The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 644th meeting held on 12 December 2016, adopted the following press statement on the terrorist attacks perpetrated in Cairo (Egypt), Mogadishu (Somalia) and Maiduguri (Nigeria) on 11 December 2016:
Council recalled its earlier pronouncements on the issue of terrorism and reiterated its condemnation, in the strongest terms possible, the terrible terrorist attacks, in Cairo, Egypt at St. Peter’s Church during the Sunday mass and killed more than 30 people and in Mogadishu, Somalia where a vehicle-borne improvised explosive devise detonated a few metres away from the entrance of the seaport, where more than 20 people were killed while many others were injured. Council also condemned, in the strongest terms possible, a suicide bombing in Maiduguri, northeastern Nigeria, where two girl suicide bombers, in a crowded area near a market injured 17 people.
Council stressed that these barbaric acts against innocent civilians, committed on the continent by whomever, wherever and for whatever purposes are tantamount to an attack on the African continent as a whole. Council reiterated AU’s full solidarity with the people and the Government of Egypt, Somalia and Nigeria and expressed its heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims. Council wished speedily recovery to all injured victims.
Council underlined that the escalation of terrorist attacks in the continent highlights the need for renewed efforts to address the scourge of terrorism, on the basis of the relevant AU and international instruments. In this regard, Council called on all Member States to continue building and enhancing the capacity of national security institutions, through training in relevant areas and promote the exchange of intelligence, utilizing the support provided by the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT) and the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services in Africa (CISSA). Council further called on all Member States and partners to redouble their efforts in this respect, and to enhance inter-African counter-terrorism cooperation.
Council reiterated the AU’s determination to continue its efforts in the fight against terrorism, and to address the root causes in addressing the issue of radicalization, particularly the youths, to ensure effective implementation and sustainability of counter-radicalization measures, as well as to eliminate the terrorist and criminal groups, and bring about lasting peace, security and stability in the continent.
Council agreed to remain actively seized with the matter.
Posted by Kodjo Tchioffo
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