African peace enforcing and counter terrorism operations must have strong and clear mandates backed by sufficient predictable and sustainable financial support in order to succeed, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said Wednesday.
Speaking during the opening of the African Regional High-level Conference on Counter-Terrorism at the UN complex Gigiri, Guterres said there's an urgent need for the international community to support African countries, especially those in regions where the vice is spreading fast. He added that African countries should also forge partnerships to enable them to strengthen their resilience and capacity to fight terrorism through sharing cross-border intelligence and skills.
"Tremendous growth in Africa should not be affected by terrorism. We believe in the African leadership's ability to develop African solutions. Terrorism and violent extremism cannot be won through enforcement alone.
"For terrorism to be defeated, it needs strong financial support, backed by respect for human rights and strong political will," said Mr Guterres.
He further noted that in Africa, as elsewhere, terrorists continue to use sexual violence to spread fear.
"The trauma from terrorism causes lasting damage to individuals, families, communities ... The determination of Africa to fight violent extremism is clear, and the role of women is inspirational on so many ways," he said.
Kenya has been calling for the listing of Al Shabaab, which has been terrorising East Africa region, as a terrorist organisation under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1267 of 1999.
Meanwhile, President Uhuru Kenyatta said: "I call on the African Union to generate a powerful political consensus for confronting and defeating terrorism and all other forms of violent extremism conducive to terrorism"
He said terrorism is a Pan-African problem and appealed to the participants to use the forum to advocate for greater investment and reforms to combat terrorism.