AU Chairman: Terrorism Rampant in Africa since Libyan Crisis

The President of Comoros and current African Union Chairman, Azali Assoumani
The President of Comoros and current African Union Chairman, Azali Assoumani

The President of Comoros and current African Union Chairman, Azali Assoumani said that “terrorism has run rampant across the African continent due to the outbreak of the Libyan crisis in 2011. This caused the deployment of thousands of foreign fighters to the Sahel region, and led to the uncontrollable proliferation of weapons.”

“In this way, progressively, terrorism took on greater and greater scope in Africa — from north to south, from east to west. The terrorist contagion continues, broadening in almost all regions of Africa,” Assoumi said during a high-level meeting of the UN Security Council on Wednesday evening.

He vowed to “spare no effort” to ensure an AU flagship initiative to “silence the guns by 2030,” becomes a reality. “Solutions include the deployment of significant peacekeeping forces tasked with eliminating violence, and protecting affected populations,” he added.

“The current security challenges in Africa significantly undermine sustainable development efforts, and require renewed and sustained efforts to give a push towards peace and security,” Assoumani concluded.

Earlier this month, Mali’s Foreign Minister, Abdoulaye Diop claimed that NATO’s intervention in Libya, and the support of some terrorist groups “contributed to the bolstering and proliferation of terrorism in Mali and the entire Sahel region.”

Diop added that “groups from the Malian community in Libya benefited from NATO’s intervention, in order to obtain support and assistance.”

He noted that the groups in question “went to northern Mali, and were joined by terrorist organizations, who went on to occupy a third of Mali’s territory.”

Diop underlined that the “instability resulting from terrorism is no longer confined to northern Mali. It expanded to include almost all parts of the country, and has crossed national borders, spreading to neighbouring countries to the Gulf of Guinea.”

Libya is currently facing a political crisis after the Libyan Parliament swore in a new Prime Minister, former Interior Minister, Fathi Bashagha in February 2022. Members of Parliament argued that the incumbent Prime Minister, Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba’s mandate expired when the elections failed to take place.

Dbaiba has refused to cede power, amid the fallout from a failed attempt to hold national elections in December 2021.

Libya has been locked in a political stalemate since late 2021 when the scheduled elections were cancelled because of disputes over the rules and the eastern-based Parliament, withdrew support from the interim government.