Terrorist GroupsAfrica

Kidnappings in the Sahel, a Favored Weapon of War


Over 180 kidnappings were recorded in the war-torn countries of Mali and Burkina Faso in the first half of 2023 – an average of one a day. This aligns with the trend in recent years, which has seen the kidnapping industry expand since 2019, with about 400 victims in each of the two countries every year. Most victims are Sahelian, as communities are caught in the crossfire between conflicting parties. Kidnappings are primarily an instrument of war, used strategically by opposing sides to achieve their goals. Although abductions of foreigners for ransom still happen, there has been a shift to…

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