AU: President Tebboune’s report on fight against terrorism

APS : Sunday, 06 February 2022

ADDIS ABABA- President of the Republic Abdelmadjid Tebboune presented Sunday in Addis Ababa his report, in his capacity as AU coordinator on the prevention and fight against terrorism and violent extremism in Africa.
Here is the full text of this third report of the president of the Republic:

“Mr President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Heads of State and Government, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It’s my pleasure to present the Report of H.E. Mr. Abdelmadjid Tebboune, President of Algeria and AU’s Coordinator on efforts to counter terrorism and violent extremism.

Despite international community’s efforts against violent extremism and terrorism, this scourge continues to persist in several countries of the world, particularly in our continent, where the terrorist threat continues to reach alarming proportions, particularly in the Sahel-Saharan region, in the Chad basin, Eastern and Southern Africa, causing dramatic human and material damages.

These attacks claim human lives and provoke terror among populations, accentuating further instability and people’s displacement.
The terrorist threat is further taking full advantage of the redeployment of a large number of foreign terrorist fighters in conflict zones, a consequence of the defeat of terrorist groups, particularly in the Middle East.

In addition, the existing linkages between terrorism and transnational organized crime are likely to supply terrorist groups with new sources of funding, notably through the payment of ransoms, drugs, human trafficking, smuggling and piracy.

On the other side, efforts to combat terrorism and violent extremism are hampered by the redeployment that is being made through ‘virtual space’ after having lost the battle in ‘the physical space’ by terrorist groups.

Indeed, the increased use of information and communication technologies and the wide access to social networks and media, particularly within the most vulnerable social categories among young people and women, offers unexpected opportunities to extremism to increase its capabilities. Thus, radicalization is in the process of gaining more ground, in particular within the most economically disadvantaged populations.

Consequently, our countries -already heavily impacted by the disastrous consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic recession- are forced to allocate increasingly scarce resources to develop strategies and acquire means of response to the terrorist threat.

Mr. President, the battle against terrorism and violent extremism can’t be won without a comprehensive approach that goes beyond the security dimension, to address the structural factors and root causes of radicalization and violent extremism.

Mindful of the impact of this scourge on peace and stability in the region and on sustainable development in our continent, the African Union endeavoured to develop a wide range of legal and institutional instruments to stem the expansion of terrorism. In this context, a Convention to Prevent and Combat Terrorism was adopted in 1999, followed by an Action Plan to Combat Terrorism in 2004.

As part of its efforts to fulfil the African Union’s mandate as coordinator on countering terrorism and violent extremism in Africa, Algeria organized jointly with the AU, in Algiers in April 2018, an AU high-level meeting on financing of terrorism.

The conclusions of this meeting were adopted by the Peace and Security Council on the occasion of its 812th meeting, held in November 2018, requesting the Commission and Member States to promptly implement the decisions and recommendations of the high-level meeting. They were also presented by Algeria on the occasion of the Conference on financing of Daesh and Al-Qaeda, convened in Paris under the theme ‘No money for terror.’

Mr. President, in order to stimulate collective efforts to prevent and fight against terrorism and violent extremism, and taking into account the situation of instability in the Sahel-Saharan region and the aggravation of the terrorist threat in several regions of the continent, my country proposed in 2021 a new African approach, likely to frame and stimulate the prevention and fight against this scourge, through a letter addressed to the previous African Union Chairman, Mr. Félix Tshisekedi Tshilombo, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Concerned about the effects of terrorism and transnational organized crime and their impact on good governance, economic and social development as well as peace and security, Algeria has always pleaded in favour of global and integrated approaches and strategies.

These proposals aim to revitalize institutions and strengthen mechanisms of the African Union in charge of fighting this cross-border and dangerous phenomenon, by integrating new concepts, means and resources both at the normative and operational levels.

This new vision is based on a series of proposals, including:

– The finalization of the second African Counter-Terrorism Plan, in accordance with the memorandum on the pillars of the African Union’s action against terrorism and violent extremism submitted by Algeria, in its capacity as coordinator on this matter, and adopted by the Assembly of Heads of States and Governments (Assembly/AU/17/5XXXII).

– The operationalization of the African Special Fund to counter terrorism.

– The activation of the Counter-Terrorism Sub-Committee under the Peace and Security Council.

– The establishment of an African list of persons, groups and entities involved in terrorist acts, including foreign terrorist fighters.

– The implementation of the draft African arrest warrant, an instrument highlighted by the Peace and Security Council during its November 2018 meeting devoted to countering terrorism in Africa.

Before concluding, allow me to reiterate my country’s commitment to support the African Union action to prevent and combat terrorism and violent extremism, in order to preserve peace and stability and promote sustainable development in our continent.

Thank you for your attention.”

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