U.S, AU Vow to Join Hands in Countering Violent Extremism

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Addis Ababa October 25/2017 United States of America and African Union have expressed readiness to collaborate in countering violent extremism in Africa.

Addressing  U.S-AU Countering Violent Extremism Week that opened here today, U.S Mission to African Union Charge d’affaires Jessica Davis Ba said both parties as well and regional economic communities can collectively work together to prevent and counter the rise of violent extremism in Africa.

“As we all are aware, the spread of violent extremism and terrorism poses significant challenges to Africa’s security and long-term development goals and demographic gains”, she added.

Stating the recent horrific terrorist attacks in Mogadishu and Egypt, Ba noted that comprehensive approach where Africans are empowered to lead and devise their own solutions to address the drivers of violent extremism is critical.

“Our goal is to help the African Union and regional economic communities build their capacity to carry out a broad countering violent extremism mandate and deepen overall collaboration and coordination between the U.S. and AU”, she emphasized.

Assistant Senior Strategic Advisor to AU Chairperson Amadou Diaw said “the U.S-AU has been a true partner to the African Union a partnership that lasted over a decade and Agenda 2063 suggests there will be a longer way to go.”

He added that the meeting comes at a pivotal time when the world is suffering in one form or another from extremism. In 2017 alone, there have been over 1000 terrorist attacks across the world.

“Africa has significant shares from these attacks, the most recent, just last week, being the attack in Mogadishu where more than 350 lost their lives and hundreds were injured”, Diaw noted.

These incidents emphasize two realities. “First, even though we have been winning many battles against terrorism, we are still losing the war”, he stated, adding that more and more people are lured into extremist groups and terrorist acts.

“The Second is that the onus is on us, both Africa and the U.S. to reflect on our achievements and shortcomings”, the advisor concluded.

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