the complete control of Lieutenant Colonel Isaac Zid, who led the military coup and enjoyed the greatest prestige among the coupled military elite of the country. But the situation in the country has not stabilized. Whole groups of the military elite remained, unhappy with the displacement of Compaore and the associated changes. First of all, discontent swept the ranks of the presidential guard - elite troops, who were separated from the rest of the army and included soldiers and officers around 1300 during the presidency of Compaore. The servicemen of the presidential guard were well supplied, so they had something to lose after overthrowing Compaore. In the end, the discontent of the presidential guardsmen resulted in another insurrection. In September 2015, the situation in Burkina Faso became significantly strained due to the attempted military coup carried out on September 16 by a group of members of the presidential guard. Lt. Col. Mamadou Babma on RTB Television’s state-run television station announced that President Michel Kafando and Prime Minister Isaac Zid were deprived of their authority and that all of their power was transferred into the hands of a transitional council of national democracy formed by rebel officers. The Council was headed by the Commander of the Presidential Guard of Burkina Faso, General Gilbert Diendere. In 1987, then junior officer Gyöndere participated in the military coup that brought Blaise Compaore to power, and was one of the organizers of the assassination of Thomas Sankar. Over the decades, Gyondere grew up in ranks and gained a great influence on the country's political life, becoming the commander of the presidential guard, an elite armed unit under President Compaore. However, not all parts of the Burkinian army during the September 2015 coup supported the rebels. September 22 The military units loyal to President Michel Kafando entered Ouagadougou in 2015. Commander-in-Chief of the General Staff of the Burkini army, General Pingrenoma Zagre, commanded the rebel guards to lay down weapon and surrender. September 23 signed an agreement whereby President Michel Kafando returned to his duties. October 1 2015 was arrested the leader of the rebels, General Gilbert Diendere. He and several other officers of the presidential guard are accused of plotting against the legitimate president of the country.
How does the “Country of Decent People” order?
Burkina Faso has never been a strong politico-military state. Therefore, it is not surprising that it has become a target for terrorists. Apparently, the same groups have long been operating in the country as in neighboring Mali. What can a small African landlocked country and significant resources oppose to them? It is known that the armed forces of Burkina Faso are small. They are made up of an army, aviation, national gendarmerie, national police and people's militia (militia). The number of ground troops, or the country's army, reaches 5 - 800 soldiers and officers. In 6-000. experts estimated the size of the army of Burkina Faso at 2011 people. Ground forces are combined into three military districts and comprise five commando infantry regiments, a paratrooper regiment, an artillery, engineering and tank battalions. In 2015, after an unsuccessful attempt at a military coup, the country's armed forces underwent a serious transformation. However, three military districts were retained. The 1st military district centered in Kaya includes the 10th command and support regiment, the 11th and 12th commando infantry regiments, and the artillery regiment. The 2nd military district centered on Bobo Dioulasso includes the 20th Regiment of Command and Support, the 22nd and 23rd Infantry Regiments of the Commandos, the 24th Regiment of Peacekeepers, the 25th Parachute Regiment. The 3rd military district centered in Ouagadougou includes the 30th regiment of command and support, the 31st infantry regiment of commandos and the 34th regiment of peacekeepers. Thus, the Ouagadougou garrison at the time of the terrorist acts included one regiment of support. In recent years, the United States has been increasingly active in providing military assistance to Burkina Faso. US military specialists began training the Burkinian soldiers. First of all, this was explained by the desire to use the units of the army of Burkina Faso in peacekeeping operations on the territory of Darfur in Sudan. The US Embassy created English courses on the basis of the ground forces of Burkina Faso, and counter-terrorism instructors were sent. The latter issue is of utmost importance, especially after Burkina Faso entered into the Trans-Saharan Anti-Terrorism Partnership.
