President Goodluck Jonathan has urged African authorities to fight terrorism and stop the murders of innocent people across the continent.
Mr. Jonathan, who was speaking at the opening ceremony of the 455th African Union Peace and Security Council meeting, at the level of Heads of State and Government, said African governments should take “action-oriented approach” against the activities of terrorists.
At the meeting titled “terrorism and violent extremism in Africa” held at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, KICC, Nairobi, Kenya, the president said Africa can deal with terrorists in legal, political and normative terms.
Mr. Jonathan said he regretted the increasing wave of violence that is being perpetrated by Boko Haram, Al- Shabaab and the Lord Resistance Army, LRA.
“The atrocities that continue to be committed by the terrorist groups active in the Sahel- Saharan region, Boko Haram, the LRA, Al- Shabaab and other terrorist groups, bear testimony to the long road ahead of us,” he said.
President Jonathan, reading the speech of African Union Chairman, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, also called on African countries to fulfil their earlier commitments with respect to legal measures, border control and exchange of intelligence in the bid to stop terrorism.
While insisting that the AU needs to do more to prevent terrorism, Mr. Jonathan commended the member countries and the Commission for efforts it has taken to tackle insurgency.
“While both member states and the Commission deserve to be commended for their commitment and efforts, nonetheless, much remains to be done,” he said.
Mr. Jonathan said the AU member states need to cooperate with the rest of international community to tackle terrorism.
“Indeed the problem we are confronting is global in nature. Terrorist and organized crime syndicates operate in networks that can only be defeated through concerted action and cooperation. The African Union and its various instruments and mechanisms provide the framework within which we should combine our efforts and pull together our scarce resources.
“The second point pertains to the need for action- oriented approach. We are now well equipped in terms of legal, political and normative instruments. The task ahead of us is to ensure their effective implementation”, Mr. Jonathan said.
He asked African leaders to also tackle poverty and unemployment as they breed terrorism.
The Chairperson of the Council, Idriss Debby of Chad, promised that the AU would leave no stone unturned in the fight against terrorism.
Also, host President, Uhuru Kenyatta, called on African leaders to provide the funds needed to fight terrorism to complement the support coming from outside the continent.
The Summit is expected to adopt the recommendations of the African Union Commission Chairperson on violent extremism and terrorism in Africa.