High Level Delegation of the Belgian Ministry of Defense pays a working visit to the ACSRT

Belgian delegation-2

On 26 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 a Belgian Delegation led by Mr. Eddy TESTELMANS, an Official of the Belgian Military Intelligence.

The purpose of the visit was to exchange views on the terrorism situation in the hardest-hit countries in Africa and devise ways for closer co-operation between the ACSRT and the Belgian government.

After a warm welcome, Ambassador Madeira briefed the delegation on the main pillars of the AU counter terrorism strategy and the efforts undertaken by the ACSRT to enhance CT capacity of AU Member states.

The two sides discussed the exponential growth of terrorist groups, especially ISIS and its devastating impact on the Middle East, Africa and Europe . They shared ideas on the phenomenon of Foreign Terrorist Fighters and the ability of ISIS to lure Westerners and Africans to swell its ranks.
The discussion also touched upon a wide range of issues related to the fighting and defeating terrorists including countering violent extremism and radicalization, financing terrorism and drug trafficking. Ambassador Madeira underscored the importance of democracy and good governance as long-term tools in combating terrorism, while Mr. Testelmans stressed the crucial role the civil society has played in dealing with the root causes of terrorism.

Ambassador Madeira expressed hope that this visit would contribute to the further strengthening of the CT bilateral cooperation that exist between the ACSRT and the Belgian government.