Influx Of Foreign Terrorist Fighters Into Africa Worries AU

FILE – In this Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011 file photo, hundreds of newly trained al-Shabab fighters perform military exercises in the Lafofe area some 18 km south of Mogadishu, in Somalia. President Donald Trump’s approval of greater U.S. military authority to pursue al-Qaida-linked extremists in Somalia will put civilians further at risk, experts say, especially as drought displaces thousands of people in areas that now will be considered a war zone. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh, File)

The African Union (AU) has expressed concern over growing threat to peace and security in Africa posed by terrorism, radicalisation, violent extremism, as well as influx of foreign terrorist fighters into the continent.

According to a statement, on Wednesday the AU Peace and Security Council, in its latest meeting, had deliberated on the Impact of Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTTs) on peace and security in Africa.

The council warned that it would not hesitate to name and shame all non-African states that are sponsors found to be promoting terrorism.

The threat is undermining AU efforts to end violent conflicts and achieve sustainable peace, security and stability on the African continent, the Peace and Security Council of the 55-member pan-African bloc said.

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The council also expressed deep concern over the growing linkages between terrorism and trans-national organised crime including money laundering, illicit financial flows, proliferation of small arms and light weapons.

Others includes human and drug trafficking, as well as the growing threat of terror-related cyber crimes and the potentiality of weapons of mass destruction reaching terrorist organisations.

The council condemned the continued indiscriminate terrorist attacks in various parts of the continent and the continued recruitment and state sponsorship of foreign terrorist fighters.

Some non-African states are sponsors of the rising influx of foreign terrorist fighters into Africa, it said without elaboration.

The council encouraged all AU members and other relevant stakeholders to fully uphold and comply with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2170, which presents a holistic approach toward combating the scourges of foreign terrorist fighters.

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It urged international partners to enhance assistance and collaboration with AU members in addressing the growing threat of foreign terrorist fighters, including by sharing of information that assists in identifying FTFs.

The council called for concerted and sustained efforts by AU members to effectively destroy the financial lifelines of terrorist groups, and fight transnational organised crime.

This includes piracy, kidnap-for-ransom, drug and human trafficking, money laundering, illicit financial flows, selling of antiquities, and illegal exploitation and selling of natural resources.

It emphasised that members should refrain from payment of ransom to terrorists, so as to discourage terrorist organisations from committing kidnap for ransom crimes.

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The council called for development of common standards for effectively tracking the networks of terrorism financing in accordance with relevant AU and international instruments.

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