Joint Statement: Africa Focus Group
Upon invitation of the Republic of Niger, the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh Africa Focus Group, co-chaired by Italy, Morocco, Niger, and the United States, met on March 1 and 2 in Niamey, Niger.
The Africa Focus Group is African member-led and represents a collaborative, civilian-focused counterterrorism effort intended to enhance the counterterrorism capabilities of African members of the Coalition. The Africa Focus Group is uniquely positioned to enhance the fight against Daesh by engaging with interested Coalition members, coordinating with other regional and multilateral entities on existing initiatives, and the Coalition working groups on countering Daesh terrorism financing, furthering stabilization efforts in liberated areas, deterring foreign terrorist fighter flows, and countering Daesh violent extremist messaging to vulnerable populations.
In Niamey, 38 Coalition members and observers participated in a two-day Africa Focus Group meeting that highlighted various counter-Daesh initiatives on the continent, facilitated regional-based discussion on the addressing the Daesh threat and identifying gaps in counterterrorism capabilities in the Coastal West African states, the Sahel region, East Africa, and Central and Southern Africa. The Group also endorsed the Africa Focus Group Action Plan that committed the Coalition to strengthen border security, collect biometrics of known and suspected terrorists, protect and utilize battlefield evidence, counter Daesh propaganda and recruitment, and counter terrorist financing.
Finally, the Africa Focus Group co-chairs and member states noted with concern the impact the proliferation of non-State actors is having on efforts to counter Daesh in Africa. This includes separatist movements and the deployment in Africa of private military companies that create destabilization within certain African states and that create conditions on the ground that ultimately favour Daesh and other terrorist and violent extremist organizations.
At the conclusion of the Africa Focus Group meeting, the Co-Chairs underscored that the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh remains committed to confronting and defeating Daesh in Africa and elsewhere in the world, wherever it operates.