Despite victories in the fight against terrorism in some regions of Africa, the continent remains in the face of “numerous challenges,” particularly with the deteriorating security situation in Libya, the African Union (AU) High Commissioner for Peace and Security, Smail Chergui said Tuesday in Algiers.
“Although the joint effort to overcome the threats of terrorism and violent extremism in Africa, terrorist and extremist organizations continue to overshadow resilience and adaptation to the measures taken by our Member States,” deplored Chergui.
The AU official spoke at the opening of the 12th meeting of the Focal Points of the African Centre for Studies and Research on Terrorism (ACSCT), themed “Promoting the balance between the fight against terrorism and human rights in Africa.”
Chergui stressed the importance of exchanges during the meeting between experts from all AU Member States, warning against the terrorist threat and security instability that persist in the Sahel region, particularly with the return of terrorists to certain countries such as Burkina Faso, despite the presence of United Nations forces in northern Mali.
“Despite the successes of the multifunctional force in Somalia, the challenges remain enormous today in the Sahel and the Horn of Africa, at the east of the DR of Congo, but also in Lake Chad where this threat is even more complex with the return of terrorist and criminal groups who are strengthening their financial and technical resources,” warned Chergui.
According to Chergui, several African countries affected by this scourge do not have logistical or financial military support despite Brussels agreement signed, two years ago, to provide €414 million worth aid to the Sahel countries, while only US$17 million have been released.
“The financial capacities of Member States are often limited and fail to meet citizens’ expectations within the expected time frame. This situation is likely to lead to disillusionment and even despair and frustration, creating an environment conducive to the spread of the terrorist message,” Chergui said.
Referring to the situation in Libya, he said that political instability in this neighbouring country remains Algeria’s greatest concern for the preservation of security and regional stability. Chergui advocated a joint role between the AU and the United Nations in order to bring the Libyan parties together around a round table and prepare for the elections in Libya.
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