Vienna (Austria), 28 November 2023
A rising and unprecedented terrorism threat in Africa has prompted global concern, especially as local armed groups and insurgents gain traction.
Strengthening the skills, knowledge and capacity of law enforcement and criminal justice officials is crucial for effective criminal justice-led responses to terrorism and violent extremism. This approach emphasizes a commitment to human rights and a rule-of-law-centered approach.
In response to these pressing issues, the Terrorism Prevention Branch (TPB) of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) organized the Africa Cooperation Meeting on November 22-24. Participants included representatives from key cooperation organizations, such as the Central African Police Chiefs Committee (CAPCCO), the Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (EAPCCO), the Southern Africa Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (SARPCCO), the West African Police Chiefs Committee Organization (WAPCCO), and the Multi-Agency Task Force in North Africa (MATF/MENA).
The objective of the meeting was to strengthen cross-regional cooperation to effectively counter the evolving terrorist threat and its nexus with organized crime.
Elena Rigacci Hay, Chief of the implementation support section dealing with Africa (UNODC/TPB), opened the meeting by underlining “the importance of supporting continent-wide action and strengthening cooperation to prevent and counter terrorism and organized crime threats in Africa.” In her opening remarks, Kate Fitzpatrick, Chief of the implementation section dealing with Europe and Asia (UNODC/TPB), highlighted that “terrorism represents one of the gravest challenges to global peace and security. In recent years, some of the most active Da’esh and Al-Qaida affiliates have expanded operations across the African continent.” The Director of the African Centre for the Study & Research on Terrorism (ACSRT/CAERT), Idriss Mounir Lallali, emphasized the need to have a “shared understanding among all African Member States that a successful response to the multi-faceted threat facing the continent should be continental, holistic, and premised on cooperation.”
Over the course of the three-day event, discussions focused on the challenges faced in the region, strategies for promoting and sharing of best practices, expertise, and knowledge, and mechanisms to facilitate communication channels. The exchange of information and intelligence through collaboration and the interconnection of existing cooperation organizations or networks was a key focus.
The African Centre for the Study & Research on Terrorism (ACSRT/CAERT), AFRIPOL, the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team pursuant to resolutions 1526 (2004) and 2253 (2015) concerning ISIL (Da'esh), Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities (Monitoring Team), the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), INTERPOL, and the Organized Crime Branch (OCB/UNODC) supported these discussions with tailored interventions.
The meeting resulted in the elaboration of priority actions and recommendations to enhance the utilization of good practices and mechanisms for effective cross-border cooperation and information sharing.