New York, 9 June 2022 (TDI): The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, reaffirmed that the threat of terrorist groups is far from over. And this threat is particularly high in Africa. This is despite the fact that the number of terrorist deaths has decreased.

The UN Secretary-General mentioned this during the recent meeting of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact. At the summit, UN agencies, Member States, and other partners attended.

He warned the audience that the threat of terrorism in Africa is growing. Terrorist groups have killed 48 percent of the people in Sub-Saharan Africa last year. And now the Al-Qaida, Da’esh, and their affiliates are expanding their operations in the Sahel.

Moreover, they are gaining traction in Central and Southern Africa. He noted that they are taking advantage of power vacuums, long-standing inter-ethnic strife, internal flaws, and state fragility.

Additionally, terrorism has increased violent cycles and exacerbated instability. This is harming peace initiatives, and pushing back development goals. Conflict-torn countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya, and Somalia are experiencing this.

Terrorists, on the other hand, are now attempting to exploit and manipulate societal grievances and government distrust. This is also happening in nations that are mainly calm, such as Mozambique and Tanzania.

Reconciliation and Reintegration

Despite these obstacles, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is optimistic that there can be progress. This is based on his visit to Borno State in northern Nigeria last month. Borno State is home to a stronghold of the extremist group Boko Haram.

The region, on the other hand, is now on the path to reconciliation and reunification. The UN Secretary-General stated that the meetings he had left an impression on him. Former fighters and victims attended the meetings.

He told the audience that Boko Haram is certainly losing ground currently. This is because the people have essentially assumed the capacity to disrupt Boko Haram’s operations and actions.

Call for prioritization of human rights

The Secretary-General emphasized the importance of addressing the conditions that encourage the spread of terrorism. Weak institutions, inequities, poverty, hunger, and injustice are among them.

In light of this, the world community will be unable to successfully combat terrorism. They need to address these factors first. The United Nations’ Counter-Terrorism Strategy takes a full and joined approach to the problem.

It advocates for investments in health, education, and protection. It calls for gender equality and accessible judicial systems. According to the Secretary General, it entails building truly democratic institutions and processes. It also entails making human rights and the rule of law the cornerstones of the UN’s efforts.

As a result, everyone may have a say in how their communities and countries develop. He stated that their voices would be heard and reflected. The UN Counter-Terrorism Compact will continue to assist countries in combating terrorism.

This can occur in a variety of ways, including technical aid and capacity-building. It aids in the development of institutions that are people-centered and based on human rights and the rule of law. The Compact is the UN’s three-pillared world’s largest coordination framework.

Moreover, peace and security, as well as sustainable development, human rights, and humanitarian issues, are among them. The creation of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) was established in June 2017.

This is the first major institutional reform of the Secretary-General since entering office in January.