Morocco, under the leadership of King Mohammed VI, has spared no effort to support multilateral actions in the fight against terrorism, underlined, Friday in Tangier, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans residing in abroad, Nasser Bourita.
“For His Majesty King Mohammed VI, acting according to the multilateral approach in the fight against terrorism is essential”, indicated Mr. Bourita, who was speaking at the opening of the works of the second edition of the Meeting of High Level of Heads of Counter-Terrorism and Security Agencies in Africa “Marrakesh Platform”, held under the co-chairmanship of the Kingdom of Morocco and the United Nations Office for Counter-Terrorism (ONUCT).
The Minister highlighted, in this regard, the substantial support, particularly political, financial, technical and in kind, provided by Morocco to multiple training programs of the United Nations Program Office for the fight against terrorism and training in Africa (ONUCT) in Rabat.
In this regard, he praised the efforts made by Vladimir Voronkov, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Office for Counter-Terrorism, “who continues to be an effective partner of Morocco, a committed defender of African concerns and priorities , and the partner of a global approach” in this area.
“No state can effectively fight terrorism in isolation,” insisted Mr. Bourita, adding that collaboration with “partners is essential.”
Mr. Bourita stressed, in this regard, the importance for African countries to appropriate “African responses” in order to fight against terrorism.
Africa must also develop its autonomy to engage an African vision of the fight against terrorism, he pointed out, assuring that Morocco is ready to contribute to the effective implementation of this effort, in accordance with the High Instructions of His Majesty King Mohammed VI in this matter.
The minister said that on the eve of the ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition against Daesh to be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, “we must convey our assessment, our concerns and our vision to the Global Coalition in order to take them into consideration”.
He noted that Morocco is “ready and available to play its role” in this regard, as co-chair of the Africa Focus Group under the Global Coalition against Daesh, alongside Italy, Niger and the United States.
Furthermore, the Minister underlined that “the link between separatist and terrorist groups continues to evolve in an alarming manner, threatening the national sovereignty of many countries”, noting that terrorists are extending their activities from the Sahel region to the western littoral. of Africa. “We cannot afford to ignore this threat. We have to face it quickly,” he insisted.
While referring to the significant progress made in the fight against terrorism, Mr. Bourita warned against the current situation marked by the terrorist threat in Africa.
“We are all aware that the region is experiencing a devastating increase in terrorist attacks and violence,” he noted, adding that terrorist groups regularly target civilians and military infrastructure, taking advantage of the porous nature of the land. borders and the difficult living conditions of local communities.
According to the Minister, the figures reflect this situation, especially since 60% of all deaths caused by terrorism in the world (4,023 victims) occurred in sub-Saharan Africa.
“In 2022, the Sahel region recorded more deaths from terrorism than South Asia and the MENA region combined,” he lamented, adding that terrorist groups use advanced and new technologies, such as drones, virtual means and encrypted communication platforms.
“Africa is the only continent where three branches of Daesh and Al-Qaeda are active,” recalled Mr. Bourita, noting that 19 armed separatist groups are active in 22 African countries.
Furthermore, Mr. Bourita reaffirmed Morocco’s commitment to the success of the “Marrakesh Platform”, as “a mark of its unwavering commitment to its continent”.
In this context, he put forward “concrete proposals” that can be implemented within the framework of the Marrakesh Platform, including the establishment of joint training programs, which can bring together staff from anti-terrorism agencies. terrorism with the aim of developing a common understanding of each other’s strengths, weaknesses and operating procedures.
He considered it necessary to preserve and maintain the action orientation of the Marrakech platform as a “key attribute”, adding that it is therefore important to maintain this action-oriented vision for the platform. .
“It’s easy to make statements, but true multilateralism is about linking statements to actions,” he stressed.
The minister also emphasized the imperative of creating joint working groups within the “Marrakesh Platform”, which can focus on specific regional threats, in order to streamline coordination, promote the sharing of information and facilitate collaborative work.
It is also about strengthening regional cooperation with new emerging frameworks, by engaging in regular dialogue with new innovative frameworks in the fight against terrorism in order to encourage “the development of shared synergies and local solutions for local contexts”. , he argued.
The work of the second edition of the High Level Meeting of Heads of Counter-Terrorism and Security Agencies in Africa “Marrakesh Platform”, spread over two days, saw the participation of 38 high-level delegations representing the African security organizations and international, regional and sub-regional organizations involved in the fight against terrorism.