The African Union and Counter-Terrorism

Africa has witnessed a tremendous increase in terrorist incidents. According to the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, there has been more than a 1000 percent increase in terrorism since 2006. Moreover, an alarming twenty-two African countries has been targeted by terrorism. This, in turn, raises the question of what the African Union (AU) has done to curb the posed threat. Legislatively, the AU appears quite strong, if one considers the Algiers Convention on the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism of July 1999, the adoption of the Common Defence and Security Policy and the establishment of the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism in July 2002. The adoption of the AU Plan of Action on the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism on 14 September 2002 was another facet of the continental body’s growing counter-terrorism regime. The enactment of legislative frameworks, however, does not necessarily translate into successful counter-terror strategies on the ground as the alarming increase of terrorist incidents would attest to.

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