Classifieds | Archives | Jobs | About TGT | Contact | Subscribe
 | 
Last updated 22 minutes ago
Printer Friendly Version | TGT@Twitter | RSS Feed |
HOME LOCAL MIDEAST ASIA WORLD BUSINESS SPORT OPINION WRITERS
Spain alarmed over fighter influx from Sahel
February 10, 2018
 Print    Send to Friend

Madrid: Spain is worried about security on its southern border due to the possible influx of extremist fighters to West Africa’s Sahel region, Spain’s foreign minister told AFP in an interview on Thursday.

“We’re concerned about the growing number of people affiliated with Daesh who, having been defeated in Iraq and Syria, are moving their activities to the Sahel and Libya. It’s practically at our border,” Alfonso Dastis said, using another name for the Daesh group.

The vast, arid Sahel zone has in recent years become a breeding ground for extremists groups − some linked to Al-Qaeda and Daesh − that European nations fear could pose a threat if left unchecked.

The so-called G5 Sahel countries − Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger − have been hit by extremist attacks that claimed thousands of lives, displaced hundreds of thousands of people, and have crippled local economies and food security.

“It’s clear that the security situation in Niger and Mali is not improving much,” Dastis said.

Spain in December decided to more than double the number of its military personnel in Mali to 292 from 140. They are part of a European force that is training the Malian army.

Dastis said Madrid feared fighters could take advantage of the yearly mass movement of workers from North Africa through Spain on their way back to their homes in Europe to enter the continent illegally.

Each year millions of people from France, Germany and other northern European countries cross Spain to spend their holidays with family in North Africa.

“This is a cause for concern but we do not believe it is necessary to draw a link between terrorism and immigration,” he said.

To ensure there is no problem Spain “takes surveillance issues very seriously... when it comes to welcoming refugees and immigrants,” the minister added.

Unrest in Libya has caused migrants to increasingly favour the western Mediterranean route to reach Europe, which involves making the sea crossing between North Africa and southern mainland Spain.

Last month 1,287 migrants reached Spain by crossing the Mediterranean, and 75 died in the attempt, according to the International Organization for Migration.

Agence France-Presse

Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Comments
 
Post a comment
 
Name:
Country:
City:
Email:
Comment:
 
    
    
FRONTPAGE
 
GALLERY
 
PANORAMA
 
TIME OUT
 
SPORT
 
 
Advertise | Copyright