On Thursday, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed warned that terrorism is intensifying across Africa, exploiting instability and conflict.
“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,” the UN deputy chief told the Security Council high-level debate on “Counter-Terrorism in Africa – an Imperative for Peace, Security and Development” on behalf of Secretary Antonio Guterres.
“Their senseless, terror-fueled violence has killed and wounded thousands and many more continue to suffer from the broader impact of terrorism on their lives and livelihoods. Terrorist and violent extremist groups aggravate instability and human suffering. And they can plunge a country emerging from war back into the depths of conflict,” Mohammed said.
Meanwhile, terrorists, non-state armed groups and criminal networks often pursue different agendas and strategies, fueled by smuggling, human trafficking, and other methods of illicit financing – sometimes impersonating legitimate armed forces.
And as digital tools spread hate and disinformation, terrorists and other criminal groups are exploiting inter-communal tensions and food insecurity triggered by climate change. In today’s hyper-connected world, Mohammed said, the spread of terrorism in Africa is “not a concern for African member states alone.”
“The challenge belongs to us all. Countering international terrorism requires effective multilateral responses… 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.
The UN deputy chief called for community-based, and gender-sensitive “whole-of-society” approaches. Other suggestions include calling for “sustained and predictable funding” to prevent and counter terrorism.