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United Nations Strengthens Support for Africa’s Fight Against Terrorism

Although no region is immune to terrorism, the situation in Africa is especially concerning, Secretary-General António Guterres told the Security Council on Tuesday, underlining UN support to countries striving to “end this scourge.”

Leaders from across the continent joined ambassadors in examining how to counter terrorism and better prevent violent extremism through stronger cooperation between the UN and regional organizations.

The debate was chaired by President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique. The country, which holds the rotating Security Council presidency this month, has been battling a deadly insurgency in the north for more than five years.

The Secretary-General expressed deep concern over the gains which terrorist groups are making in the Sahel and other parts of Africa.

“Despair, poverty, hunger, lack of basic services, unemployment, and unconstitutional changes in government continue to lay fertile ground for the creeping expansion of terrorist groups to infect new parts of the continent,” he said.

Furthermore, fighters, funds and weapons are increasingly flowing between regions and across the continent, he said, while terrorist groups are forging new alliances with organized crime networks and piracy groups. Their “violent ideologies” are also being spread online.

“Just as terrorism drives people apart, countering it can bring countries together,” said Mr. Guterres, pointing to several initiatives across Africa, including in the Sahel, the Lake Chad Basin and Mozambique.

“The United Nations stands with Africa to end this scourge,” he added. “Above all, it includes our ongoing close collaboration with the African Union (AU) and regional and sub-regional African organizations.”

Mr. Guterres said the UN is delivering tailored assistance to African countries in areas that include prevention, legal assistance, investigations, prosecutions, reintegration and rehabilitation.

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