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1.    The 1st joint meeting of the Heads of Intelligence and Security Services (HISS) of the member States and organizations participating in the Nouakchott and Djibouti Processes took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 10 November 2017.


2.     The following countries participated in the meeting: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. In addition, the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT), the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA), the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the AU Mission to Mali and the Sahel (MISAHEL), the Fusion and Liaison Unit for the Sahel (UFL), the Permanent Secretariat of the Group of Five of the Sahel (G5 Sahel), the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) the Economic Commission of the West African States (ECOWAS), and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) took part in the meeting.

3.     The opening ceremony was marked by statements made by the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smaïl Chergui.

I.    OVERALL SITUATION IN THE SAHELO-SAHARAN AND EAST AFRICAN REGIONS

4.    The meeting afforded the opportunity to review the security situation in the Sahelo-Saharan and the East African regions and to develop a shared understanding of the threats facing the two regions, in light of the presentations and intervention made by representatives of the various countries as well as institutions. Substantive contributions were made by the Heads of National Intelligence and Security Services of the two regions, as well as the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the AU Mission to Mali and the Sahel (MISAHEL), G5- Sahel, the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF), the African Centre for the Study & Research on Terrorism (ACSRT), and the AU Committee of Intelligence and Security Services (CISSA).

 5.     The meeting collectively emphasized the growing security threat in the two regions and took stock of the efforts being deployed by the member states, the African Union, as well as other organizations, to tackle the challenges confronting them. While noting the progress made in addressing some of the challenges through these platforms and other related initiatives, participants acknowledged that the security situation in both regions remains fragile. In this regard, participants reiterated their deep concern regarding  developments that took place in the Sahelo-Saharan and East African regions, including the persistent attacks in the Sahel, particularly in Mali and Niger, and the recent bombing in Somalia, that killed more than 300 Civilians, the worst terrorist attack in the country’s recent memory. In addition, the meeting highlighted the growing threat posed by Mercenarism in the two regions and the need to put an end to the subversive activities of mercenaries on the continent.

6.    The meeting received a briefing on the general situation in South Sudan and the efforts being deployed to revitalize the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan, as well as the conduct of the National Dialogue process. Similarly, the meeting also received a briefing on the situation on Libya regarding the political process and the efforts aimed at stabilization.
 
8.    Moreover, participants received a briefing by the Commissioner for Peace and Security, on the process and outcome of the Strategic Consultation on the Horn of Africa held in Khartoum, Sudan, from 8 to 10 October 2017.


 POINTS FOR ACTION

9.    In light of the growing link between acts of terrorism and transnational organized criminal activities across the continent and beyond, participants acknowledged the imperative for a greater synergy and cooperation between the member countries and organizations of the Djibouti and Nouakchott Processes and agreed to undertake the following courses of action:

(i)    The meeting urged member states to implement previous decisions taken within the framework of the Djibouti and Nouakchott processes, in particular the decision of the Djibouti process meeting, which urged member countries to deploy officers to AMISOM, in order to support the mission and the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) of Somalia, as soon as possible;

(ii)    The meeting urged member countries of the Sahel region and other stakeholders to take a coordinated approach to assist the G5 Sahel, through the Nouakchott process, in its efforts to defeat terrorist groups operating in the Sahel region. The meeting called for a field visit to the G5 Sahel to assess the needs on the ground;

(iii)    The meeting also called for enhanced support for the Multinational Joint Task Force  (MNJTF) to strengthen their capacity to gather information on a timely basis;

(iv)    Welcomed the efforts made by the AU Commission to encourage information sharing between countries and organizations that are members of Djibouti and Nouakchott Processes. In this regard;

o    it was agreed to convene regular meetings between the Djibouti and Nouakchott Processes and other similar initiatives to ensure continued shared assessment of threats and best practices;

o    The Commission appealed to member states to appoint focal persons to AFRIPOL to ensure timely information sharing and also build capacity of member countries to request for and gather relevant data;

o    The Commission also urged AU member states to designate focal institutions, and not individual persons, to link-up with the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT), to ensure effective coordination of appropriate national authorities;

o    The Commission encouraged member countries to facilitate information sharing between individual countries within the Djibouti and Nouakchott processes, as well as through the regional arrangements;

(v)    Within the framework of the Djibouti Process, participants acknowledged the delays experienced in the full operationalization of the Regional Unit for Fusion and Liaison (RUFL) based in Uganda and called for the speedy operationalization of the RUFL through the mobilization of the necessary human, financial and logistical resources, including the rapid deployment of experienced, intelligence officers seconded to the RUFL in Entebbe, Uganda. The meeting agreed that the secondment of Intelligence Officers should be done by the end of February 2018, paving the way for the launching of the RUFL by April 2018. In this respect, participants urged the Commission to step up its efforts aimed at mobilizing the necessary resources for the RUFL.

(vi)    Participants acknowledged the need to link the RUFL in Entebbe to the UFL structure, in order to share information on the common threats faced by the two regions. In this regard, the UFL agreed to extend its secured communication system to the RUFL and provide the requisite training for the second-generation system, before the end of the year, with the assistance of the Algerian service. In addition, capacity building in intelligence analysis will be provided by UFL;

(vii)    Participants underscored the importance of focusing on broader human security initiatives and programs including, issues of de-radicalization, as well as development activities, such as Quick Impact Projects (QIPs), that could deliver basic services to communities.


NEXT MEETING
(viii)    Finally, participants expressed their appreciation to the AU Commission for convening this meeting and the arrangement put in place for its successful conclusion and agreed;

-    To organize an annual meeting of the Djibouti process and an annual meeting of the Nouakchott process;
-    to organize an annual joint meeting of the member countries participating in the Djibouti and Nouakchott processes; and
-    If need arises, an extraordinary meeting could be organized for the two processes


Posted by Limi Mohammed

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