UN Deputy Secretary- General, Nigeria’s Amina Mohammed says the growth of terrorism is a major threat to international peace and security currently felt most keenly in Africa. Mohammed said this on Thursday while briefing the Security Council at the UN headquarters on behalf of the Secretary-General António Guterres.
Terrorists and violent extremists including Da’esh, Al-Qaida and their affiliates have exploited instability and conflicts to increase their activities and intensify attacks across the African continent. “Their senseless, terror-fuelled violence has killed and wounded thousands and many more continue to suffer from the broader impact of terrorism on their lives and livelihoods,’’ she said. According to her, with misogyny at the core of many terrorist groups’ ideology, women and girls in particular, are bearing the brunt of insecurity and inequality.
The skyline beyond the northern suburbs of Mogadishu is seen through a bullet hole in the window of a hotel in Somalia. “Over the last two years, some of the most violent affiliates of Da’esh have expanded, increasing their presence in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger as well as southward into the Gulf of Guinea. “Terrorist and violent extremist groups aggravate instability and human sufferings. And they can plunge a country emerging from war back into the depths of conflict,’’ the senior UN official noted.
She observed also that terrorists, non-state armed groups and criminal networks often pursued different agendas and strategies, fuelled by smuggling, human trafficking and other methods of illicit financing. They sometimes impersonate legitimate armed forces, she said. Mohammed said also that as digital tools spread hate and disinformation, terrorists and other criminal groups exploited inter-communal tensions and food insecurity triggered by climate change. . She added that in today’s hyper-connected world, the spread of terrorism in Africa is “not a concern for African member states alone. “The challenge belongs to us all. Countering international terrorism requires effective multilateral responses.’’