The text of the following statement was released by the Government of Italy, the Government of the United States of America, the Government of Morocco, and the Government of Niger, on the occasion of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Africa Focus Group Meeting.
Upon invitation of the Republic of Niger, the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Africa Focus Group co-chairs, Italy, Morocco, Niger, and the United States met on October 26 in Niamey. This was the first meeting of the Africa Focus Group in the region of sub-Saharan Africa since its establishment in December 2021.
The Africa Focus Group is African-led and is a collaborative, civilian led counterterrorism effort that draws upon the Defeat ISIS Coalition’s experiences in Iraq and Syria and adapts them to counter specific ISIS and other terrorist group affiliates in the region. The Group is uniquely positioned to enhance the fight against ISIS and other terrorist groups in Africa, by engaging with African members, coordinating with other regional and multilateral entities on existing initiatives and with the Defeat ISIS Coalition working groups on countering ISIS terrorism financing, furthering stabilization efforts in liberated areas, deterring foreign terrorist fighter flows, and countering ISIS violent extremist messaging to vulnerable populations.
In Niamey, the Africa Focus Group co-chairs recognized the importance of supporting African efforts in the fight against terrorism at the national and sub regional levels, enhancing African ownership of counterterrorism initiatives and policies, and reinforcing counterterrorism capacity building efforts through a comprehensive approach addressing security and development.
The co-chairs focused on the efficacy of members’ counterterrorism programs by identifying overlapping efforts and resources and potential geographic and programmatic gaps. They shared assessments on the threat of ISIS and other terrorist organizations on the African continent and ways to coordinate and collaborate on effective and efficient methods to combat violent extremism through proactive information sharing and border management, as well as stabilization and deradicalization projects with the involvement of civil society.
The Co-Chairs agreed that the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS remains committed to confronting and defeating ISIS in Africa and elsewhere in the world where it operates.