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Tinubu Identifies Illegal Mining As Major Cause Of Terrorism, Calls International Community To Action

President Bola Tinubu has identified illegal mining as one of the major causes of terrorism in Nigeria and across Africa and called for the establishment of a regional counter-terrorism centre that will serve as a hub for intelligence sharing, operational coordination, and capacity building throughout Africa.

The President, who spoke today, April 22, at the African High-level Meeting on Counter-Terrorism in Abuja, insisted that Africa must attack the roots that feed on terrorism, which he said, are ransom and illegal mining.

“Look at the illegal mining that plagues so many of our nations today. Those who think illegal mining has no connection with financing terrorism are sorely mistaken.
“The international community has both the moral and legal obligation to help in this cause because it is external finance, not African money, that fuels these illegal operations. We shall be knocking on this door of the international community to answer this call for justice, peace, and fair play.”
Tinubu stressed the need for Africa to take a comprehensive approach to combating terrorism, not only through might, but by addressing the root causes of the scourge, which include poverty, inequality, and social injustice.
“Not only does it kidnap people, it kidnaps precious resources. Billions upon billions of dollars that legitimate governments should be using to sculpt better societies by providing education, healthcare, and food for its people now go to pay for weapons and response to mayhem.
“Key to our collective efforts against terrorism is the urgent need for a fully operational Regional Counter-Terrorism Centre.”
The President asked that the African region should strengthen the existing counter-terrorism structures, such as the Regional Intelligence Fusion Unit (RIFU) in Abuja, the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT) in Algiers, and the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA) in Addis Ababa.
He stressed the importance of a regional standby force that includes tackling terrorism as part of its mandate.
“It must not be abandoned.
“I am mindful of the funding, legal, and logistical complexities that face the proper establishment of such a force. However, with a prudent and clearly defined mandate that accords with the international law and respects national sovereignty, such a force can serve as a rapid deployment mechanism, capable of swiftly responding to major threats and bolstering the security of our region.
“Such a force can stand as a strong deterrent to large scale and protracted terrorist operations and the capture, occupation or disruption of strategic land and resources. We must continue to make careful yet meaningful progress toward this goal.
“Establishing an all-inclusive African Union Ministerial Committee on Counter Terrorism is also a high priority as envisaged in the Declaration of the 16th Extraordinary Summit of the African Union Assembly two years ago in May 2022. This would ensure that a forum of high-level government officials meets regularly to assess our counter-terrorism efforts and provide guidance on how to further improve.”

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