Seminar on “Radicalization, De-radicalization: Experiences and Perspectives”


8 – 10 April 2012-The African Centre for Studies and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT) in collaboration with the UFL organized a seminar under the theme ” Radicalization, De-radicalization: Experiences and Perspectives ” from 8 to 10 April, 2012 at the Headquarters of the ACSRT in Algiers – Algeria.

Addressing the meeting, Ambassador Francisco Jose Madeira, Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission for Counter– Terrorism Cooperation, and Director of the ACSRT, indicated that the impact of the Libyan crisis, the proliferation of armed groups and the turn of events in Mali have complicated the already precarious situation in the Sahel and rendered counter terrorism efforts more difficult.
Ambassador Madeira denounced the coup in Mali and hoped that the military meet their commitments.” the developments in northern Mali are simply unacceptable”, he said. He also condemned the partition of Mali and the creation of a the state of Azawad,. “The state Azawad is null and void, Mali must remain one and united country”, he declared.
He further underscored the significance of the interaction between different armed groups, narco-traffickers, extremists and AQMI which fans the flames on an already explosive state of affairs and can develop into terrorism.

In this regard, he recalled that at the Dakar Summit in 1992, the Assembly of OAU Heads of State and Government adopted resolution 213 calling for the urgent need for member states to enhance cooperation and coordination in order to fight the phenomenon of extremism. This was followed by another formal pronouncement in Tunis where, at the 30th ordinary session in June 1994, they adopted a declaration on the Code of Conduct for Inter‐African Relations, which unequivocally rejected fanaticism and extremism or the use of religion to commit acts of violence, including terrorist acts. In July 1999 the Continent adopted the OAU Convention on the prevention and combating of terrorism followed by a plan of Action in 2002 and a complementary Protocol to the OAU Convention in July 2004.

Ambassador Madeira added that most of the counter terrorism effort was limited only to the traditional view of building capacity for effective law enforcement and prosecution, international cooperation, border control, financial law and practice and bringing terrorists to Justice, but through the evaluation missions undertaken by the ACSRT in most Sahel countries last year, proved that this effort should go hand in hand with the need to address realities that can motivate people to commit terrorist acts or exploited by jihadists to attract people to their extremist and violent ideologies. These realities are, among others, the long history of intractable conflicts, underdevelopment, political instability, weak state and social institutions, extreme poverty, corruption, youth unemployment, social marginalization, alienation, exclusion and problematic forms of governance.

Furthermore, he confirmed that addressing the conditions conducive to terrorism through dialogue, justice, inclusiveness, governance etc., is as important as repressing terrorist acts and arresting terrorists through law enforcement.

The Ambassador explained that it was the main reason why the ACSRT, in collaboration with the UFL, decided to organize this seminar and invite the prominent scholars, philosophers and theologians to help the Sahel region better understand the phenomenon of radicalization and the conditions that attract people to it. Moreover, it sought to provide the SAHEL with the intellectual tools required to create resilience and protect our populations from falling prey to incitement of terrorist acts and in case they do fall, to help them extricate themselves from the cobweb of radicalism.

In Conclusion Ambassador Madiera expressed the hope that this seminar would be the beginning of a series of seminars to be organized in the other regions of our continent