PAP commits to efforts towards combating terrorism in Africa
The President of the Pan Africa Parliament (PAP) Bureau, Honourable Roger Nkodo Dang has disclosed that PAP plans to present African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government with a comprehensive report that will contribute towards Africa’s counter terrorism efforts.
Honourable Dang made the remarks on Tuesday, August 2, in Midrand, South Africa when he officially opened a workshop on the role of PAP in combating terrorism and maritime piracy in Africa.
The workshop was organised for PAP’s Committee on Cooperation, International Relations and Conflicts Resolutions and it was aimed at promoting discussions on African Union’s policies on combating terrorism on the continent.
“AU Heads of State and Government attach great importance to the Pan African Parliament and its role on the continent and the leaders have entrusted PAP with the responsibility to critically consider the 2063 Agenda as well as look into the effects of terrorism in Africa, and ways to fight it,” said Honourable Dang.
He assured the committee members that AU leaders recognise the importance of PAP and its role as evidenced in their adoption of a resolution at the 2016 Kigali AU Summit that is aimed at impressing upon all AU member states to ratify the Malabo Protocol to enable PAP to exercise its legislative role.
The PAP president therefore called upon members of the committee to come up with tangible recommendations on how individual countries as well as the African Union can effectively tackle the escalating terrorism threat on the continent.
“Africa has not been spared from the effects of escalating terrorism globally and these terrorists are increasingly becoming sophisticated and are infiltrating our countries when we least expect it,” Honourable Dang observed citing terror acts that various African countries like Uganda, Tanzania, Somalia, Nigeria, Egypt, Cameroon, Chad and Somalia have suffered.
The AU’s Algiers based African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT) participated in the workshop. The centre’s Director, Larry Gbevlo-Lartey, stated that Africa can decisively combat terrorism only if individual countries take a bold step and set up effective national counter terrorism systems.
He advised African states to diligently work towards establishing effective counter terrorism architecture that must be inclusive of all sectors of society including the youth and women, since it was the young people being radicalised, underscoring that it was impossible for strange occurrences to take place in communities without the knowledge of women.
Gbevlo-Lartey cited empowerment as the best possible tool for communities to avert any extremism and radicalisation of young people.
“African countries need functioning systems that must monitor the shaping up of young people especially in the formative years of their education as this will help countries notice any strange developments that require state intervention,” he said.
The ACSRT Director, however, commended the African Union for laying down the basis for fighting terrorism on the continent through adoption of various protocols and instruments adding that the onus was now on the member countries to ratify both continental and global treaties and instruments, as well as ensure that they are adopted into national policy and regulatory frameworks.
The African Union Heads of State and Government have in the past two decades adopted several protocols aimed at combatting terrorism on the continent.