The most important role in the fight against terrorism, ensuring state security and public order in Burkina Faso is played by the national gendarmerie, created after the declaration of independence of the country along the lines of the French national gendarmerie. Officially, the objectives of the national gendarmerie are: ensuring order and public security; ensuring state security and protection of public institutions; ensuring the safety of people and their property; ensuring relations with police and gendarmes in other countries of the world; provision of government intelligence information in the political, economic, social spheres. The national gendarmerie of Burkina Faso is a militarized structure and is subordinated to the Minister of Defense of the country. Units of the national gendarmerie serve mainly on the borders of the country and in rural areas, while in the cities it is the responsibility of the national police to ensure order. The country is divided into three districts of the national gendarmerie — the 1 district with the center in Kaya, the 2 district with the center in Bobo-Dioulasso and the 3 district with the center in the capital, Ouagadougou, where the national gendarmerie command post is located. The gendarmerie is directly supervised by a “chief-atat-major” in the rank of general or senior officer. This post is occupied by Colonel Tuandaba Marcel Coulibaly. Currently, the number of national gendarmes of Burkina Faso is 4 200 people. The National Police, responsible for criminal investigations, is in turn subordinate to the Director General of the National Police of Burkina Faso, who manages the daily activities of the police units through the police commissioners who coordinate work on specific areas of activity. However, of course, the armed forces, the gendarmerie and the police of Burkina Faso do not have such a level of training and effective organization of management to fully protect the country from terrorist threats. To strengthen anti-terrorism security, the leadership of the country turns for help to American and French military advisers. It is known that on the territory of Burkina Faso, there are always about 200 French special forces, participating in the anti-terrorist operation "Barkhan", carried out in the territory of the countries of West Africa. By the way, it was in the ill-starred hotel “Spendid”, which became the target of a terrorist attack, most often sent seconded French soldiers.
The latest events in the capital, Ouagadougou, have shown that even the support of Western countries is not a guarantee of security for Burkina Faso. Moreover, almost simultaneously with the terrorist attack at the hotel and cafe "Cappuccino", in the city of Barabul, on the border with Mali, an Australian doctor and his spouse, who worked in the country with 1972, were abducted. A representative of the Ministry of Security and Internal Affairs of Burkina Faso Abi Ouattara said extremists had kidnapped foreigners. It is likely that they may belong to the Al-Murabitun grouping, which is involved in the terrorist attacks in the Burkinian capital.
Terrorism is a product of the common problems of the Sahel
Currently, the least safe region of Burkina Faso remains the north of the country, more precisely - the territory bordering with Mali. This area is an area of historical residence of the Tuareg tribes, closely associated with the Tuareg of Mali. After the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime, many Tuareg, formerly in Libya in military service, went to their homeland - in Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso. Deprived of the monetary allowance paid to them by the Libyan leadership, they quickly orientated themselves in the changed situation and joined the ranks of the radical organizations that existed before, or formed new armed groups. The most numerous Tuareg population in Niger and Mali, but also in Burkina Faso, at least about 50 thousand Tuaregs live. This, of course, is less than in neighboring Niger and Mali, but nevertheless it is enough for a sufficiently large social base of radical movements to be formed in areas of compact Tuareg residence. First of all, the radicals are supported by Tuareg youth, deprived of work and normal life prospects. Dreams of creating a Tuareg state or a theocratic state allow young Tuaregs to hope that their life can become better in the future. The Tuareg state of Azawad, according to its most radical supporters, should include everything historical lands inhabited by Tuaregs. Today they are part of a number of countries in North and West Africa - Algeria, Libya, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso. Naturally, the political elite of these countries will never go to the independence of the Tuaregs, which means that the war for the liberation of Azawad can continue almost endlessly. On the other hand, Tuareg separatists who advocate the liberation of Azavad and terrorists acting in the interests of international religious extremist organizations are not at all the same thing. Most Tuaregs are not inclined to support terrorists, including because the Tuaregs have never been characterized by religious fanaticism. The exception is only certain groups of Tuareg youth who fell under the influence of preachers and agitators who came from North Africa. But even in this category, the spread of extremist views has rather not a sociocultural, but a socio-economic background. In addition, for some “desert warriors” participating in radical organizations and committing terrorist acts is a good way to earn extra money in the context of a “war of all against all.” For people who are used to fighting and see war as a means of earning money, killing several dozen foreign citizens from the West they hate is seen quite naturally.
In the terrorist attack in Ouagadougou, few people were surprised by the obvious racial implication of the massacre. White-skinned foreigners were killed — although representatives of the Arab world could be among them, including Leyla Allawi, who died of injuries after the attack, among others. It is obvious that in West Africa, in contrast to, say, the Middle East, religious extremism acquires a certain regional flavor. For African extremists, any white-skinned man who adheres to the European way of life is recorded as an enemy. This is understandable - radical views are becoming a specific alternative to globalization and the universalistic processes associated with it. In addition, many Africans see avengers in radical organizations for the humiliated position of the continent’s population. Ideas of religious extremism are intertwined with African “racism, on the contrary,” or “black racism,” which was widespread at the dawn of African decolonization. Strictly speaking, such a bizarre ideological mix can be observed not only in Africa, but also in African migrant communities outside the Black Continent, primarily in European cities, where Africans form closed enclaves and do not seek integration into the host society.
