Ansaroul Islam has played an outsized role in the destabilization of northern Burkina Faso. From 2016 to 2018, just over half of militant Islamist violent events in Burkina Faso were attributed to Ansaroul Islam. The violence perpetrated by Ansaroul Islam has forced more than 100,000 to flee their homes and 352 schools to close in Soum alone. Yet by mid-2019, Ansaroul Islam was associated with only 16 violent events and 7 fatalities. This dramatic decline in the group’s activities warrants closer attention. It is particularly important to understand how this militant Islamist group first emerged and what factors have contributed to its diminished role in the first half of 2019.
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