Ambassador Madeira Addressed the GCTF Second Plenary Meeting of the Horn of Africa Region Working Group

From 5-6 March 2013, experts from the Horn of Africa, Yemen and members of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), as well as the United Nations (UN), African Union (AU), INTERPOL, the Center on Global Counterterrorism Cooperation and representatives from Tanzania, Uganda, East African Community, Saudi Arabia, ESAAMLG convened in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to discuss ways to enhance AML/CFT capacity building and cooperation in this critical region. The meeting was Co-Chaired by the European Union (H.E Mara Marinaki, Managing Director Global and Multilateral Issues, European External Action Service), Turkey (H.E Ambassador Tunç Üğdül, Acting Director-General for Research and Security Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs), H.E Ambassador Jerry Lanier, Acting CT Coordinator, Bureau of the Counterterrorism, U.S. Department of State and H.E Ambassador Francisco Madeira, Special Representative for Counter-Terrorism Cooperation and Director of the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT).
The objectives of the meeting were to: a) identify anti-money laundering and countering terrorist (AML/CFT) financing capacity-building coordination and priorities in the region; b) allow countries in the region, GCTF members and other international partners to share information on good practices linking AML/CFT and c) identify possible new initiatives that could be developed to address some of the key shortcomings.
In his keynote speech Ambassador Francisco Madeira regretted the continued presence of threat of terrorism emanating from Somalia, particularly by Al-Shabaab militants despite the fact that they have been seriously crippled.
He highlighted the significant link between terrorism and money laundering and the spillover effect of instability on the continent. The Ambassador added that terrorists have created cells in most countries of the Horn of Africa region some of which are dormant, others quite active. Al-shabaab members and some foreign fighters are moving westwards, apparently en route to join their soul mates in Mali.
He stressed the multiple challenges facing Somalia: Limited government capacity and resources, inadequate legislative frameworks, barriers to information-sharing, tribal confrontations and warlordism , extreme poverty, youth unemployment and social marginalization. He suggested that more effort should be directed at reinforcing capacity building in order to confront these challenges effectively.
As regards anti-money laundering, countering the financing of terrorism (AML-CFT) and other terrorist crimes , Ambassador Madeira indicated that AU Heads of State adopted the African Union Comprehensive Counter Terrorism Model Law to help African States to develop their own counter-terrorism comprehensive legal framework to better track, apprehend arrest and incarcerate terrorists. The AU Member States were urged to revise their national criminal laws in the light of the model law with the view to incorporating or reinforcing their legislations all the legal provisions required to bring to justice and adequately punish money launderers and perpetrators of any terrorist act on the African soil.
In conclusion, The Ambassador expressed the hope that the meeting would provide positive answers to capacity-building challenges and terrorism threats that confronted by the Horn of Africa regions.