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Terrorism Tops African Summit Agenda: Lip service or strategic move? – Trayo A. Ali

February 27, 2016

Terrorism Tops African Summit Agenda: Lip service or strategic move?

By Trayo A. Ali

SUNDAY 7 FEBRUARY 2016

In Africa, terrorism is not only strategic threat to continent political security and destabilization, but more importantly it also constitutes fundamental challenge and eminent threat to its entire “identity politics”and aims to chamge its foundation. In Africa the phenomena surely passed the stage of political infancy. It has grown and blown, acquired political teeth and financial muscles. Equipped with radical Islamist political ideology (with racist tendency inclination), it’s on daily basis gaining extra resources, control of ground and space and steadily positioning itself with further networking system and penetration capabilities. Obviously and despite of all this deep-seated and well grounded reality of threat, the continental body (for unexplained reasons) kept adopting the proverbial monkey attitudes of (no hear evil, no see evil, and no talk evil).
Observers and analysts of African politics relate this AU political apathy (inability to develop an effective agenda and measures in countering, deterring, containing and combating of the menace) to factors including the lack of common vision on continental collective security policy options, existence of “conflict of interest” among the countries themselves (some being agent sponsoring terrorism while others fighting it). But on top of these reasons is the “political cowardice” resulting from the intimidation tactics employed by the terrorists including hunting down of head of states. This remains the key stumbling block.

Perhaps, as one analyst put it, with AU now daring to identify the issue, redefining as a serious business and tabling before the Summit, could probably make some qualitative difference.

Others also held the view that choosing of Chadian president, Mr. Idrees Deby as the chair of the term could not be a mere coincidence and should add more value on this move; especially considering his profile on anti-terrorism and sufficient experience he gained from combating the Boko Haram elements within his territory and abroad.

(1) The axe is already on the head.

Almost like in its original homeland (the Middle East), terrorism is already deep rooted in the African political soil. Africa is considered the most potentially vulnerable place and favorable breeding ground. As terrorism is synonymous to radical Islamist political method of work, its important to remember, back in the 1980s former Egyptian president, the late Mr. Anwar Alsadat was gunned down by terrorists. The late president Bodiaf of Algeria followed the same fate. Long before “Algaeda” terrorist organization, in its 9-11 attack to blow up the twin-tower in New York, US, Mr. Osama Bin Laden, the originator of “Algaeda” had already lived under the protection and patronage of the Islamist government in the Sudan. The time he launched his attack on America, he was already accused of masterminding the attack on US embassy in Nairobi and Darsalam in Africa. With regard to AU there was already this dramatic attempt to hunt former Egyptian president Mr. Huseni Mubarak in Addis- Ababa, the heart capital of African Union while attending its Summit. Of course both the timing and the place was arbitrary act.

And ever since things started falling apart in a dramatic development while the continent’s centre could not held. Egypt was sweepingly over-run by the fundamentalists, Libya is smashed down to the ground, Tunisia was totally swallowed before it started recovering, and the entire North Africa is in the state of decapacitation and pandimonium.

Down in the Sub-Sahara, Mali was crushed over-night and Nigeria and Kenya, (AU two core states) virtually held hostage by Boko-Haram and Al-Shabab militants while Chad is in real threatened. In all these Sudan finger prints are tracable.

(2) With the enmy on the bed, the decision hardly works.

The conventional rule has it that “with the enemy on the bed there is very little one can do”. Every plan is literally exposed and your moves are virtually detected and doomed to be curtailed.

With regard to AU decision on fighting terrorism, here you have Sudan. Under Islamist fundamentalist government, Sudan is not an idle member of the organization. It’s there with an “eagle eyes”. It vowed to aid its terrorist allies. When it masterminded assassination attempt against Egyptian president in Addis Ababa, it was sending a loud and clear message of caution to the AU. Sudan used its long arms to torpedo any possible appropriate move and / or action against her. Better listen to the public information offered by Dr. Hassan Al-Turabi, the father ideologue of Sudan’s Islamist movement.

Sudan, the core member state of the AU, is identified as “state sponsoring terrorism”, been in the black list for more than a decade and now engaged in supporting Islamists elements in Libya, Egypt, Mali, and Chad and elsewhere. Sudan government ruling NCP party is chairing the position of Secretary General of the entire Africa’s ruling parties network. Add to that the most significant one: Sudan has the ability and capability to influence, convience and host African “intelligence conferences” (the nerve centre of continental security) and even resumed the role of their leadership networking system for more than two times. What prevents her to manipulate everything down there?

Under the above referred circumstances, it would be difficult (if not impossible) for the AU to make its decision meaningfully operational.

Observers also are inclined to entertain the belief that the possibility of this decision to be thrown on the shelves or reduce it to become a matter of lip-service is higher than make it strategic and operational decision.

Trayo A. Ali – African Peace Information Network Service (APINS)

This article was first published in the Sudan Tribune website.

The link to the original article is: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article57934

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