The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) has emphasised the imperative need to fight against terrorism and violent extremism in the continent.
The resolution by the AU is ‘to uphold the highest standards of human rights and International Humanitarian Law, bearing in mind the provisions of Article 3(1k) of the 2004 Protocol which is supplementary to the 1999 OAU Convention on the Prevention and Combatting of Terrorism ‘.
At its 687th meeting held in Addis Ababa on 23 May 2017, the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) was briefed by the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA) and the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT) on the fight against terrorism and violent extremism.
Terrorism and violent extremism are hurting Africa economies and countries are becoming more vulnerable. In Mali, rebel groups linked to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) have stepped up a series of attacks in recent months in a campaign against the Malian government and its international allies.
Boko Haram terrorist group is destroying lives and property in Nigeria and threatening neoghbouring countries, while Al-Shahab destabilizes Somalia and threatening the peace in the region.
“The AU notes with serious concern that, in spite of the efforts being deployed by Member States and other stakeholders in preventing and combating terrorism and violent extremism, the scourges continues to pose serious threats to peace, security and stability in some parts of the continent.
“Also notes with serious concern the growing capacity of terrorist organizations to finance their activities by engaging in smuggling, piracy, drug trafficking, human trafficking and people smuggling and other types of transnational organized crime.”
The AU also stresses the importance for Member States to develop national and regional counter-terrorism and counter-violent extremism strategies.
“In this regard, Council commends all Members States which have already developed their national counter-terrorism strategies and urges all those, which have not yet done so, to also do the same. In the same context, Council also commends those Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution, which have already developed their own regional counter-terrorism and counter-violent extremism strategies and also urges those, which have not yet done so, to also do the same, including effective regulation of social media to prevent its abuse and criminal misuse by terrorist and violent extremist groups.”