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To Morocco, ECOWAS must rethink its counterterrorism approach

Morocco is extending a helping hand to West Africa to fight against terrorism. During an ECOWAS extraordinary summit, the Kingdom urged the regional grouping to rethink its counterterrorism approach.

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During an ECOWAS extraordinary summit devoted to the fight against terrorism, Morocco urged the West African bloc to rethink its current counterterrorism approach. ECOWAS member states, «should take the lead in the fight against terrorism», Foreign Affairs Minister Nasser Bourita said on the sidelines of the extraordinary session opened in the Burkinabe capital.

In Ouagadougou, the Moroccan minister said that «it is up to this sub-regional organization to act within its own space, far from wrangling, small calculations and selfish interests». He recalled that «in the first five months of this year, nearly 400 terrorist attacks have been committed in West Africa», adding that «Boko Haram» has carried out 39,000 attacks in the last decade and displaced 2 million people from their regions.

To Morocco, ECOWAS’ current counterterrorism approach is «outdated»

Morocco seized the opportunity to praise its own counterterrorism «approach». «The role of Moroccan security apparatus is recognized at the regional and international levels. Morocco has always shared its experience and expertise with West African countries in the field of security», Bourita said.

«We can win the military battle against terrorism, but if we do not tackle terrorist ideas and radicalization of minds, we will always have to face a regeneration of this phenomenon, hence the importance given by the Sovereign to the training of African imams», the Minister added.

He also recalled that in the Kingdom «more than 1000 students are pursuing their training courses at the Mohammed VI Institute for the Training of Imams, Morchidines and Morchidates, 93 pc of whom belong to the ECOWAS region».

For the record, by the end of the ECOWAS extraordinary summit West African leaders pledged $1 billion to finance their fight against terrorism approach. In their final communiqué, they urged, «Chad and Mauritania to join ECOWAS financing initiatives for joint operational actions», Niamey and Nouakchott are not members of the regional grouping. The invitation has not, however, been addressed to Morocco.

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