From Molly Kilete, Abuja
The meeting which took place in Marrakesh, Morocco to defeat ISIS is an 83-member alliance established in 2014 to reduce the threat poses the terrorists group to international security and the national security of member countries.
The meeting which is the first to be convened in Africa, presented an opportunity for the Coalition, led by the United States, to reaffirm the shared determination to continue the fight against ISIS through military and civilian-led efforts to sustain pressure on ISIS remnants in Iraq and Syria and to counter its global networks, especially in Africa where it has been undermining national security through the proliferation of affiliates.
Head of Strategic Communication in the Office of the National Security Adviser, Zakari Usman, in a statement said “member countries affirmed that ensuring the enduring defeat of ISIS in Iraq and Syria remained a priority. The Coalition acknowledged that, despite significant setbacks suffered by ISIS’ leadership in recent times, the group continues to conduct attacks in Iraq and Syria and represents an ongoing threat.
“The Coalition also reiterated the importance of allocating adequate resources to sustaining its activities and those of legitimate partner forces. “Civilian-led efforts, including prevention, stabilisation, countering terrorist financing, counter narratives and foreign terrorist fighter prosecution, rehabilitation and reintegration are increasingly necessary to achieve the lasting defeat of ISIS,” the communiqué read.
“Importantly, the Coalition recognised the need to meet the evolving threat of ISIS in Africa and welcomed the first three Africa Focus Group meetings, which took place in Brussels, Rome and Marrakesh. The Africa Focus Group, the Coalition believes, will bolster the civilian-led counterterrorism capabilities of African members by drawing from experiences in Iraq and Syria and by fostering synergies with other existing international, sub-regional and regional counterterrorism efforts and initiatives.
The importance of addressing the underlying causes of insecurity in Africa was also stressed in the event. The Coalition reiterated that any lasting solution to halting the spread of ISIS in Africa would rely primarily on national authorities, as well as sub-regional and regional efforts and initiatives that acknowledge and address the political and economic drivers of conflict. To this end, Federal Republic of Nigeria’s participation in the 2022 Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS was an opportunity to compare notes and share knowledge, as well as expand network on strategies to minimise or eradicate national, sub-regional and regional threats posed by the activities of terrorist groups and violent extremists.
Recall that Federal Republic of Nigeria and the United States co-chaired a virtual meeting of the same event in November 2020, where Federal Republic of Nigeria’s position on the global coalition was firmly emphasised. Through the Counter-Terrorism Centre in the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Federal Republic of Nigeria highlighted, among other issues, that the challenges of global terrorism had negatively impacted virtually every facet of human endeavour, including national security, the economy, polity, environment and the lives and livelihoods of people, as apparent in the Sahel, the Lake Chad Basin and parts of the North-East of the country”.