Terrorism spreading across Africa- UN raises alarm

The United Nations (UN) stated yesterday, Thursday, that the spread of terrorism throughout Africa poses a serious threat to world peace and security.

Speaking at the Security Council on behalf of the Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, Deputy UN chief Amina Mohammed said: “Terrorists and violent extremists, including Da’esh, al-Qaida and their affiliates, have exploited instability and conflict to increase their activities and intensify attacks across the continent.

“Their senseless, terror-fuelled violence has killed and wounded thousands and many more continue to suffer from the broader impact of terrorism on their lives and livelihoods.”

Women and girls, in particular, are suffering the worst effects of insecurity and inequality, she said, adding that the spread of terrorism in Africa is “not a concern for African Member States alone, but for the whole world.” Misogyny is at the heart of the ideologies of many terrorist groups.

Mohammed outlined five recommendations to advance counterterrorism efforts in Africa, emphasizing that prevention is still the best course of action.

“We must address the instability and conflict that can lead to terrorism in the first place, as well as the conditions exploited by terrorists in pursuit of their agendas,” she said.

While calling for community-based, gender-sensitive ‘whole-of-society’ approaches, she noted that there is a complex link between terrorism, patriarchy and gender-based violence, saying counter-terrorism policies needed to be “strengthened by the meaningful participation and leadership of women and girls.”

She explained that “countering terrorism can never be an excuse for violating human rights or international law as it would only set us back.”

Stressing the importance of regional organisations, in addressing challenges posed by terrorist and violent extremist groups in the local context, Mohammed finally called for “sustained and predictable funding to prevent and counter terrorism.”

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