Terrorism ‘spreading and destabilizing’ entire regions, Guterres warns States, at key Kenya conference

Trauma from terrorismrdquo; hurts families, communities and destabilizes entire regions, UN Secretary-General Antoacute;nio Guterres said on Wednesday, as he expressed solidarity with victims of extremist attacks in Africa.

Speaking in Nairobi at the opening of a conference on counter-terrorism, Mr. Guterres recalled how attackers had laid siege to a hotel complex in the capital in January, killing 21 people.

Africans on ‘front line’ against terror

The deteriorating situation in the Sahel and increasing risksrdquo; in West Africa are also deeply concerning, the UN chief continued, amid ongoing attacks by armed militants in the Lake Chad region, central Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.

In light of these developments, there is an urgent need for the international community to support Member States in this regionrdquo;, Mr. Guterres said, noting that the people of Africa are on the front line of efforts to tackle terrorism and the spread of violent extremismrdquo;.

Women’s role countering extremists, ‘inspirational’

Welcoming the determination of Africans to find solutions to terrorism, the UN Secretary-General highlighted the inspirationalrdquo; role of women in prevention efforts.

All over the continent, women are taking matters into their own hands,rdquo; he said, before noting that all terror groupssubjugated women and girls, regardless of their ideology.

They are engaging with local leaders, mayors, young people, children and their fellow men, to fight against exclusion, marginalization, inequality and abuse � the conditions that lead many to radicalisation and conflict,rdquo; he said.

At the same time, the UN Secretary-General also cautioned that such efforts could not succeed without long-term political commitment from the international community.

In addition to strong and clear mandatesrdquo; from the Security Council, he insisted that there should also be sufficient, predictable and sustainable financial supportrdquo; for African peace-enforcing and counter-terrorism operations.

We must not allow terrorism to undermine the great progress that is being made on this continent,rdquo; Mr. Guterres said, insisting that an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africahellip;continued to be a top priorityrdquo; for the United Nations.

‘State violence and abuse of power’ often ‘tipping point’ to terror

In a call for greater efforts from African States and the international community to unite against terrorism, the UN Secretary-General also noted that more should be done to tackle the drivers and enablersrdquo; of violent extremism.

Within the UN, he noted that the organization had itself prioritized capacity-building projects for African countries on issues such as mitigating the threat of foreign terrorist fighters, empowering youth, countering terrorist financing and improving aviation security.

Nothing can justify terrorism and violent extremism, but we must also acknowledge that they do not arise in a vacuumrdquo;, he said, insisting that actual or perceived injustice and promised empowerment become attractive wherever human rights are being violated, good governance is being ignored and aspirations are being crushedrdquo;.

A lack of education and poverty were factors behind radicalization, Mr. Guterres continued, but the final tipping pointrdquo; is often State-led violence and the abuse of power, he maintained.

States should do more to address these risk factors, in addition to preventing conflicts, strengthening state institutions and civil society, building durable peace and promoting sustainable development to tackle the poverty, inequality and lack of opportunity that feed despair, he insisted.

Source: UN News.