The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), at its 650th meeting held on 17 January 2017, was briefed by the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA) on the recent international developments in the fight against terrorism and its impact in Africa and adopted the following decision:
1. Takes note of the horizon scanning presentation made by the Commission. Council also takes note of the briefing by CISSA on the recent international developments in the fight against terrorism;
2. Commends the Commission for the regular horizon scanning briefings in so far as they contribute towards further enhancing the conflict prevention capacity of the Council. Council also commends CISSA for the regular briefings;
3. Recalls its earlier decisions and pronouncements on terrorism, violent extremism and radicalization in Africa, particularly Communique PSC/PR/COMM.1(DCXXVIII) adopted at its 628th meeting held on 28 September 2016; Press Statement PSC/PR/BR (DXCII) adopted at its 592nd meeting held in Addis Ababa on 19 April 2016; Communiqué PSC/AHG/COMM.1 (DLXXI) adopted at its 571st meeting held at the level of Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa on 29 January 2016 and Press Statement PSC/PR/BR.2 (DLX) adopted at its 560th meeting held in Addis Ababa on 26 November 2015;
4. Urges, once again, Member States to exert their utmost efforts in order to effectively address the root causes and the underlying conditions conducive for the spread of terrorism, violent extremism and radicalization, including, among others, poverty, marginalization and youth unemployment, as well as economic, social and political exclusion. In the same context, Council also urges Member States to support socio-economic development projects, particularly in the most vulnerable areas;
5. Reiterates the urgent need for Member States to build national capacities to provide, using all available means, including social media, the internet, and electronic and print media, a sustained counter-narrative against terrorist and extremist narratives and propaganda;
6. Underscores the importance of further enhancing synergies and upscaling collaboration between CISSA and Council, as well as between and among the national intelligence services of the Member States, in order to ensure timely and effective exchange of information, experiences, best practices and lessons learnt;
7. Encourages Member States to establish legal systems that criminalize the movement of foreign terrorist fighters, their logistical support and the networks that facilitate their movements, departure and return, as well as the standardization of punishment procedures. In the same context, Council emphasizes the need for concerted efforts towards drying up the funding sources of foreign terrorist fighters and neutralizing their modus operandi;
8. Underscores the urgent need for Member States to develop de-radicalization measures, including among others, through reforming religious discourses to counter the extremist narratives, while establishing counter-extremism programmes at the national, regional and continental levels. Council also underscores the need for the adoption of inclusive policies, in order to more effectively counter extremism, with the participation of all stakeholders, including moderate civil society organizations, and the establishment of programs to combat FTFs’ movements and identify their actions;
9. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.
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