Acta Politica Polonica (Dec 2021)

Beyond conventional counterterrorism strategy: Prospects and challenges of community and vigilante groups’ policing in Africa

  • Bolaji Omitola,
  • Olawale Olufemi Akinrinde,
  • Victor Fakoya,
  • Usman Tar

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 52


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Evidences from counterterrorism and the war on terrorism operations in Africa have revealed the inadequacies of the conventional counterterrorism strategy. The over-reliance on the use of simply hard-military and offensive strategy in prosecuting the war against terrorism and forms of insurgencies in Africa since the inception of the war on terrorism and counterterrorism in Africa has largely been counterproductive. From Boko Haram in Nigeria to the Islamic State of West African Province in West Africa (ISWAP), to Al-Shabab in eastern parts of Africa, and then to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the rise and spike in terrorism in Africa remains indirectly proportionate to the conventional counterterrorism operations and strategy. The deficiency of the use of conventional counterterrorism strategy in the prosecution of war on terrorism in Africa, coupled with its flawed outcome, has ignited calls for alternative counterterrorism strategies. Chief amongst these alternative counterterrorism strategies is the Community and Vigilante-Group Policing in Africa which emboldens culture, language, episteme, authority, and interest of the people in quest to address the scourge of terrorism and other security threats. This article is therefore an attempt to unpack the prospects and side-effects of the Community and Vigilante-Group Policing as an alternative counterterrorism strategy in the war on terrorism in Africa