by Laila Ibrahim
President Goodluck Jonathan has called on African leaders to take “action- oriented approach” against the activities of terrorists and stop the incessant massacre of innocent citizens across the continent.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 455th African Union Peace and Security Council meeting, at the level of Heads of State and Government, titled ” terrorism and violent extremism in Africa” held at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC), Nairobi, Kenya, Jonathan noted that the African Union has what it takes in terms of legal, political and normative instruments to deal with the rising sophistication of terrorists.
The President however regretted the increasing wave of violence that is being perpetrated by Boko Haram, El- Shabba and the Lord Resistance Army (LRA).
President Jonathan, while reading the speech of the African Union Chairman, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, at the occasion, called on African countries to fulfil their earlier commitments with respect to legal measures, border control and exchange of intelligence, as part of the joint efforts to put an end to terrorism on the African continent.
He commended the AU member countries and the Commission for efforts and commitment in combating insurgency, so far, but stressed that a lot of work needed to be done.
“While both member states and the Commission deserve to be commended for their commitment and efforts, nonetheless, much remains to be done. The atrocities that continue to be committed by the terrorist groups active in the Sahelo- Saharan region, Boko Haram, the LRA, Al- Shabaab and other terrorist groups, bear testimony to the long road ahead of us,” he said.
Proffering solutions the situation, the President Jonathan also said “The first (solution) relates to the need for enhanced cooperation among member states and between the continent and the rest of the international community.
“Indeed the problem we are confronting is global on nature. Terrorist and organized crime syndicates operate in networks that can only be defeated through concerted action and cooperation. The African Union and its various instruments and mechanisms provide the framework within which we should combine our efforts and pull together our scarce resources.
“The second point pertains to the need for action- oriented approach. We are now well equipped in terms of legal, political and normative instruments. The tasks ahead of us is to ensure their effective implementation. The countries concerned should take the steps required to become parties to the relevant African and international instruments. We should as member states fulfil our commitments and obligations, particularly with respect to legal measures, border control, exchange of intelligence and other related measures.”
Earlier, the Chairperson of the Council, Idriss Debby of Chad assured that the Council would leave no stone unturned in the fight against terror while host President, Uhuru Kenyatta called on African leaders to provide the funds needed to fight terrorism to complement the support coming from outside the continent.
The Summit, which is expected to adopt the recommendations of the African Union Commission Chairperson on violent extremism and terrorism in Africa, is still going on at the time of filing this report.