On the sidelines of the 68th session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights
Maat organized a side event on terrorism & COVID-19 in Africa
“Oluseyi”: Nigeria should prioritize the prevention of terrorist financing
“Ali”: The deteriorating economic and educational conditions in Somalia are to blame for the outbreak of Covid-19 & terrorism
“Moro”: The Sudanese people have not yet get rid of the negative effects of the Sudanese former government
On the sidelines of the 68th session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights organized an online side event entitled "Terrorism & COVID-19: Will Africa Survive?". The virtual event was hosted via Zoom platform and attended by a number of human rights organizations and African activists.
The webinar discussed a wide range issues in Africa, including the suffering of African peoples amid the outbreak of terrorist operations, the violation of the right to security and the right to life, in addition to the alarming outbreak of the Covid-19 and the deterioration of health services and hospitals, which have all contributed to and even exacerbated the suffering of African peoples. The webinar called for exploring the ways for civil society to intervene to stop these violations.
Three African countries were specifically handled in this webinar; namely the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Federal Republic of Somalia and the Republic of Sudan, given that these countries top the list of African countries severely hit by the Coronavirus and the terrorist operations in 2020.
Oluseyi Babatunde Oyebisi, Director of the Nigeria Network of NGOs (NNNGO), stated that the Covid-19 pandemic has had major impacts on terrorism in Nigeria, and economic factors have clearly intensified the impact of the pandemic, especially the increase of terrorism. Therefore, more stringent laws and mechanisms must be put in place to preventing terrorist groups from accessing financial resources.
For his part, Ahmed Ali, from the Somali Youth Volunteers for Development Association, stated that Somalia has always suffered from civil war and extremism, and the Covid-19 pandemic has only exacerbated people’s suffering. Ali also emphasized the role of youth in the advancement of Somalia in particular and Africa in general, clarifying that youth energies should be exploited in developing the country instead of leaving them vulnerable to possible exploitation by terrorist groups.
Ismail Moro, the Sudanese human rights activist, affirmed that the former Sudanese government, supported by other regional powers such as Turkey, Qatar and Iran, has sponsored terrorism in many countries, such as Libya. However, the situation has steadily improved following the Sudanese Revolution. Ismail stressed the importance of the role of civil society in spreading awareness, whether at the security or health level, especially in rural areas and remote villages.
The participants came up with a number of recommendations, topped by the organization of health measures awareness campaigns, and the cooperation between various African civil society organizations to confront the supporters of terrorist groups.
It is worth noting that Maat has been granted an observer status in the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights and has participated with a number of interventions during the 68th session to promote the protection of human rights in Africa.