By Isaac Aregbesola
African Union’s Peace and Security Council has called for a comprehensive approach to combat transnational threat of terrorism in Africa.
The Spokesman of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr Tope Elias-Fatile, in Abuja, said that the council made the call in a communiqué at the end of its 749th meeting in Ethiopia.
The meeting was held at the level of Heads of State and Government, on the sidelines of the 30th AU Summit in Addis Ababa.
“The council condemned all terrorist acts, methods, practices and incitements, regardless of the pretext under which they were committed.
“It reiterated its strong displeasure over violent extremist ideologies and narratives, and recognised the integral role of the phenomena in the execution of terrorist acts.
“The council noted with deep concern, the immense threats to peace and security as a result of upsurge of terrorism, violent extremism and radicalisation in Africa.’’
It also underscored AU’s continued commitment to “inclusive approaches and African ownership within the context of African solutions to the problems plaguing the continent’’.
He said the council underlined Africa’s commitment to international counter-terrorism regime as outlined by relevant OAU/AU treaties and conventions, UN Security Council resolutions and the UN Global Counter-terrorism strategy.
The council encouraged member-states to develop their own comprehensive national counter-terrorism strategies focusing on prevention as well as on timely and swift responses to terrorist acts.
It urged the members to adopt holistic approaches in addressing root causes of terrorism, violent extremism and radicalization, focusing attention to the plight of the youth and marginalized sections of society.
It stressed the importance of coordination and complementary efforts among member-states and all relevant regional and international actors in preventing and countering terrorism, violent extremism and radicalization.
The council also stressed the importance of inter-regional continental and international forums of cooperation in the prevention and combating of terrorism.
It called for constructive engagement of a broad range of actors in the fight against terrorism, violent extremism and radicalization.
It expressed deep concern over the threat posed by the return of Foreign Terrorist Fighters from co
nflict zones outside the continent.
In this regard, the council requested the AU Commission and partners to sustain assistance to member-states in building and further strengthening national capacities in order to enable them to more effectively deal with threats.
It urged members to take measures to dry up the flow of terrorism financing by cutting the links between terrorist organizations and organized crime, including trafficking, smuggling and illicit trade. (NAN)