Raab to warn of growing threat of Islamic State in Africa

An international coalition must work together to “ensure there are no safe havens” for so-called Islamic State, Dominic Raab will say as he warns against the growing threat of terrorism in Africa.

The Foreign Secretary is set to join more than 45 of his counterparts from around the world in Rome as he announces that the UK will commit £12.6 million to efforts to counter IS, also known as Daesh, through regionally-led military intervention and encouraging fighters to leave the terrorist group.

Speaking at the Global Coalition Against Daesh, Mr Raab will say: “The UK recognises the continuing threat and remains absolutely committed to the lasting defeat of Daesh.

“The coalition must work together to tackle this pressing threat and target the longer-term challenges that are exploited by those who extol violence and terrorism.

“We must ensure there are no safe havens for Daesh.

“We must keep up the pressure on Daesh, wherever its poisonous influence spreads. It will exploit any opportunity to re-establish itself.”

The money from the UK will focus on efforts in the Lake Chad Basin in West Africa, which covers north-east Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad, where IS’s affiliate known as Islamic State West Africa (ISWA) is responsible for significant violence.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said the new conflict, stability and security fund programme will support regional military efforts to counter IS and other groups, as well as efforts to safely demobilise suspected low-level members of terrorist groups.

Mr Raab said: “Two years since Daesh’s territorial defeat in Iraq and Syria, the threat of Daesh and its hateful ideology has not gone away. Worryingly it continues to grow in Africa which is why we must work with our coalition partners to fight its poisonous propaganda on all fronts.

“We stand shoulder to shoulder with our African partners to tackle the growing threat from Daesh-linked groups across Africa, particularly in the Lake Chad Basin.”

Monday’s meeting in Rome will mark the first time Global Coalition foreign ministers have met in person since November 2019, and will be co-hosted by Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.