African leaders unite against terrorism

African leaders unite against terrorism
The chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Moussa Faki Mahamat. [Photo: Courtesy]

African Heads of State have vowed to work together in the fight against terrorism and resurgence of unconstitutional changes of government.

The Chairperson of African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said terrorism flourishes in Africa due to lack of solidarity with countries facing the threat.

“We have all recently witnessed with consternation and concern, the return in force of military coups in some of our member states. The stability of democratic institutions is a guarantee for economic and social development,” Mahamat said at the Heads of State convened an Extraordinary Summit held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

He reiterated that terrorism flourishes in Africa because African countries lack solidarity towards countries affected by terrorist attacks.

Faki said the union had drawn a plan of action on prevention and combating of terrorism adopted in 2002, operational framework of OAU Convention on Combating Terrorism adopted in 1999, and its Protocol adopted in 2004, the Johannesburg Declaration to silence guns, and the AU Roadmap adopted in 2004, the AU Roadmap on Practical Measures to Silence the Guns in Africa by 2030.

Joao Lourenço, President of the Republic of Angola and Vice Chairperson of the African Union said hunger, poverty, unemployment, lack of industrialization, and lack of socio-economic development were obstacles to peace and security in Africa.

“We must look at internal reasons that lead to instability and make our people vulnerable to exploitative ideologies. We must find political and economic solutions because terrorism is compounding the issues of hunger, poverty and displaced persons,” he said.

Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea said fighting terrorism needed a joint effort from the African countries.

“The fight against terrorism is not an act that one country can achieve on its own, it requires teamwork, international cooperation and collaboration. We must also pay attention to financing of terrorism,” Teodoro said.

“Terrorists are not able to act on their own without funding for their operations: being able to cut these financing channels would diminish significantly the capacities of these terrorists. We must probe the origin and sources of the weapons owned by terrorists as well as entities that offer military training.”

Research statistics

According to the statement on the African Union’s website, terrorism attacks increased between 2012 and 2020.

There were 508 terrorist strikes in 2012 leading to 2,563 casualties while in 2020, the terrorist strikes increased to 2034 leading to 8631 deaths that means 400% increase in attacks and 237% increase in deaths.

It further indicated that victims and sometimes perpetrators of terrorist attacks were women, youth and children.