Home Morocco Morocco Calls for Greater Vigilance as ISIS Fighters Return to Africa

Morocco Calls for Greater Vigilance as ISIS Fighters Return to Africa

Global Counterterrorism Forum Tackles Threats of Repatriated Terrorists
Nasser Bourita, Morocco's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Rabat – Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Nasser Bourita participated on Monday, February 12, in the ministerial meeting of the anti-Daesh coalition held in Kuwait, shedding light on the terrorist threats facing Africa.

“[We must] take stock of our joint struggle against ISIS, to define the guidelines that will help renew our commitment, to consolidate in the future our base of achievements and to continue our joint action in the face of this persistent threat,” he said in a call for the Arab coalition.

According to a report by the American think tank, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, between 58 and 300 Moroccans have fought with ISIS in Libya, some of whom are seeking to return to the country undercovered.

And while Iraq has taken full control of the Iraqi-Syrian border, nearly 6,000 African ISIS fighters are expected to return to Africa, posing continental and national threats.

“We observe that many of these fighters are trying to return to their countries of origin or residence, or to re-deploy to third countries where they aim to strengthen their ranks in terrorist organizations in different regions of the world, “explained Bourita, calling for “particular attention to the changing situation in Africa.”

Africa remains one of the first targets of deadly attacks, he said, revealing that between January and October 2017, 343 terrorist attacks have resulted in more than 2,600 victims.

Faced with such a threat, “Africa has taken its responsibility to fight and eradicate terrorist threats.”

Bourita also called for greater vigilance in terms of the dynamics of the terrorist organization, specifically “the evolution of its structures, its ability to mobilize sympathizers and to lead attacks around the world.”

Morocco remain convinced that the transnational nature of the threat “requires comprehensive, cooperative, and united efforts,” as the only way to formulate effective methods to fight terrorism.

Bourita said that Morocco’s anti-terrorist bodies have successfully dismantled many terrorist cells targeting not only in Morocco but also in its neighboring countries.

“This has indeed earned the kingdom international recognition as a stable partner and a true vector of security.”

He told the members of the coalition that Morocco had made the strategic choice to promote solidarity-based on South-South, North-South, and triangular cooperation, “which is reflected in the implementation of concrete projects with several countries in areas essential to stability and human and sustainable development.”

He recalled that Morocco’s strategy in the fight against terrorism and radicalization has become a reference in the United Nations today.

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