Border-control cooperation, focus of conference in the Sahel and the Maghreb
CTED, the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre and the Government of Morocco held a conference on border-control cooperation in the Sahel and the Maghreb, which took place in Rabat from 13 to 15 March 2013.
Representatives of 11 States and 21 international, regional and subregional organizations discussed during the three-day event how to enhance the capacity of States to take border-control actions within the framework of the fight against terrorism.
Terrorist groups operating in the region include Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Boko Haram and the Movement for Unity and Jihad in Western Africa (MUJAO). Their activities are linked to transnational crimes such as trafficking in firearms, drugs, human beings and the smuggling of migrants.
“One of the biggest challenges countries in the region face to deal with the menace posed by AQIM and allied groups is preventing them from moving across borders, attacking facilities, seizing hostages and creating a climate of fear”, said CTED Executive Director Mike Smith.
The capacity to prevent the movement of terrorists and the preparation of terrorist attacks in the region depends upon the effectiveness of measures taken to control borders, as well as on effective coordination and cooperation among the services concerned, whether at the national, regional or interregional levels.
The United Nations works closely with partners to promote dialogue, cooperation and efforts to identify appropriate solutions with a view to strengthen the capacity of States to prevent and combat terrorism in a coordinated and coherent manner. On behalf of the Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee, CTED has been involved in monitoring the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) and identifying assistance needs in this area.
Speaking for the United Nations, Mr. Smith said in his closing remarks: “We will remain beside you all the time and will accompany you as the region moves forward with a series of activities to combat terrorism.”