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Published On: Thu, Aug 23rd, 2018

Chad to host new African regional counter-terrorism center

Defense and foreign ministers from Sudan, Libya, Chad and Niger have agreed to set up a Joint (Security) Operations Center to strengthen regional border security and coordinate joint military operations against terrorist groups in North and West Africa.

According to a communique issued at the end of a ministerial meeting held in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, the center is expected to be operational by November this year. The meeting was called to ratify a pre-existing regional security co-operation agreement and explore further ways of strengthening border security and surveillance.

Boko Haram logo photo/Arnold Platon via wikimedia commons

The ministers selected the Chadian capital of N’Djamena to host the center owing to geographical proximity to other member states. The communique said all countries in North and West Africa should step up security cooperation to secure their common borders.

The center will be an intelligence fusion and operations cell charged with coordinating regional intelligence gathering operations to counter terrorism, illegal immigration, human and drug trafficking and other cross-border crimes.

Libyan Foreign Minister in the Government of National Accord Mohammed Siala said the region should react collectively because it faces the same security challenges

‘‘The danger faced by the region is one danger. The events (militant activity) that happen now and again are evidence of a weakened regional security system that has created a suitable environment for out-law and terrorist groups to move and act freely.

“The crimes perpetrated by these groups are forbidden by all religions. They should increase our resolve to fight terrorism by ensuring better control of our borders, and developing capabilities to prevent these terrorist groups from communicating with another and grouping up,” Siala said.

Increased national border security and joint military operations across borders are considered essential to secure the region and reduce the flow of African illegal immigrants to Europe through the southern Mediterranean Sea.

About the Author

- I am a Zimbabwean journalist with 18 years experience working in print broadcast and online media. From Gaborone in Botswana, I cover the African continent for South African-media organisations Defence Web and Oxpeckers Investigative Environmental Journalism. I am also a correspondent for African Aerospace (UK), the Botswana Gazette and The Zimbabwe Standard.

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