According to experts from the British Killiam Foundation, the activities of religious radicals in the countries of the Sahara and the Sahel must be considered separately from the Tuareg national liberation movement, since these are completely different directions, currently not cooperating with each other. The activity of religious radicals in West Africa is directed, according to the Fund’s report, from Algeria, where the central leadership of the Al-Qaida branch (banned in the Russian Federation) in the Maghreb countries (the abbreviated name of the branch is AKIM) operates. According to the report, the leadership of the "central emirate", which is the main core of the AQIM, is located in the Algerian province of Boumerdes, which is in 60 km. east of Algeria - the capital of the country. It is from Algeria that the AIMIM’s ideology and practice spreads to more southerly African countries, primarily to Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, and also to Niger and Burkina Faso. A “emirate of the Sahara” was also created, headed by Mokhtar Belmokhtar - one of the most famous and wanted by the special services of many countries of the world Algerian radicals.
Mokhtar Belmokhtar, who came from the city of Ghardaia (the future field commander was born in 1972, it was here, in the central part of Algeria), began the way of the fundamentalist militant more than a quarter of a century ago - in Afghanistan, where he fought in the Mujahideen units against the Soviet Army. In one of the battles Mokhtar lost his left eye. Returning to his native Algeria, he took part in local radical movements, including in terrorist activities, and then created his own organization. While on the lookout for Algeria, Mokhtar moved to Northern Mali, where he headed the resistance of local radicals to the Malian government and the French troops who came to its aid. It Mokhtar is considered the most important figure of the terrorist underground in the countries of the Sahel. Under his leadership, the establishment of branches of AQIM in Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Senegal was carried out. The activities of the Emirate of the Sahara are more flexible due to the geographical specificity of the region. The "emirate" includes brigades of al-Mawlatamin, Tariq ibn Ziad, al-Furqan and al-Ansar. Among the militants of the "emirate", originally, the main part consisted of immigrants from Algeria and Mali, but then representatives of Mauritania, Western Sahara and Nigeria also appeared in its ranks. Al-Murabitun, which, according to the official version, stands behind the terrorist attacks in the capitals of Mali and Burkina Faso, is also associated with the name of Mokhtar Belmokhtar. The activities of this group became more active after Mokhtar Belmokhtar took an oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the notorious leader of the IG banned in Russia. 14 June 2015, the government of Libya reported that Mokhtar Belmokhtar was killed in a US air force attack on radicals. However, neither the Americans nor the representatives of the most radical organization did not confirm this information.
Thus, the Sahel region fell into the orbit of the strategic interests of North African religious extremists, and the socio-economic conditions in the countries listed above contributed to a rapid increase in the number of supporters and activists of radical groups. According to experts, the actual transparency of the Saharan borders plays a big role in spreading the activities of radical organizations in West Africa. In the Sahara, given the geographical conditions, it is almost impossible to exercise full control of state borders, therefore, between such countries as Algeria, Libya, Mali, and Niger, the border is virtually transparent. Not only caravans of nomadic Tuareg and Arabs can pass through it, but also emissaries and couriers of radical armed organizations. In turn, the governments of the countries of the Sahara and the Sahel do not take serious measures to strengthen the protection of their state borders - including because they do not have adequate financial resources.
The eternal problems of the Sahel - drought and the onset of the desert - are pushing the locals either to migrate to Europe or to participate in radical armed formations. About this in December 2015, said the envoy of the UN Secretary-General for the Sahel, Hirut Guebre Selassie. According to the messenger, more than 65% of the population of the Sahel are illiterate — they cannot read and write. Only 50% of children born and brought up in the Sahel countries are able to receive primary school education. Over 40, millions of young people under the age of 25 who live in Sahara and Sahel countries such as Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso are in a state of chronic unemployment. The inability to get a job and find a livelihood leads the Sahel youth to despair. Someone finds the strength and means of emigrating and moves to Western Europe, someone stays in his native countries - almost without any hope of a real improvement in his position. Naturally, in this situation, many young people, in the absence of any other way out, can take the path of radicalism, extremism and participation in terrorist organizations - both as militants and as support staff - carriers, conductors, couriers. The absence of a real international policy to solve the socio-economic and socio-cultural problems of the Sahel entails further political destabilization of the region and creates maximum risks for turning it into an even more dangerous epicenter of terrorism and violence than the Middle East.