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Updated Mar 13, 2020

The United Nations Security Council passed a resolution Wednesday condemning the ongoing terrorist violence in Africa and urging member states “to consider mobilizing more predictable resources and expertise” to combat the threat. The resolution also encouraged member states to promote quality education, employment, and vocational training to African youth as part of an effort to reduce recruitment into terrorist organizations. Fatima K. Mohammed, the African Union’s ambassador to the UN, warned of increasingly sophisticated tools terrorist organizations like Boko Haram are using online to recruit young men into their ranks, exploiting existing religious and ethnic fissures in countries like Nigeria while also promising economic stability to those struggling with poverty.

Niger, South Africa, and Tunisia, three African members of the non-permanent rotating Security Council, issued a separate statement warning of the increasing presence of foreigners relocating to Africa to join up with and launch attacks as part of terrorist organizations like Al-Shabab and the Islamic State. UN political chief Rosemary DiCarlo gave her own statement on the resolution, calling for member states to provide funding and military support to regional alliances like the G5 Sahel—comprised of Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Niger, Chad, and Mali—in order to beat back terror groups operating in the Lake Chad Basin and the Sahara Desert.


Why It Matters

Much fuss has been made about the United States’ consideration of reducing its troop numbers in Africa as part of a global redeployment assessment, with American military officials urging greater participation from Europe and the rest of the international community to pick up the slack. Given the legally binding nature of Security Council resolutions, this development is a promising indicator that greater efforts will be made to support African counterterrorism forces and support development goals that will minimize terrorist recruitment factors.

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