Counterterrorism in Africa: Algeria calls for "comprehensive approach"

APS - 16 November 2021

ALGIERS- Algeria calls for the adoption of a "comprehensive approach" and the strengthening of cooperation at both regional and international levels to combat terrorism in Africa, the minister of Foreign Affairs and National Community Abroad, Ramtane Lamamra, said in a video conference held Monday by the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) on "countering terrorism and violent extremism in Africa."

"In facing this mounting threat, we cannot indeed overestimate the importance of a comprehensive approach that goes beyond the security dimension to address the structural factors of radicalization and violent extremism," Lamamra said in a speech at the meeting of the Peace and Security Council, chaired this month by Egypt.

"Algeria has consistently advocated for the need to strengthen cooperation at the regional and international levels to reverse the destabilization caused by terrorism and violent extremism."

Lamamra seized the opportunity to "emphasize a few key points drawn," he said, "mainly from my country's own experience and to share lessons learned from our battle against this global threat."

"If one lesson needs to be learned from the Algerian experience, it is that whenever a military response is necessary, it needs to be coupled with a large spectrum of measures to address the underlying causes," he stressed.

"This combination of hard and soft measures has in the case of many countries provided the key to defeating the terrorism propaganda, drying up all its financing sources and depriving extremist groups of their recruitment pool."

"Understanding the proper context and background of a nation remains a precondition for the elaboration and successful implementation of counter-terrorism strategies," Lamamra pointed out.

"In its immediate neighbourhood, Algeria will continue to strengthen its engagement with countries of the Sahel-Saharan region through various cooperation mechanisms, such as the Joint Operational General Staff Committee, the Sahel Fusion and Liaison Unit and other forums," the head of Algerian diplomacy emphasized.

"These mechanisms will be strengthened with the aim of enhancing security cooperation among the concerned countries, through coordination and reinforced border control measures, as well as through training and sharing of intelligence and equipment."