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Africa Cannot Defeat Terrorism Through Only Armed Response

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Somali government soldiers carry the body of a killed fellow soldier following an attack

More different initiatives are needed to tackle the challenge of terrorism on the African continent and cannot be defeated through only armed response.

More than 250 participants including presidents of national assemblies, representatives of African parliaments, youth NGOs and representatives from UN agencies on Thursday gathered in the Togolese Capital, Lome for a two day conference dedicated to the fight against terrorism.

The president of the Togolese National Assembly stressed the importance of collective response.

“The resurgence of violent acts linked to terrorism is a threat to the continent’s sustainable development efforts. Through this framework of exchanges, we will try to put in place a synergy of collective response to fight against terrorism with all the vigour and rigour of our determination to build a harmonious community of destiny”, said Yawa Djigbodi Tsegan, President of the Togolese National Assembly.
Africa cannot win the challenge of terrorism simply through armed response.

Improving youth-oriented initiatives will reduce the number of people joining the ranks of terrorists.

Preventing the recruitment and radicalization of young people is a challenge for the next ten years, according to this security expert.

“We have to learn a lot from terrorists. Terrorists offer young people a complete kit: an economic kit, and above all a dignity kit. This is what drives young people to join armed terrorist groups. We must reverse this trend. To reverse the trend, we need to develop the economic sector, especially the informal sector, and also self-employment. We also need a window of opportunity for young people who have fallen out so that they can return”, said Savadogo Mahamoudou, expert in security policy and geostrategy.

A parliamentary working group for counterterrorism in Africa has just been set up here following discussions organized by the United Nations, the Qatar Shurad Council and the Togolese government.

This group aims to build and collaborate with resilient, empowered youth who are able to make a meaningful contribution to counterterrorism efforts.

The event was organized by Doha-based Office of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Program (UNOCT) on Parliamentary Participation in Preventing and Combating Terrorism, with support from the Shura Council, and in cooperation with the National Assembly of the Togolese Republic, the African Parliamentary Union (APU), the Joint Parliamentary Committee of the Group of Five in the Sahel, as well as the Interparliamentary Committee of the Group of Five for the Sahel.

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