News / Africa

    African Summit to Focus on Terrorist Threat

    African leaders and delegates attend the Africa Union Peace and Security Council Summit on Terrorism at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre, in Nairobi, Kenya, Sept. 2, 2014.
    African leaders and delegates attend the Africa Union Peace and Security Council Summit on Terrorism at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre, in Nairobi, Kenya, Sept. 2, 2014.

    African leaders are meeting in Nairobi Tuesday to discuss how to tackle terrorism and extremism across the continent. The summit, the first on this topic organized by the African Union, comes amid reports of a U.S. drone strike in Somalia targeting the leader of militant group al-Shabab.

    The Nairobi security summit is being attended by six heads of state -- from Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Kenya, Tanzania and Somalia -- and leaders from several other African countries.

    The African Union's top official for counter-terrorism, Ambassador Fancisco Madeira, says the meeting will focus on ways African countries can combat terrorism and to encourage neighboring countries to share information.

    "We need decisions and then we need to see where are the sources of support -- material, financial and otherwise -- to the different bodies that are dealing with the issue of terrorism," said Madeira. "[We need] better coordination of action among member states and better sharing of information, operational information, for them to be more effective on the ground and faster acting against al-Shabab, AQIM, Boko Haram and all this."

    Rising terrorism threat

    In the past decade, the African continent has witnessed a major expansion and escalation of terrorist violence.

    Security experts say the threat of terrorism is accelerating across Africa at an alarming rate; so far, 22 countries have been targeted.

    The AU's Peace and Security Council reported on terrorism-related issues at an earlier summit, in Equatorial Guinea in June. African leaders meeting there expressed deep concern about the threats from Boko Haram in Nigeria, al-Shabab in the horn of Africa and from Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb [AQIM], which operates in a wide area across the Sahara, Algeria and Morocco.

    The meeting this week in Nairobi is expected to study the issues raised by the terrorist threat, and on effective mechanisms to tackle them.

    Some African countries have been accused of not doing enough and misusing the funds provided to combat terrorism.

    Increasing effectiveness

    Burundi's ambassador to Ethiopia and to the African Union, Alain Nyamitwe, noted that AU military missions have been successfully deployed to worst hit countries like Somalia and Mali, but he said a lot more needs to be done to fight terrorism on the continent.

    "So I think the Peace and Security Council is charging its mandate very well, [although] of course no organ of the AU is perfect," said Nyamitwe. "That does not mean we are not doing enough. We are possibly not performing up to the level of expectation."

    A senior researcher with the Pretoria-based Institute for Security Studies, Martin Ewi, warned of the danger of too easily labeling opposition groups and activists as "terrorists."  

    "Political parties or political elites can use it against each other, blaming one another for committing terrorism acts or supporting terrorism acts or libeling the activities of others.  If you look critically into what they are doing, [these actions] might not qualify as terrorism. ... That does not help the fight against the terrorism in Africa if we are accusing the wrong people who are not terrorists as terrorists."

    Meanwhile, hundreds of kilometers away from the summit, a U.S. drone attack Monday in Somalia targeted top commanders of al-Shabab who were meeting.

    U.S. and Somali officials say the attack was aimed at al-Shabab's top leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane. There was no immediate word on whether Godane survived.

     


     

     

    You May Like

    Beijing Warns Critics Over South China Sea Dispute

    Official warns critics that the more they challenge China's position regarding disputed territories in one of world’s busiest waterways, the more it will push back

    Will New Russian Force Be 'Putin’s Personal Army'?

    With broad powers to control riots, suppress dissent, National Guard may be aimed at sending a message to West as much as keeping peace at home

    Foreign Media in Pyongyang Barred From North Korean Party Congress

    Hundreds of international journalists invited to cover historic party meeting barred from entering actual event

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Image Recognition Market Seen Doubling by 2020i
    X
    Ramon Taylor
    May 05, 2016 10:05 PM
    From auto tagging on Facebook to self-driving cars, image recognition technology as it exists today is still in its beginning phases, experts say — and will soon change the way users and corporations interact with the physical world. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
    Video

    Video Image Recognition Market Seen Doubling by 2020

    From auto tagging on Facebook to self-driving cars, image recognition technology as it exists today is still in its beginning phases, experts say — and will soon change the way users and corporations interact with the physical world. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
    Video

    Video Child Labor in Afghanistan Remains a Problem

    With war still raging in Afghanistan, the country also faces the problem of child labor as families put their school-age children to work to help make ends meet. But, thanks to VOA's Afghan Service, two families whose children had been working in a brick-making factory - to earn their livings and pay off family debts - now have a new lease on life. Zabihullah Ghazi reports.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora