Africa: UN Chief Urges Leaders to Root Out Terrorism in Africa

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The UN Chief Mr Guterres says, in just a matter of years, Africa has become the “global epicentre of terrorism”.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called on African leaders to root out terrorism and violent extremism on the continent.

Mr Guterres made the call at a two-day top-level meeting of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact at UN headquarters in New York.

The meeting, which started on Wednesday, will address rising violence and the spread of terrorist networks.

According to Mr Guterres, in just a matter of years, Africa has become the “global epicentre of terrorism”, with groups such as Da’esh, Al-Qaida and their affiliates exploiting local conflicts and fragilities to serve their own ends.

He empahsied that violent extremism should be rooted out, noting that terror groups are “shredding the social fabric of entire countries with the blades of violence, mistrust and fear”.

“Community by community, terrorist groups are extending their reach,” he said, adding that networks are widening, adding fighters and resources, and making common cause with transnational organised crime.

“In every case, civilians are paying the highest price and, in the end, all of humanity pays.”

Addressing an audience of counter-terrorism experts, government officials and civil society and private sector representatives, Mr Guterres said the crisis must be tackled head on before it spins out of control.