President Tinubu Links Illegal Mining to Terrorism Financing

Calls for International Collaboration at African Counter-Terrorism Meeting

President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria has identified illegal mining as a significant contributor to terrorism financing in Africa. Speaking at the African High-level Meeting on Counter-Terrorism held in Abuja on Monday, the Nigerian leader emphasized the urgent need for international cooperation to combat the networks that fund terrorist activities.

The meeting, attended by representatives from 32 African member states at ministerial and national security levels, also saw participation from heads of African regional organizations, international partners, United Nations entities, and civil society groups. The two-day event focused on enhancing collaboration to tackle terrorism across the continent.

During his address, President Tinubu stressed that the proceeds from illegal mining support and sustain terrorist operations, debunking the notion that such activities are disconnected from larger security threats. “Those who think illegal mining has no connection with financing terrorism are sorely mistaken,” he asserted.

Highlighting the complexity of terrorism financing, Tinubu called on the international community to assist in dismantling these networks. He pointed out that much of the funding for these illegal operations originates from outside Africa, placing a “moral and legal obligation” on global entities to intervene.

To further strengthen counter-terrorism efforts, President Tinubu proposed the establishment of a regional standby force and a dedicated counter-terrorism center in Africa. This center would serve as a hub for intelligence sharing, operational coordination, and capacity building, aiming to degrade terrorist activities in the continent’s most troubled areas.

The Nigerian President also linked socio-economic issues such as poverty, inequality, and social injustice to the proliferation of terrorism, labeling them as “root causes” that nurture the growth of these networks through ransom-taking and illegal mining.

The proposal for a regional counter-terrorism center underscores Africa’s commitment to a unified response against the growing threat of terrorism, which has become increasingly sophisticated, according to the latest reports from the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism. These reports show a disturbing rise in attacks and fatalities across the continent, particularly in the Sahel region, driven by groups like Da’esh and Al-Qaeda and their affiliates.

In closing, President Tinubu’s call to action was clear: “Key to our collective efforts against terrorism is the urgent need for a fully operational Regional Counter-Terrorism Centre,” a measure he believes will enable rapid deployment in response to threats and enhance the security framework of the region.

The meeting concludes with a strong directive for increased cooperation and action, setting the stage for significant international engagement in Africa’s fight against terrorism.

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