The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres has the international community needs to step up and provide financial and technical resources needed to support African-owned and led counter-terrorism efforts.
Guterres said the UN is fully committed to working with all countries and organisations in the fight against terrorism.
“African states have made considerable efforts to implement the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism at national and regional levels, including through the African Union Peace and Security Architecture.
It is now time for the international community to step up and provide the financial and technical resources needed to support African-owned and led counter-terrorism efforts, while fully respecting human rights, the rule of law and gender considerations,” said the UN chief during the opening ceremony of the two-day regional conference on counter-terrorism dubbed African Regional High-Level Conference on Counter-Terrorism and Prevention of Violent Extremism Conducive to Terrorism.
The event was also addressed by the African Union Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat and President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The UN Chief further acknowledged that Kenya itself had endured numerous terrorist attacks. “This year alone, terrorists murdered 21 people in the Dusit hotel complex in Nairobi and, in Wajir County, eight police officers were killed and others injured when their vehicle struck an improvised explosive device.”
He also said the UN supports African leaders who are spearheading solutions facing the African continent and thanked Kenya for hosting the conference.
President Uhuru Kenyatta said Kenya has established anti-terrorism county action plans to reduce threats to the country.
Kenyatta said the fight against terrorism has been devolved through the development of County Action Plans to counter and prevent violent extremism.
President Kenyatta said the Student Safety and Security Mechanism will be rolled out in the next few months.
“Its goal is to protect our children from multiple threats to their wellbeing that may make them vulnerable to radicalization,” said the President.
The President said the African Union, the UN and other conference participants should come up with strategies that deny terror groups the space to grow in Africa.
“Discussions and solutions should propose multi-faceted approaches to combating terrorism, extremism and radicalisation that confront the vice on the battlefield, in places of worship, in market squares, in our schools and in our homes,” he said.