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Tinubu Blames External Funding for Rise in Illegal Mining and Terrorism in Africa

President Bola Tinubu has accused the international community of contributing to the escalating problems of illegal mining, illicit financial flows, and terrorism funding in Africa. Addressing a two-day African High-Level Meeting on Counter-terrorism in Abuja, Tinubu emphasized the international funds that sustain illegal mining, subsequently financing terrorism.

Tinubu approved the reconstitution of a 15-man National Stakeholders’ Working Group (NSWG) for the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI). He called for strengthened regional cooperation and institution-building to combat terrorism’s evolving threat on the continent.

The president highlighted the detrimental impact of illegal mining, which diverts natural resources from citizens’ needs and facilitates terrorism by exchanging resources for foreign cash used to purchase arms. He stressed the international community’s moral and legal obligation to assist in addressing these challenges.

Tinubu urged Africa to reinforce existing counter-terrorism structures, including the Regional Intelligence Fusion Unit (RIFU) in Abuja, the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT) in Algiers, and the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA) in Addis Ababa. He advocated for a regional standby force with a mandate to combat terrorism swiftly and effectively.

The president emphasized the need for a fully operational African Union Ministerial Committee on Counter-Terrorism, as outlined in the 16th Extraordinary Summit of the African Union Assembly in May 2022. He praised Nigeria’s counter-terrorism efforts, citing the Terrorism Prevention and Prohibition Act and the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) as significant advancements.

Tinubu concluded by urging African leaders to prioritize their citizens’ safety and welfare, emphasizing the need for focused, decisive action against terrorism and violent extremism.

National Security Adviser (NSA) Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Ms. Amina Mohammed also addressed the meeting, discussing the complex factors driving terrorism in Africa and emphasizing the importance of good governance and rebuilding the social contract with citizens.

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