Communique of the 812th Meeting of the Peace and Security Council on the fight against terrorism and violent extremism in Africa
Takes note of the report of the Chairperson of the AU Commission on the Fight Against Terrorism and Violent Extremism in Africa, which was presented to Council by the Director of the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT), Colonel Larry Gbevlo-Lartey Esq.
Council also takes note of the presentation made by the Director of the Namibia Central Intelligence Services, Mr. Benedict Katukula Likando, in his capacity as Chairperson of the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA), as well as of statements made by the representatives of Algeria, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Sudan, European Union and the United Nations;
Recalls all its previous decisions and pronouncements on terrorism and violent extremism, particularly, Communique PSC/AHG/COM.(DCCXLIX) adopted at its 749th Meeting held on 27 January 2018 at the level of Heads of States and Governments, Communiqué [PSC/PR/COMM. (DCLXXXVII)] adopted at its 687th Meeting held on 23 May 2017; Communiqué [PSC/PR/COMM.
(DCL)] adopted at its 650th meeting held on 17 January 2017; Communiqué [PSC/PR/ COMM. 1 (DCXXVIII)] adopted at its 628th meeting held on 28 September 2016; Communiqué [PSC/ AHG/ COMM.1 (DLXXI)] adopted at its 571st meeting held at the level of Heads of State and Governments on 29 January 2016; Communiqué [PSC/AHG/COMM (CDLV)] adopted at its 455th meeting held at the level of Heads of State and Government on 2 September 2014, in Nairobi,
Kenya; as well as Press Statement [PSC/PR/BR(DCCXI)] adopted at its 711th meeting, held on 22 August 2017 in Addis Ababa; Press Statement [PSC/PR/BR (DXCII)] adopted at its 592nd meeting held on 19 April 2016 in Addis Ababa and Press Statement [PSC/PR/BR.2 (DLX)] adopted at its 560th meeting held on 26 November 2016 in Addis Ababa;
Reiterates its strong condemnation of all terrorist acts, that no what so ever reason could justify, and stresses the right of every person to be protected against the scourges of terrorism and the primary responsibility of the State to ensure the protection of life and personal safety of persons on its territories;
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 continue to pose serious threats to peace, security and stability in some parts of the continent, and have severe impact on the enjoyment of human rights and result in depletion of national resources that could be allocated to development. Council also notes with serious concern the growing capacity of terrorist organizations in Africa to finance their activities by, among others, running criminal/illicit economies in areas under their control, engaging in illegal exploitation of, and trade in, natural resources, kidnaping for ransom (KFR), arms, drugs and human trafficking, and other types of transnational organized crime. In this regard, Council underscores the urgent need for more concerted and coordinated efforts by Member States to effectively deny terrorist organizations any source of funding, including payment of ransom as well as any form of military, logistical or political support;
Underscores the AU’s continued commitment to inclusive approaches and African ownership in the fight against terrorism, within the context of African solutions to the problems plaguing the continent, as well as Africa’s commitment to the international counter- terrorism regime as outlined in relevant OAU/AU treaties and conventions, UN Security Council resolutions, and the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy;
Commends Algeria, in its capacity as the AU Champion in combating terrorism and violent extremism, for having hosted the High-Level Meeting on Combating Terrorist Financing in Africa from 9 to 10 April 2018, in Algiers, and requests the Commission and Member States to expeditiously implement the decisions and recommendations of the High-Level Meeting;
Expresses deep concern over the growing influx of Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs) from outside the Continent and the threat they are increasingly posing to peace and security in Africa.
