Anti-ISIS coalition highlights IS terror in Africa and role of Morocco to counteract it
Morocco– The anti-ISIS coalition’s annual meeting was opened in Moroccan city of Marrakech, where in the participants stressed on the continuing threat by Islamic State group around the world, and specially in Africa. The meeting also highlighted Morocco’s leading anti – terrorism methodology.
IS an increasing threat to Africa
During the meeting’s opening night in Marrakech, the United States under-secretary of state for Political Affairs, Victoria Nuland underlined the increasing threat that Africa is facing from IS. She noted that in 2021 the African continent had witnessed at least 500 attacks by IS leading to deaths of over 2,900 people.
“At the same time as we are preventing the resurgence of (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria, we need to remain vigilant to the continued threat it poses elsewhere in the world, especially here on the African continent,” she stressed.
The anti-ISIS coalition meeting was co-chaired by Nuland and Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita. The 8 year old coalition of 83 members once again reiterated the shared determination of all countries to continue their fight against the ISIS.
Attendees and Agenda
The international meeting was attended by 400 participants from 79 member countries. Out of them 38 were ministers of foreign affairs.
“The discussions covered stabilisation efforts in areas previously impacted by Daesh, strategic communication against the group’s radicalisation propaganda and the battle against foreign fighters,” the Moroccan foreign ministry said.
IS continues to wreck havoc in the region
Since 2019, when ISIS lost the last patch of its controlled territory in eastern Syria, it has largely gone underground. But at the peak time of its control, ISIS had its control over more than 100,000 sq km of territory stretching from Syria to Iraq. The group had its control over 8 million people at that time.
Now the group is engaged in low-level insurgency including assassinations, road side bombings and hit and run attacks with main targets being security forces in Syria and Iraq.
Allegiance in Africa
The extremists who pledge allegiance to ISIS now remain active in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger. The ISIS affiliated extremists have carried out scores of attacks killings hundreds of civilians. The Nigerian extremists have carried out attacks under banner of group called Islamic State West Africa Province.
Morocco’s anti-terrorist model
With many African countries trying to fight the IS attack surge, Morocco present itself as an example of a successful model to tackle terrorism and radicalisation.
Morocco engages in security and military cooperation activities to counter the extremist activities in Sahara and Sahel region. Furthermore, the country has engaged in a program to help in promoting moderate interpretation of Islam in Africa by training imams and organising conferences.
Bourita stressed on the warning against the “objective alliance between the terrorist and separatist groups”, adding that “those who finance, harbour, support and arm separatism are in fact contributing to the spread of terrorism and further undermine regional peace and security.”
The kingdom of Morocco presents an example of how a proper agenda and model can stem the extremist activities and counter the terrorism in region.