The expansion of extremism shows the flaws in current strategies and the need to rethink regional responses. By Lori-Anne Théroux-Benoni and Nadia Adam

Violent extremist groups are no longer confined to the Sahelian states of Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Chad. Their threat is spilling over into the northern regions of West African coastal states – particularly Benin, Ghana and Togo. This was confirmed on 1 May when two French tourists and their Beninese guide were abducted in Benin’s Pendjari National Park.

The 2016 Grand-Bassam attack in Côte d’Ivoire had already shown how violent extremist groups could strike a West African coastal city beyond their known areas of operation in the Sahel. This attack, claimed by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), was planned in Mali, and the perpetrators travelled from there.

Read more: Daily Maverick (via MSN)