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Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Global Counterterrorism Forum opens in Dar



Hon. Bernard K. Membe (MP), the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, giving his opening remarks during the two-days Global Counterterrorism Forum held at Serena Hotel in Dar es Salaam.  The Forum is jointly organized by the European Union and Turkish Government which has brought experts from various countries to deliberate on the joint efforts to tackle security and terrorism threats in the Horn of Africa/Yemen Region. 


Hon. Bernard K. Membe (MP), the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Ambassador Reha Keskintepe, the Managing Director of European Union (2d-left), listening on during the two-days Global Counterterrorism Forum held at Serena Hotel in Dar es Salaam.


Various Participants including Russia and Pakistan, listening on during the two-days Global Counterterrorism Forum held at Serena Hotel today in Dar es Salaam.   



Mr. Valentine Mlowola (Left), the Coordinator of Counterterrorism Center in Tanzania and Mr. George Panga (2d-left) of the President's Office listening on during the opening of the two-days Global Counterterrorism Forum held at Serena Hotel today in Dar es Salaam.



The Global Counterterrorism Forum opens in Dar
The two-day Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) officially opened today by Hon. Bernard K. Membe (MP), the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Serena Hotel in Dar es Salaam. The Forum is jointly organized by the European Union and Turkish Government which has brought experts from various countries to deliberate on the joint efforts to tackle security and terrorism threats in the Horn of Africa/Yemen Region.

During his opening remarks, Hon. Membe said terrorist activities have increasingly become an agony in the continent of Africa, with expansion of terrorist activities to currently 5 terrorist organizations – Al Qaeda, Al Shabab, Boko Haram of West Africa, Lords Resistance Army (LAR) of Uganda and Piracy in East Africa. He mentioned terrorism as a crisis that that needs to be addressed through joining global efforts in order to catch up with its increasing transnational and sophistication nature.
Hon. Membe also expressed concern over the crisis in the Horn of Africa – particularly Somalia, whose political instability makes it vulnerable to be used as safe haven for perpetrators of terrorism, who find easy refuge, cheap weaponry and desperate youth population to expand its base.
He further said during his opening remarks that Tanzania takes terrorism issue as a priority. “In combating the issue of terrorism, Tanzania takes this issue very seriously especially since the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania”, Hon. Membe said.  
The government has reinforced its laws, for instance, establishing intelligence unit, human right commission, institutions against poverty and unemployment issues, all in an effort to combat terrorism.
On her part, Ambassador Mara Marinaki, Managing Director of European Union (EU), said that the two day meeting will tackle various issues particularly on how to protect and make the Horn of Africa a safe place.  She said that they plan to discuss two goals, namely, the political concerns and ramifications on terrorism and finding solutions and approach on law enforcement cooperation.    Ms. Marinaki said an immediate action needs to be implemented to prevent the vast spread of human trafficking, terrorism, piracy and weaknesses in the boarder securities.
During the two day meeting, they also plan to discuss the global linkage to stability in the Horn of Africa due to acts of terrorism and piracy which require urgency in international response.    Ms. Marinaki further explained that the meeting will seek to identify synergizing efforts and make a comprehensive approach in combating conditions that lead to terrorism such as lack of rule of law, social, economical, political marginalization and criminal justice.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Reha Keskintepe, Managing Director of Counterterrorism in Turkey, said that this two day meeting will bridge a beginning of a strong and steady cooperation between Turkey and African nations.  He said Turkey and the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) are concurrently making dynamic efforts in helping African continent combat issues against terrorism and piracy. 
He said that terrorism is a challenge that needs to be addressed in a speedy and coherent action by member co-chairs of European Union (EU), the United States and participants from Yemen, Uganda, Djibouti, Tanzania, African Union (AU), the United Nations (UN) and Turkey itself. 




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