By Dipo Olowookere
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders has announced that Belgium will contribute to the prevention of terrorism in the Sahel countries Burkina Faso and Mauritania.
In a statement issued by the Foreign Affairs ministry, it was disclosed that, “Our country donates €250 000 within this context.”
“The funding creates the possibility to give several training sessions in the fields of research- and investigative techniques, judicial cooperation and the combat against the financial flows of terrorism. The criminal law framework will be empowered and the authorities can anticipate more precisely on the threats of terrorist groups and foreign terrorist fighters in West-Africa.
“In addition to this financial aid, the countries will be able to rely on the expertise of the specialized magistrates of the FPS Justice, which will be working in Nouakchott and Ouagadougou,” Reynders said in the statement.
The statement adds that, “The training will be conducted by the Terrorism Prevention Branch of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
“The UNODC is the UN entity which has the mandate and the expertise to assist countries with the legislative and criminal law aspects of counter-terrorism. UNODC aims at creating a comprehensive approach against criminal acts like terrorism, human trafficking, drug trafficking and other forms of organized crime.
“The initiative is related to the UN-policy about the Sahel region, and is consistent with the action plan of the UN Secretary-general for the prevention of violent extremism, supported by Belgium.”
The statement further said, “Didier Reynders attaches great importance to the prevention of radicalism and violent extremism by building and empowering the rule of law and by having a comprehensive approach with respect for human rights.
“These efforts should contribute to more stability in the migration sensitive region, Sahel. This is decisive for the stability of the African continent. Radicalization, violent extremism and terrorism undermine the prospect of security and development.”
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