Okeil: The international community should learn from the present and the past and stop giving priority to political interests
Gouda: West African countries must work together to fill the void created by the withdrawal of French forces
Maat Foundation for Peace, Development and Human Rights said that the continent of Africa was subjected to 61 terrorist attacks during the month of September, which caused the death of at least 1,006 people due to terrorist operations and ethnic tensions, that the most affected region is East Africa with 608 victims, or about Of the total number of victims of the month, due to the internal fighting situation in Ethiopia, 541 victims were killed due to ethnic tensions in Ethiopia alone. Somalia was the country most exposed to terrorist operations, as it alone was subjected to 17 terrorist attacks.
All this was mentioned in Maat’s monthly report on Terrorist Operations in Africa, which monitors the acts of violence that Africa has been subjected to, the efforts to combat terrorism in the continent, and the recommendations and estimates of the current and future security situation in the African continent.
Commenting on the report, Ayman Okeil, an international human rights expert and president of Maat, said that the strategies to combat terrorism in Africa should not only be based on the military tool, but should also extend to all sectors of the state, and it is important that the strategies for combating terrorism include development processes to prevent the spread of terrorism again. Okeil appealed to the international community to learn from the past, and to stop giving priority to political interests, and to work to eliminate terrorism from its roots, in order to save the future of coming generations.
The international human rights expert called for opening of an extensive investigation into the Nigerian Air Force's bombing of a village in the northeast of the country, which led to the death of dozens of civilians, stressing that such brutal incidents should not go unnoticed, especially with their recurrence, last month in Somalia by AMISOM forces, and this month in Nigeria. People suffer not only from terrorist organizations but also from government forces.
For his part, Abdul-Latif Gouda, a researcher in the African Affairs Unit at Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights, said that West African countries must cooperate with each other to fill the power vacuum that will be caused by the withdrawal of French forces at the end of this year. This would push the region into a more violent wave of terrorist operations. West Africa is still targeted by the terrorist organization of ISIS and Boko Haram, the two organizations that have entered into a cycle of conflict over control of north Nigeria, while the peoples of West Africa are under the brunt of the attacks of the two terrorist organizations.
Notably, Africa is among the issues of concern to Maat for Peace, Development and Human rights, being a member of the General Assembly for the Economic, Social & Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) of the Africa Union (AU). Moreover, Maat serves as an Observer in The African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) and as a Northern African Coordinator in the major Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Africa of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA).