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Author Topic: Terrorist Threat in Africa Goes Beyond Ideology , Says US General  (Read 304 times)

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Even if extremist groups in Africa were wiped out militarily, the continent's massive population of young people would continue to be susceptible to terror groups because of a lack of economic opportunity, the general in charge of U.S. military operations there said Thursday.

Speaking to the Senate Armed Services Committee, General Thomas Waldhauser, the head of U.S. Africa Command, said the economic crisis confronting African youth was "the biggest challenge" on the continent.

"We could knock off all the ISIL and Boko Haram this afternoon, [but] by the end of the week, so to speak, those ranks would be filled," Waldhauser said. ISIL is the U.S. military's acronym for the Islamic State group.

Young people in Africa joined extremist groups because "they needed a job, they needed a livelihood," he added. "It's not, for the most part in those regions, about ideology."

The general noted boys and girls under age 15 make up 41 percent of Africa's population. He told American lawmakers that Africa's young people need to have a future, one that comes from long-term investment in the region.



 

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