Adopted by the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) at its 845th meeting held on 25 April 2019 on Organized Transnational Crime, Peace and Security in Africa,

The Peace and Security Council,  

Noting the introductory remarks made by the Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the African Union, H.E. Ambassador Bankole Adeoye, in his capacity as the PSC Chairperson for the month of April 2019; the statements made by the Executive Director of the African Police Cooperation Mechanism (AFRIPOL), the Chairperson of the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA) and the Secretary General of International Police Organization (INTERPOL);

Recalling its previous pronouncements and decisions on organized transnational crime, as well as on terrorism and violent extremisms in Africa particularly, Press Statement [PSC/PR/BR. (DCCXXXI)] adopted at its 731st meeting, open session, held on 8 November 2017 and Communique [PSC/PR/COMM. (DCCCXII)] adopted at its 812th meeting held on 23 November 2018; 

Further recalling the relevant provisions of the African Union Solemn Declaration on a Common African Defense and Security Policy, in particular as contained in para 8 and 9; Also recalling the UN  Convention Against Organized Transnational Crime, as well as the Protocols Against Trafficking in Persons, Smuggling of Migrants and Trafficking in Small Arms and Ammunition;

Expressing concern at the growing threat to peace and security being posed by organized transnational crime and its nexus with terrorism and violent extremisms;

Mindful of the trans-boundary nature of both, organized transnational crime and terrorism, as well as the existence of porous borders and ungoverned spaces in some of the AU Member States, coupled with weak national institutional capacities of individual Member States to effectively combat these scourges;

Also mindful of the role of modern information and communication technologies in facilitating organized transnational crime;

Reaffirming AU’s strong condemnation of payment of ransom to terrorist and criminal groups for hostages to be freed, as contained in Assembly Decision [Assembly/AU/Dec.256 (XIII)] adopted by the 13th Ordinary Session of the Assembly held in January 2009;

Reiterating its deep conviction that the fight against terrorism and transnational organized crime could only succeed through a comprehensive economic and social development approaches;

Acting under Article 7 of its Protocol, the Peace and Security Council: 

1.  Expresses deep concern over the growing threat posed by organized transnational crime, particularly its increasingly direct linkages and collusion with terrorism and violent extremism particularly in situations where state institutions are not up to the level of organization, performance and equipment commensurate to this growing threat to peace and security in Africa;

2.  Also expresses deep concern over the ability of terrorist organizations and other armed groups to finance their activities through criminal activities that include drugs and psychotropic substances, human trafficking, fire arms trafficking, wildlife trafficking, piracy and other forms of organized transnational crimes, including smuggling of cultural goods;

3.  Underlines the primary responsibility of Member States,  in the fight against transnational organized crime and terrorism; in particular, urges Member States to make sure that they take necessary steps to domesticate all AU and international instruments regarding the fight against transnational organized crime, including money laundering notably by terrorist groups;

4.  Underscores the need for Member States to build and strengthen the capacities of their national security agencies towards the effective delivery of their mandates;

5.  Reiterates the need for collective security approaches in the fight against terrorism and organized transnational crime, including information and intelligence sharing among the relevant security agencies of the Member States, bearing in mind that cooperation and coordination are no more an option but imperative in addressing the current challenges and threats;

6.  Also reiterates the imperative of further strengthening the interface between the various continental collective security initiatives and arrangements already in place, such as the Nouakchott and Djibouti Processes, the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA), the ACRST and AFRIPOL, in order to build effective synergies, which promote and enhance coherence and complementarity, rather than duplication of efforts;

7.  Underlines the need for enhanced collaboration, at the global level, between the AU and the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC), as well as INTERPOL and other relevant agencies in the fight against organized transnational crime, including money laundering;

8.  Commends AFRIPOL for coordinating the efforts of Member States in the fight against organized transnational crime, as well as for the steps being taken in supporting Member States to further enhance the capacity of their national law enforcement agencies, including the establishment of AFRIPOL national liaison offices; In this respect, Council commends Member States that have already established their AFRIPOL national liaison offices and encourages those that have not yet done so, to also do the same without further delays;

9.  Also commends all Member States, which have already signed and ratified all existing AU and other relevant international instruments on the prevention and combat of terrorism, violent extremism, radicalization and organized transnational crime and urges those, which have not yet done so, to also do the same without further delays;

10.  Requests Member States to second experienced and qualified staff to the AFRIPOL Secretariat, with a view to further enhance the institutional capacity of AFRIPOL to more effectively discharge its mandate;

11.  Commends CISSA for its relentless efforts to support Member States in the fight against organized transnational crimes, terrorism and violent extremism;

12.  Once again underscores the importance for Member States to invest more in promoting effective border control and surveillance technologies, including introducing biometric identity documents, as well as the importance of effective regulation and control of social media, bearing in mind the need to protect basic human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially freedom of movement;

13.  Also commends INTERPOL for availing its capabilities for use by AU Member States in the fight against organized transnational crime, such as database and analytical  files as provided for in UN Security Council Resolution 2462 (2019);

14.  Underscores the need to further enhance the capacity of national justice systems, cooperation between and among border police and financial intelligence units, as well as to involve civil society and local communities in efforts aimed at preventing and combating terrorism and organized transnational crime;

15.  Expresses gratitude to all AU partners for their continued capacity building support to the law enforcement agencies of AU Member States;

16.  Decides to hold an annual session dedicated to the theme: Transnational Organized Crime and Peace and Security in Africa;

17.  Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Posted by Abraham Kebede
Last updated by SitroomCom

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