A Delegation of US State Department visits the ACSRT

US state dept visit

On 20 November 2014, Ambassador Francisco Madeira, AU Special Counter-Terrorism Cooperation Representative and Director of the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism and ACSRT staff members, received an American Delegation comprising of Mr. Pablo Rodriguez, Plans and Operations Officer at the U.S. Department of State, Ms. Jennifer Mergy, Regional Counterterrorism Field Coordinator, and Mr. Hichem Melaksou Information/Media Specialist from USA embassy in Algeria.

After greeting the delegation, Ambassador Madeira highlighted the current efforts made by the AU in the area of counter terrorism and identified the challenges that need to be addressed, at present. He added that the primary focus of the ACSRT is to keep AU Member states informed of the current trends and developments on terrorism and enhance the CT technical and operational capacity of African CT Practitioners. He concluded that to counter the threat of terrorism and extremism in Africa, the international community should build African security capabilities and capacities.

During the discussion, both parties exchanged views on the best ways of halting the activities of terrorist groups such as the Islamic State and Boko Haram which are successfully recruiting young people.
Ambassador Madeira also emphasized the need to step up international efforts in the fight against the proliferation of small arms and light weapons and prevent them from falling in the hands of terrorist groups. Mr. Rodriguez, on his part, stressed the vital importance of involving the Muslim community in the process of countering radicalization by teaching young people, integrating youth, creating collective identity and promoting shared values.