The threat of terrorism has adversely impacted African countries in their pursuit of economic progress

India at the United Nation Security Council (UNSC) on Thursday said that the threat of terrorism in the Sahel region and beyond is a serious global concern and the fight against terrorism remains significant after 20 years since the landmark resolution adopted in the council in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

A statement made by India’s Permanent Representative to UN TS Tirumurti at the UNSC High-Level Open Debate on ‘Terrorism and Climate Change’ also stated that the threat of terrorism in Africa has adversely impacted African countries in their pursuit of economic progress and development.

“The statement by His Excellency the President of Niger has again drawn the attention of this Council to the threat of terrorism in Sahel region and beyond. This is indeed a serious global concern. The fight against terrorism remains significant even after 20 years since the landmark resolution 1373 was adopted in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks,” he said.

“The security situation in the G5-Sahel countries, in particular, has been deteriorating in the last three years, as is evident from the scores of attacks by terrorists and armed groups, targeting of civilians and security forces,” he recalled.

“Further, the threat posed by terrorist groups in Sahel region and beyond is well documented including in Secretary General’s periodic reports,” the Indian envoy to UN added.

Noting that Jama’a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin, affiliated to Al-Qaida and the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara, have expanded their activities, he added that, Al Qaeda and ISIS linked groups and Boko Haram have also continued to expand around the eastern and northern shores of Lake Chad.

Tirumurti reckoned that the attacks against MINUSMA few days ago that resulted in the killing of seven peacekeepers from Togo, and a Malian national, demonstrate the danger posed by terrorists and armed groups to the Sahel region.

India strongly condemns the attack on peacekeepers and expresses deepest condolences to the families of those who lost lives, he said.

“India appreciates the initiative of G-5 Sahel Force, a joint effort of countries in the Sahel including Niger. However, the Joint Force continues to be plagued by multiple challenges such as lack of training, resources, logistics and access to sustainable and predictable financing – all of which have hampered the full operationalization of the force,” Tirumurti stated.

He said the current model of support to the Joint Force is inadequate and unsustainable, a reality which has also been highlighted by the Secretary General in his recent reports as well as echoed by the President of Niger.

“We believe that it is high time that regional security initiatives such as the G5 Sahel Joint Force be provided adequate and sustainable resources, as well as training and logistics support,” the Indian Ambassador to UN said.

“A resource-constrained counter-terrorism strategy can be a recipe for failure. The Council needs to take effective measures, including by supporting regional and sub-regional organizations in their security initiatives,” he pointed out.

Stating that the threat of terrorism to Sahel region is far greater and more severe than many other challenges facing the region today, Tirumurti said, India has always been willing to extend and expand its capacity building assistance to the armed forces of the affected countries, to support them in their fight against terrorism.

“India's recent initiatives in this regard have been the inclusion of Chad in our ITEC training program with 10 military training slots last year, and a specialized in-situ training program in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism for nearly 200 Nigerian Army personnel, this year,” he informed.

“We believe that it is important that this Council continues to extend all possible assistance and support to the G-5 Sahel Force, in the overarching interest of peace, security and stability in the region,” the Indian Envoy to UN added.