East African Community seeks AU support for anti-terrorism fight in region

NEW YORK— The East African Community (EAC) has called for support from the African Union (AU) in combating terrorism.


Assistance is also needed by the regional body in conflict resolution as part of efforts to strengthen peace and security in the bloc.


The call was made by the EAC secretary general Dr Peter Mathuki at the AU Peace and Security Council meeting with Regional Economic Communities (Recs) in New York on the sidelines of the just-concluded 77th United Nations General Assembly.


“We call on the AU to support Recs such as the EAC in combating the financing of terrorism and anti-money laundering”, he pointed out.


He said money laundering, in particular, undermines governance through corruption, tax evasion, and promotion of parallel markets.


He further called for support to counter cross-border crimes in addition to enhancing coordination with other specialized regional organizations in combating terror financing and trafficking of persons and narcotics.


Mathuki urged the UN Security Council to invest in conflict prevention, management, and resolution to avoid giving room to negative forces that take advantage of strife.


He appealed to the AU to secure the continent’s maritime space to tame illegal entry and exit, according to a dispatch sent to the media.


“Through the joint implementation of the East and Southern Africa-Indian Ocean (ESA-IO) Regional Maritime Security Strategy, the incidents of insecurity in the Indian Ocean have substantially reduced,” he said.


In addition, Mathuki called on the Council to take up border management terming porous borders as the weakest links in the fight against terrorism.


He suggested information sharing by mandated agencies, application of technology, and engagement of transboundary communities in formal border management strategies are some of the measures EAC is implementing in the endeavour.


Analysts say terrorism continues to be a potent threat to security in the EAC region with a number of terror organizations having footprints within the region.


They include Al Shabaab based in the conflict-torn Somalia but which has wreaked havoc in countries around it; Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia.


Others are FDLR, ADF, LRA, and lately, Ansar al-Sunna reported to be active in eastern DR Congo, Uganda, South Sudan, and Mozambique.


The AU Peace and Security Council is the standing decision-making organ of the AU for the prevention, management, and resolution of conflicts.


It is collective security and early warning arrangement intended to facilitate timely and efficient responses to conflict and crisis situations in Africa.



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