Regional Webinar for Economic Community of Central Africa States Members on Human Rights and Rule of Law in the Prevention and Countering of Terrorism, Violent Extremism and Transnational Organized Crime (PCT and TOC)

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The African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT/CAERT) held a Regional webinar on Human Rights and Rule of Law in the Prevention and Countering of Terrorism, Violent Extremism and Transnational Organized Crime (PCT and TOC) for Military and Law Enforcement personnel of Economic Community of Central Africa States Members, from 22 to 24 March 2021.

The main objective of the webinar is to enhance capacity of the Military and Law Enforcement personnel of the Central African countries to respect Human Rights and the Rule of Law while countering terrorism and transnational organized crime.

The webinar discussed, among others:
• The importance of respecting human rights and rule of law while countering terrorism and transnational organized crime,
• International and African Union legal frameworks on human rights and existing mechanism on protecting human rights,
• Criminalization of terrorist offences,
• Respect for human rights and rule of law in investigation of terrorism related case,
• Protection of victims of terrorism, the punishment of terrorist offences

In his opening remarks, Mr. Idriss Mounir Lallali, Ag. Director of the ACSRT praised the role of ECCAS and its unwavering commitment to African continent peace and stability. He added that this Webinar is therefore a continuation of the work already organized under the auspices of the African Union and CAERT, in terms of capacity building for the prevention and fight against terrorism, violent extremism and transnational organized crime.

Mr. Lallali mentioned that this webinar would raise awareness on the importance of respect for human rights and the rule of law, on improving knowledge on existing relevant tools and ways to create and strengthen trust between the different actors involved in CT / VE and TOC and local communities.

Regarding the role of the ACSRT, Mr. Lallali highlighted that ACSRT/CAERT carried out missions to assess the capacities of prevention and fight against terrorism of the Member States of the AU. During these missions, particular attention was paid to the measures and mechanisms put in place in these States to protect and fully enforce human rights in the prevention and fight against terrorism for all: agents of the defense and security forces, perpetrators and facilitators of terrorist acts, and also victims of terrorist acts.

Finally, Ag. Director of the ACSRT, while reminding that terrorism itself is a violation of the most fundamental human right of all, the right to life, he urged Member States to ensure respect for human rights and international humanitarian law, while preventing and combating terrorism, and reaffirmed that any measures adopted to combat terrorism must comply with existing international law on human rights, refugees and humanitarian law.

Participants for the three-day webinar included officials from ECCAS Secretariat, and Experts from UNCTED, UNODC, AFRIPOL, Burkina Faso and South Africa, in addition to representatives of ECCAS MS’ Military and Law Enforcement agencies.

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