Panel 41

Terrorism and forced migration in Africa in the 21st century

Panel organiser: Delmas Tsafack, The Muntu Institute, Yaounde, Cameroon.


The relationship between migration and security concepts has regained its importance since early 21st century in Africa. Before this time, forced migration was caused by civil war, state violence, genocide, etc. Terrorism has created since this time lot of displacements in the continent. Millions of people have fled the territory controlled by terrorist and violent extremist groups. This situation forced African states to strengthen their migration policies. The fact that the perpetrators of the attacks were foreigners has left question marks in the minds as to the effectiveness of the border security and migration control systems. The trans-border and transnational characteristics of terrorism made it an important issue of mobility within and outside the African countries. We therefore have influx of international migrants in neighboring states and displaced people inside countries threatened by terrorism. These migrants can be terrorists and terrorists can be migrants in a number of ways. This calls researchers to reflect about the relationship between terrorism and migration in Africa.

The study of terrorism and the study of migration have been two separate fields. We lack in-depth studies on the interplay between the two phenomena especially in Africa. This panel aims at gathering research findings on this issue in Africa in order to participate to scholarly debates on the link between terrorism and migrations. Empirical case studies are highly recommended, but theoretical analysis of the phenomenon are also welcome. Proposals may include (but not limited) the following topics:

  • Causal relations between migration and terrorism
  • Management of terrorist refugees
  • Terrorism and its impact on security measures on people mobility within Africa
  • Borderland security and migration in the era of terrorism in Africa
  • Migration of African citizens to terrorist “caliphate”
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