UNOCT and ACSRT convene African Union Member States to strengthen resilience of vulnerable targets against terrorist attacks


13 December 2022 – The United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) and the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACRST) concluded their joint online workshop on the Protection of Vulnerable Targets against Terrorist Attacks for African Union Member States today.

The two-day event brought together over 50 African participants from public and private sectors in charge of safety and security of critical infrastructure and “soft targets” in their countries. In addition, focal points from nine African Member States in the UN Global Network of Experts to Protect Vulnerable Targets against Terrorist Attacks also participated in the event. The organizers were joined by representatives from the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED); the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL); the Spanish Guard Civil and the European Union Project for the protection of Public Spaces “CT Public Spaces”

The workshop was opened by the ACSRT Head of Training and Equipment Unit, Colonel Christian Emmanuel Mouaya Pouyi, representing the Acting Director Mr. Idriss Mounir Lallali, and the Coordinator of the UN Global Programme on Countering Terrorist Threats against Vulnerable Targets and Head of the UNOCT Programme Office in Madrid, Mr. Ignacio Ibanez.
The six thematic sessions sought to raise awareness on threats, needs and good practices on vulnerable targets protection in Africa, map existing mechanisms for capacity building and inform on gaps and priorities, both in the policy domain and in the field of technical assistance. The international experts provided guidance and good practices on existing international frameworks and good practices, risk, threat and vulnerability assessments, interagency cooperation and interoperability, as well as strategic crisis communication.
UNOCT presented the UN Global Programme on Countering Terrorist Threats against Vulnerable Targets, and in particular its new knowledge tools, i.e. the United Nations Compendium of Good Practices on the Protection of Critical Infrastructure against Terrorist Attacks updated in 2022 and the five thematic modules on “soft targets” protection. Both tools served as guidance materials for the event.

ACSRT provided an overview of new and emerging terrorist threats in Africa, focusing on attacks against vulnerable targets, as well as African Union perspectives on the protection of vulnerable targets on the continent.