15 November 2017

West Africa: Algeria Hosts Forum to Address Terror Threats in West Africa

Algiers — A global anti-terror forum was held in the Algerian capital of Algiers on Monday to deal with the ongoing terrorist threats in West Africa.

Co-chaired by Algeria and Canada, the first meeting of the Global Counterterrorism Forum aims to promote regional and international cooperation and discuss capacity-building gaps specific to the African Sahel region.

This two-day meeting is attended by international and regional organizations, including the United Nations, the African Union and the European Union.

In his opening speech, Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel said the international community is mobilizing major means to eradicate the terrorist threat all over the world, particularly in West Africa.

Messahel warned that the terrorist threat will reach safe regions if it is not strongly countered.

The Algerian Foreign Minister outlined the main terrorist relating challenges that faces the region, in addition to ways and means to counter them.

He mentioned, for instance, the risk of the return of foreign terrorist fighters to the African Sahel after the losses inflicted by international coalition to the terrorist group of Daesh in Syria and Iraq.

Messahel suggested reinforcing border security cooperation, and improve living conditions of regions' population, including youngsters, to deter them from joining terror fiefs in exchange of money.

He further underlined the importance to dry financial sources for terrorist groups, including ransom payment, as well as drug and arms trafficking, which provide huge sums of money to these groups, making them more powerful.

This meeting was also an opportunity to observe one minute's silence for Nigerien and US soldiers killed recently in terrorist attack in Niger.

Algeria is a founding member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum, and has already hosted expert-level meetings in 2016 to discuss topics related to the role of criminal justice in the fight against terrorism in the Sahel, and the role of democracy in countering and combating violent extremism and terrorism.


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