The Africa-Arab Forum on Combating Terrorism and Extremism was held in the Iraqi capital Baghdad from 23 to 24 March, which brought together a number of politicians, security officials, intellectuals and clerics to discuss the root solutions to the scourge of terrorism. It witnessed the presence of twenty-one Arab and African countries that have been affected by the fire of terror and paid dearly with the blood of their own people to resist this imminent threat that had profoundly affected and distorted our heritage and threatens our future.
In four consecutive sessions, the participants studied and discussed the most important factors leading to strengthen terrorism, its spread and underlying causes. They also presented various visions and ideas in order to eliminate the phenomenon of terrorism and extremism.
The forum came up with the following recommendations:
- EXTENDS its thanks and appreciation to the Government and people of the Republic of Iraq for their warm welcome and generous hospitality. It particularly THANKS His Eminence Mr. Ammar Al-Hakim, President of the Alliance for Reform and Reconstruction, for gracing this forum and for his keenness to come up with positive inputs that can contribute to tackle the phenomenon of extremism and therefore to eliminate terrorism.
- CONGRATULATES the Republic of Iraq on the great victory by defeating ISIL excommunicator thugs and EXTENDS its thanks and respect to all branches of the Iraqi armed forces for the great efforts to counteract this heinous crime.
- SUPPORTS the efforts of the Africa-Arab Cultural Institute and that of the Counter-Terrorism Department in the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States to find appropriate ways to implement the recommendations of this forum through activating the channels of communication between them on the one hand and overcoming the obstacles of the concerned parties on the other hand. The meeting also URGES to expand the representation of Arab and African States at the Forum.
- CALLS to harmonise the differences in the interpretation of the concepts of extremism and terrorism among Arab and African member states of the Forum and the international community, in such a way to enhance international cooperation in counteracting and combating this phenomenon.
- REITERATES ITS CALL to promote and develop initiatives leading to an inclusive national and community reconciliation and dialogue among the various components of the societies of the Arab and African member states of the Forum amongst others all religious and ethnic groups.
- URGES the League of Arab States and the African Union to organize events and communication conferences that contribute to harmonise Arab and African media discourse against extremism.
- CALLS for the adoption of a unified Arab-African project to combat the financing of terrorism and the drying up of funding sources. The Forum UNDERSCORES monitoring the movement of funds associated with supporting terrorist activities.
- REFLECTS on establishing an electronic library specialized in the study and treatment of the phenomena of terrorism and extremism, which contains books, studies, fatwas and experiences of member states in the fight against terrorism to refine thought and heritage. URGES the renewal of religious discourse through a specific mechanism that allows the member states of the forum to derive benefit from the contents of the electronic library.
- AGAIN URGES the relevant bodies to draw a unified list of Arab and African terrorists, which includes all information relating to persons who have been proven to be involved in terrorism, whether belonging to terrorist organisations, or acting, financing, or promoting extremist ideology and all forms of terrorist support in each member states. The list of information shall include the personal and descriptive data on perpetrators in order to eliminate their criminal activity.
- REITERATES ITS CALL to follow-up and raise awareness on the rise and development of what is known as the phenomenon of (terrorism of white supremacy) due to its negative impact on safety of communities as it strengthens the motives and justifications of extremist terrorist organisations in reaction to this despicable phenomenon.
The Forum also PRAISES and APPRECIATES the positive reaction of the Government and people of New Zealand following the criminal terrorist attack on worshipers at the Christchurch City Mosque.
- CALLS to establish rehabilitation centres for the victims of violence and extremism, rehabilitate children recruited and exploited by terrorist and violent extremist groups, promote social reintegration programmes, and CALLS to develop Arab and African national strategies and programmes to combat the recruitment and exploitation of children in conflict and extremism.
- REFUSES to label resistance movements as terrorist groups.
- FINALLY CALLS to form a follow-up committee for the implementation of the recommendations issued by the Forum. The committee shall meet within three months to evaluate the actions taken toward the implementation of these recommendations.
Baghdad on March 24, 2019