Scores of Islamic State fighters are quitting their bases in Libya and heading south fearing Western air strikes.
The development poses a threat to African countries in the Sahel region including Chad and Niger, officials have warned.
The group has seized large areas of Syria and neighbouring Iraq, it’s been suggested, raising fears it could destabilize the region.
“ISIS (Islamic State) are moving toward southern Libya to avoid the likely air strikes from the European coalition,” said Colonel Mahamane Laminou Sani, director of documentation and military intelligence for Niger’s armed forces.
“If something like that happens, the whole Sahel is (affected),” he added
With continuous fears, it could be a threat to the survival of the region which stands to affect the Sahara Desert to the Sudan Savanna, which is already home to al Qaeda (AQIM) elements.
Officials add that the United States Africa Command may have to play a key role in combating the group which is pushing the limits to achieve substantial damage.