Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Abroad Nasser Bourita said on Friday Rabat is committed to promoting cooperation in order to address the complex and transnational nature of the terrorist threat in Africa.
This commitment is reflected first by the Kingdom’s accession to several sub-regional cooperation frameworks aimed at strengthening the collective capacity of African countries to protect their borders from these threats, Bourita told a ministerial meeting of the African Union’s Peace and Security Council (AU-PSC).
The meeting, the first held under the Moroccan AU-PSC chairmanship for the month of October, focused on development and de-radicalization as levers in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism.
Bourita highlighted Morocco’s efforts in de-radicalization, including the establishment of specialized institutions to train African imams, such as the Foundation Mohammed VI of African Ulema.
The foundation is a real platform for exchange and sharing to address the misinterpretation of religious texts and messages.
Bourita stressed that the Kingdom is committed to promoting and defending African security concerns at international arenas, including during his three consecutive terms as co-chair of the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum (GCTF) and his co-chairmanship of the Africa Focus Group of the Global Coalition against ISIS.
With 48 percent of the victims of terrorism in the world being African, 7,234 terrorist attacks that have claimed the lives of 28,960 victims in 2021 and 27 terrorist groups listed on the UN sanctions list, Africa is experiencing “an unprecedented proliferation of terrorist groups,” warned Bourita.
Terrorism in Africa has cost the continent $171 billion in the past ten years, he added.
Noting that the Sahel-Saharan region has become in the space of a decade the world’s second terrorism hotspot, the FM said: “This bleak picture should challenge us on the need to adopt a holistic approach that devotes more effort to the underlying factors fueling the proliferation of radicalization and terrorism on our continent.”
Bourita cited “the latent multiplication” of separatist groups that is now established as a real catalyst for political and security instability on the continent.
To dry up the sources of the terrorist threat, Morocco advocates the establishment of a platform for collaboration between member states for the exchange of expertise in de-radicalization and the establishment of a development fund dedicated to financing African collective action in socio-economic and human development, said Bourita.