The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 341st meeting, held on 13 November 2012, adopted the following decision on the prevention and combating of terrorism and violent extremism in Africa:


1.    Takes note of the Report of the Chairperson of the Commission on Terrorism and Violent Extremism in Africa [PSC/PR/2(CCCXLI)], as well as of the remarks made by the Commissioner for Peace and Security and by the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the Commission for Counter-Terrorism Cooperation.  Council also takes note of the briefing provided by the Chairman of the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA), as well as by the representatives of the European Union (EU), the US and Turkey;

2.    Recalls its communiqués PSC/PR/COMM.(CCXLIXX) and PSC/PR/COMM.2(CCCIII) adopted at its 249th  and 303rd meetings held on 22 November 2010 and on 8 December 2011, respectively;

3.    Reiterates AU’s total rejection of terrorism and violent extremism in all its forms and regardless of its motivations. Council strongly condemns the continued acts of violence and terrorism perpetrated by terrorist groups and cells in the Horn of Africa, Central Africa, West Africa and the Sahel, and North Africa regions;

4.    Expresses concern over the growing links between terrorism and transnational organized crime, as well as at the links among terrorist groups and actors operating in different regions of the continent. Council further expresses concern at the emerging trends of radicalization leading to acts of terrorism and violent extremism, perpetrated by organized terrorist groups or individuals acting independently;

5.    Commends the efforts of the Commission in promoting the AU counter-terrorism framework and in assisting Member States towards its effective implementation, including through needs assessment missions and capacity building support. Council further commends the Commission for its continued engagement with the international partners, both bilateral and multilateral, including the United Nations and its relevant bodies and agencies, in particular the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) and its Executive Directorate (CTED), the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) and the Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), as well as the EU and the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum (GCTF), to mobilize support for member States, as well as to contribute to an enhanced coordination of international efforts to prevent and combat terrorism. In this respect, Council expresses its appreciation of the work of the AU Special Representative for Counter-Terrorism Cooperation, Francisco Madeira, and of the efforts of the African Centre on the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT);  

6.    Appeals once again to all Member States and to the international partners to extend the required assistance to the ACSRT and the Special Representative in the fulfillment of their missions.  Council expresses AU’s gratitude to the bilateral and multilateral partners who are extending support to AU’s counter-terrorism efforts;

7.    Reaffirms the importance and continued relevance of the AU normative and policy framework for preventing and combating terrorism and, in this regard, welcomes the progress made in the ratification of the 2004 Protocol to the OAU Convention on the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism. Council calls upon all AU Member States that have not yet done so to sign and ratify without further delay relevant AU and international instruments. Council also requests all Member States and Regional Economic Communities that have not yet done so to designate national and regional Focal Points to facilitate interaction and effective liaison with the ACSRT;

8.    Urges Member States to effectively implement their commitments under AU and international instruments on terrorism and, in this respect, to take fully advantage of the counter-terrorism Model Law to update and strengthen their national legislations;

9.    Stresses the importance of timely exchange and sharing of information, the submission of annual reports to the Peace and Security Council on measures taken to prevent and combat terrorism, as well as the notification to Council of all terrorist activities on their territories, as soon as they occur;

10.    Requests the Commission to intensify the efforts being made towards the elaboration of an African Warrant Arrest, and to continue to support Member States in adopting comprehensive counter-terrorism strategies and strengthening their capacities to respond to terrorism and address conditions conducive to its occurrence and spread, including through education, counter-radicalization and de-radicalization programs. Council also requests the Commission to initiate the required activities to update and strengthen, both at continental and international levels, the legal instruments relating to the prevention and elimination of mercenarism, bearing in mind the proven links between the two phenomena;

11.    Reiterates AU’s position on the issue of payment of ransom to terrorist and criminal groups and its appeal to all members of the international community to work together towards the adoption, by the UN Security Council, of a binding resolution against the payment of ransom to terrorist groups, as well as towards the launching of negotiations, at the UN General Assembly, to elaborate a Protocol on the matter;

12.    Emphasizes once again, the imperative to uphold human rights and international humanitarian law in the efforts to prevent and combat terrorism. In this respect, Council requests the ACSRT, the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights and the African Court of Justice, to design appropriate strategies and activities in support of Member States;

13.    Decides to operationalize its Sub-Committee on Terrorism on the basis of the document on the mandate, composition and functions of this organ, as submitted by the Commission and considered at its 311th meeting held on 20 February 2012, which, among others, will make recommendations on groups, entities and individuals to be included on the AU list of terrorist groups, entities and individuals;

14.    Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Posted by Messay
Last updated by Lulit Kebede

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