In this regard, Council requests the Commission, through the ACSRT, CISSA and the AU Mechanism for Police Cooperation (AFRIPOL), in cooperation with Member States, to urgently compile a continental list composed of a database of persons, groups and entities involved in terrorist acts, including FTFs. In the same context, Council calls on the members of the international community to share with AU Member States, the lists of persons, groups and entities involved in terrorist acts, including their nationals identified as FTFs. In this regard, Council requests the AU Commission and partners to continue to assist Member States in building and further strengthening their national capacities, in order to enable them to more effectively deal with this threat;
Recalls, once again, the press statement [PSC/PR/BR.(DCXXVII)]of its 627th meeting held on 26 September 2016, on the role of cybersecurity in the promotion and maintenance of peace and security in Africa; reaffirms the need to counter the use of ICT technologies by terrorist groups, whether in their fundraising, narrative promotion, and recruitment of others to commit terrorist acts; welcomes, in this context, UNSC resolution 2354 (2017) and the “Comprehensive International Framework to Counter Terrorist Narratives” (S/2017/375) with recommended guidelines and good practices; and encourages Member States to collaborate in developing and implementing effective counter-narrative strategies in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 2354 (2017), including those relating to FTFs;
Underscores the need for Member States to enact appropriate legislation and develop appropriate psycho-social programs for the terrorist fighters who have voluntarily handed themselves to the authorities in the Member States while ensuring full respect to the rule of law; 10. Stresses that effective responses to terrorism and violent extremism should be holistic and combine dynamic military approaches with sustained efforts that are aimed at effectively addressing the root causes. In this respect, Council encourages Member States to adopt approaches aimed at prevention and combating of terrorism and violent extremism. In this context, Council also encourages Member States to develop their national legislation and architecture for the prevention and combating of terrorism and violent extremism as well as comprehensive and integrated counter-terrorism strategies and plans of action for prevention and suppression of terrorism;
Commends CISSA and ACSRT for their relentless efforts in supporting Member States in the fight against terrorism, violent extremisms and radicalization in Africa, in particular, for providing capacity building support to Member States, especially in developing their own national strategies and plans of action, policy harmonization and promotion of information sharing and regional cooperation;
Requests the Commission to follow up on the adoption of the proposed revised structure of the ACSRT, its infrastructure development and the provision of required support, with a view to ensuring that it more effectively discharges its mandate. In this respect, Council expresses its gratitude to the Government of Algeria for continuing to provide support to the Centre and requests the relevant Algerian authorities to authorize the proposed expansion of the ACSRT facilities;
Reaffirms the continued relevance of the AU normative and policy framework for preventing and combating terrorism, and reiterates its call for all Member States, that have not yet done so, to sign and ratify, without any further delays, the relevant AU instruments;
Underscores the importance of establishing platforms for regular inter-faith dialogue, with a view to promoting mutual tolerance and acceptation among communities of different religious communities;
Requests the Commission to review all continental legal instruments relating to the prevention and combating of terrorism, including terrorism financing, so as to make them also relevant in fighting the new methods and techniques of terrorist financing. In this respect, Council further requests the Commission to urgently update the 2002 AU Plan of Action on the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism;
Calls on Member States to enact and enforce appropriate legislative and law enforcement, as well as traceability control measures to include importation, movement, storage, distribution and use of materials and components used for making improvised explosive devices (IEDs). In this regard, Council also calls on ACSRT to assist Member States in the development of their Counter IED capabilities;
Requests ACRST, CISSA and AFRIPOL, working in consultation with AU partners and other relevant stakeholders, to expedite the development of the five-year strategic roadmap for the prevention and combating of terrorism and violent extremism, pursuant to Communique [PSC/PR/COMM. (DCLXXXVIII)] adopted by Council at its 687th meeting held on 23 May 2017;
Reiterates the urgent need to fully activate the Council’s sub-Committee on CounterTerrorism and to operationalize the African Union Special Fund on the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism and Violent Extremism in Africa, pursuant to Assembly decision [Assembly/AU/Dec.614 (XXVII)] adopted by the 27th Ordinary Session of the Assembly held in Kigali, in July 2016;
Recalls its decision as contained in Communiqué PSC/PR/COMM. (DCLXXXVII), adopted at its 687th Meeting held on 23 May 2017 and stresses that the ACSRT Focal Points for liaison and coordination in Member States are to be those institutions in Member States charged with national responsibility for counter-terrorism policy planning and response coordination;
Expresses its sincere gratitude to all AU partners for their continued support to the AU counter-terrorism efforts;
Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.