Workshop for Maghreb and Sahel States underscores need to develop strategies to counter incitement and violent extremism
Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger and Senegal were the eight States represented at an international workshop held in Rabat from 17 to 19 July 2012, an event devoted to developing effective and comprehensive strategies to counter incitement of terrorist acts motivated by extremism and intolerance.
Along with civil society members and experts from international and regional organizations, Government officials of Maghreb and Sahel States identified challenges and possible solutions, which could be part of national strategies to implement Security Council resolution 1624 (2005). The resolution is concerned mainly with the prohibition and prevention of incitement to commit terrorist acts, and with measures to counter incitement and promote dialogue. It stresses that States must ensure that any measures taken to implement the resolution comply with all of their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights law, refugee law, and humanitarian law.
The Maghreb and Sahel regions are facing problems linked to incitement, violent extremism, and operations led by Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb. Particular challenges include lengthy and porous international borders, illegal arms trafficking, the adverse effect of identified threats on the economic development of border communities, and lack of awareness of threats on the part of local border communities.
Workshop participants recognized the need for the international, national and local communities to better understand the factors that lead certain individuals towards terrorism and to identify ways in which this could be prevented. They agreed that a comprehensive approach involving governmental and non- governmental actors is important in achieving success in de-radicalization and disengagement from terrorism. Cooperation and exchange of information among States in the region was also considered a key element of counter-terrorism strategies.
CTED organized the Rabat workshop with the support of the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism.