In Kenya, African Leaders Mull Special Fund To Fight Terrorism

African leaders Tuesday considered the idea of establishing a special fund to be specifically used for tackling terrorism. 

The proposal for the special fund was made by host President Uhuru Kenyatta in his welcome remarks during the 455th African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) meeting held in Nairobi, Kenya.

  He equally challenged African governments to take the issue of anti-terrorism funding seriously and complement this with the support coming from partners and friends outside the continent.

Fielding questions from journalists at the end of the meeting, President Goodluck Jonathan and the Chairperson of the council, President Idriss Debby of Chad, assured that Kenyatta’s proposal would be tabled for discussion at the next AU summit. They recalled that yesterday’s PSC meeting was a sequel to the last AU summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

  They said that the idea was the best way Africans could solve its problems locally, since it remained the responsibility of the continent to do so.

   They said: “We are looking for an African solution. We have the means and capacity to face any given situation, even terrorism. We are not refusing support from abroad, but it is supposed to be an African problem and we should stop disturbing our friends and partners. We should stop the vicious circle.”

   According to a statement issued at the end of the summit, the council, among other issues, warned African countries against the payment of ransom and encouragement of financial terrorism.

   The council also urged member-states to ensure their territories are not used as recruitment grounds for terrorists. It insisted that the fundamental human rights of civilians must be upheld at all times in the fight against terrorism.

    It requested member-states to submit yearly reports on the steps they are taking to combat terrorism within their respective territories.

    Jonathan had earlier urged African leaders to adopt an “action-oriented approach” against the activities of terrorists with a view to stopping them from the continued massacre of innocent people.

   He regretted the increasing wave of violence perpetrated by Boko Haram, Al- Shabaab and Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). But he noted that the AU had enough resources in terms of legal, political and normative instruments to deal with the rising sophistication of terrorists, adding that the task ahead was to ensure the effective use of the instruments.

    The president who read the speech of the African Union (AU) Chairman, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of Mauritania on the occasion, called on African countries to fulfil earlier commitments with respect to legal measures, border control and exchange of intelligence, as part of the joint efforts to end terrorism on the continent.

    Jonathan commended the AU member-countries and the commission for the efforts so far put in place to tackle insurgency, insisting, however, that a lot of work needed to be done.

  He said: “While both member-states and the commission deserve to be commended for their commitment and efforts, nonetheless, much remains to be done. The atrocities that continue to be committed by the terrorist groups active in the Sahelo- Saharan region, Boko Haram, the LRA, Al- Shabaab and other terrorist groups, bear testimony to the long road ahead of us.” 

     Proffering a situation, the president said: “The first (solution) relates to the need for enhanced cooperation among member-states and between the continent and the rest of the international community.

   “Indeed the problem we are confronting is global on nature. Terrorist and organised crime syndicates operate in networks that can only be defeated through concerted action and cooperation. The African Union and its various instruments and mechanisms provide the framework within which we should combine our efforts and pull together our scarce resources.

   The second point pertains to the need for action-oriented approach. We are now well equipped in terms of legal, political and normative instruments. The task ahead of us is to ensure their effective implementation. The countries concerned should take the steps required to become parties to the relevant African and international instruments. We should as member-states fulfill our commitments and obligations, particularly with respect to legal measures, border control, exchange of intelligence and other related measures.”

    The president also identified social issues like poverty and unemployment, which create the conducive environment for the breeding of terrorists, calling on leaders to address them squarely.

   Debby assured that the council would deploy all efforts in the fight against terror while the host President Uhuru Kenyatta urged African leaders to provide the funds needed to fight terrorism to complement the support coming from outside the continent.

   The summit, which is expected to adopt the recommendations of the African Union Commission Chairperson on violent extremism and terrorism in Africa, is still going on at the time of filing this report.

Source: The Guardian NG
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  1. Not impressed. Even the talk did not hit the nail on the head.



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