Drones are becoming increasingly essential in the context of counterterrorism in the Sahel. They can gather intelligence and conduct surveillance missions, but also carry out targeted strikes against suspected terrorists. This allows for a more efficient and effective response to security threats and reduces risk to military personnel. In the last decade, foreign and Sahel nations have used drones for these purposes. However, this has also led to a rise in civilian deaths as collateral damage and a lack of accountability.
Key Judgement 1. It is highly likely that Sahel countries will continue deploying drones in the Sahel to fight IS and al-Qaeda in the next 12 months.
Key Judgement 2. It is likely that drones will continue to provide a cost-effective air power advantage against extremist groups operating in the region in the next 12 months.
Key Judgement 3. It is likely that differentiating between combatants and civilians will prove challenging, and the use of drones in the region will lead to civilian deaths and a lack of accountability in the next 12 months.