Pan African Parliament identifies terrorism and radicalization as major threats to Africa - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



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Saturday, October 12, 2019

Pan African Parliament identifies terrorism and radicalization as major threats to Africa

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Hon. Kone Aboubacar SIDIKI

Pan African Parliament’s Committee on Cooperation, International Relations and Conflict Resolution has identifies terrorism and radicalization as major threats to the African Continent and its people, noting that “extremist groups have perfected the art of recruitment, facilitated by the use of cyber platforms and structural vulnerabilities such as poverty, ethnic and religious diversity  and various political ideologies”.
This is contained in the Report of the Committee presented by the Chairperson, Hon. Kone Aboubacar SIDIKI on Thursday at the ongoing Third Ordinary Session of the Fifth Parliament of the Pan African Parliament in Midrand, South Africa. Sidiki reported that extremist groups like Al-Shabaab are reportedly using online recruitment platforms to spread radical propaganda  to the general public in various languages pointing out that the Sahel, Lake Chad Basin and the Horn of Africa are the most impacted with severe humanitarian and economic consequences. He said:
“The sophistication of terrorist groups does not stop at their radicalization and recruitment strategies. Over the years, these groups have evolved into well organized parallel entities, providing services and in some cases, acting as the judge, jury and executioner. They have diversified their sources of funding and in some cases, such as the Islamic State Province in West Africa (ISWP) or Al-Shabaab in Somalia, the groups levy taxes, collect revenue from illegal checkpoints and trade with the locals to raise funds. Some groups, such as the Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM) are involved in the illegal selling of gold and other minerals and most importantly, they are also determined to have access to the Sea in order to continue to have access to trade routes”.
“The equipment used by terrorists is also becoming more and more sophisticated. Their bomb making skills have drastically improved and drone terrorism is now a reality we must grapple with. The sophistication of the terrorist organizations is a clear indication that our security-centred approach is not sufficient. A recent study has indicated that our security efforts have been focused too much on protecting the State and less on protecting populations. Combating the scourge of extremism will demand an all-encompassing political engagement that takes into account, the evolving global dynamics in support of our security effort”.
“The spiral of inter-communal violence is becoming a challenge in various parts of Africa, especially in the Sahel. The presence of Islamist groups in some parts of the continent, climate change, weak state presence in some cases, impunity and lack of development in remote areas has inflamed existing pastoral-sedentary farmer tensions. Some countries in Africa have witnessed a significant spike in the number of incidents of inter-communal violence this year. The inter-communal violence between herders and farmers has become a complex issue particularly in the Sahelo-Sahara region, Central Africa and the Horn and will require an approach that is centered on human security. In Mali alone, hundreds of civilians have been killed in inter-communal violence since the beginning of 2019, according to the United Nations”
Hon. Sidiki also reported that “political transitions in African settings are generating complex challenges, thereby threatening stability. Instead of becoming an opportunity for change, transitions have become “moments of vulnerability and are always fraught with challenges”. Elections related violence continues to be one of the main causes of conflict noting that the competitive nature of elections around the continent has not only claimed the lives of millions but  has also contributed to the loss of homes and destruction of property.
Concluding his presentation, Hon. Sidiki acknowledged that while progress is being made in certain areas and the conflicts in the continent are reducing, Africa is far from achieving its set target of security and peace for all citizens as set forth in Agenda 2063. 

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