New York, USA, March 30, 2023/African Media Agency(AMA)/While no region is immune to terrorism, the situation in Africa is of particular concern, the UN Secretary General said on Tuesday. , António Guterres, to the Security Council, stressing the UN’s support for countries that are trying to “put an end to this scourge”.
African leaders joined the ambassadors to discuss how to counter terrorism and better prevent violent extremism through enhanced cooperation between the UN and regional organizations.
The debate was chaired by President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique. This country, which holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council this month, has been fighting for more than five years against a deadly insurgency in the north.
« Terrain fertile » pour l’expansion
The Secretary-General expressed deep concern about the rise of terrorist groups in the Sahel and other parts of Africa.
“Desperation, poverty, hunger, lack of basic services, unemployment and unconstitutional changes of government continue to create fertile ground for the creeping expansion of terrorist groups to infect new parts of the continent,” he said. he pointed out.
In addition, fighters, funds and weapons are increasingly flowing between regions and across the continent, he said, as terrorist groups forge new alliances with organized crime networks and crime groups. piracy. Their “violent ideologies” are also spread online.
United against terrorism
“Just as terrorism separates people, countering it can bring countries together,” Mr. Guterres said, pointing to several initiatives across Africa, including in the Sahel, the Lake Chad Basin and Mozambique.
“The United Nations stands with Africa to end this scourge,” he added. “Above all, this includes continuing our close collaboration with the African Union (AU) and African regional and sub-regional organizations.”
Mr. Guterres stressed that the UN provides tailor-made assistance to African countries in areas such as prevention, legal assistance, investigation, prosecution, reintegration and rehabilitation.
Respect human rights
Alongside Nigeria, the UN is also co-hosting the upcoming African Counter-Terrorism Summit and strengthening collaboration on important peace initiatives. The Organization is also advocating for new “robust” peace enforcement missions and counter-terrorism operations led by the African Union, with mandates from the Security Council. He urged countries to support this vital work.
The Secretary-General noted that in June the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, adopted in 2006, will undergo its eighth review. This will mark a “crucial opportunity” for countries to find new ways to more effectively tackle the conditions that create fertile ground for the spread of terrorism.
The meeting will also serve as a reminder that human rights must be at the center of counter-terrorism efforts, he added.
“Evidence shows that counter-terrorism efforts that focus solely on security rather than human rights can inadvertently increase marginalization and exclusion, and make the situation worse,” he said. -he declares.
The terrorist “contagion” continues
The new Chair of the African Union, President Azali Assoumani of Comoros, noted that although terrorism has been around for ages “since the Libyan crisis in 2011, it has really exploded, and particularly in Africa”.
As a result, thousands of fighters, including foreign fighters, poured into the Sahel, contributing to the importation of terrorist groups into the continent, as well as “an uncontrollable flow of arms”.
“Thus, gradually, terrorism has become more and more widespread in Africa, from north to south, from east to west. And the terrorist contagion continues, spreading in almost all parts of Africa,” he said.
He promised to “spare no effort” to ensure that a flagship African Union initiative to “silence the guns” by 2030 becomes a reality.
Different contexts, global threat
Like climate change, terrorism is one of the most serious threats to the international community, President Nyusi of Mozambique told the Security Council.
“The expansion of terrorism is quite threatening, and it is driven by factors that vary from context to context. On the one hand, radicalization based on identity variables fueled by intolerance and, on the other hand, the manipulation of socio-economic factors have accelerated recruitment by terrorist groups, especially young people,” he said. he says.
Citing the 2022 Global Terrorism Index, he said around 48% of terrorism-related deaths occurred in Africa, while the Sahel is the “new epicenter” of terrorist attacks.
African expertise and solutions
President Nyusi said that African countries, the AU and regional organizations on the continent – such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the West African bloc ECOWAS and its East African counterpart, IGAD – have accumulated years of experience in conflict resolution.
A SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) has been fighting terrorists in the northern province of Cabo Delgado for almost two years – an example of “African solutions to African problems” and an approach that could be replicated elsewhere.
“For Mozambique, this experience has added value, because currently we are fighting terrorism by combining SADC regional multilateral efforts with bilateral efforts between Mozambique and Rwanda, and together we are successfully fighting terrorism,” he said.
Financing employment schemes for young people
President Nyusi also presented proposals for the upcoming review of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, urging countries to create a fund that would build the resilience of local communities, including through job creation projects for young people. , especially in Africa and the Middle East.
His other recommendations included prioritizing support for regional solutions to counter terrorism and promoting a holistic approach combining security, justice and socio-economic interventions.
He also stressed the need to support developing countries that are unable to respond effectively to the impacts of “climate change and other man-made crises” because they are burdened with debt.
He warned that the situation makes these countries increasingly vulnerable to extremism, terrorism and violent conflict.
“For these countries to emerge from the current crisis, we call on the international community to restructure debt and facilitate access to affordable financing for these high-risk countries,” he said. “To this end, the international financial system must be transformed by reforming the multilateral financial institutions.”
Distributed by African Media Agency for UN Info
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Source : African Media Agency (AMA)