Two decades after the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York, U.S, terror networks – Al-Qaida and Islamic State – continue to pose a grave threat to peace and security globally, especially in Africa, a top UN counter-terrorism expert has said.
UN counter-terrorism chief Vladimir Voronkov told the Security Council on Thursday at UN headquarters, New York, that terrorist groups had been adapting to new technologies and moving into some of the world’s most fragile regions.
While Al-Qaida and Islamic State remain focused on reconstituting their capabilities in Iraq and Syria, Mr Vornkov said the groups’ relentless spread across the African continent in recent months was the most alarming development.
The so-called “Islamic State in the Greater Sahara” has killed several hundred civilians since the start of 2021 in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger.
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The group’s “West Africa Province” will likely gain from the weakening of Boko Haram, with an additional spillover of terrorists and foreign fighters from Libya. Meanwhile, the expansion of Da’esh in Central Africa and especially in northern Mozambique could have far-reaching implications for peace and security in the region.
He briefed the council on the eve of the fourth commemoration of the International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism, observed annually on August 21.
Mr Voronkov, while presenting the secretary-general’s latest report on the threats posed by terrorist groups, said Al-Qaida and Islamic State, also known as Da’esh, had continued to exploit the pandemic to use technology to regroup.
He noted that Da’esh continued to exploit the disruption, grievances, and development setbacks caused by the pandemic to regroup, recruit new followers and intensify its activities both online and on the ground.
“Today, we face transnational terrorist threats like Da’esh and Al-Qaida that are enduring and able to adapt to new technologies,” Mr Voronkov explained. “But also expanding to include individuals and groups that commit terrorist attacks connected to xenophobia, racism and other forms of intolerance.”
The UN counter-terrorism architecture, largely set up in the wake of the 9/11 attack, helps member states implement effective frameworks to prevent, address, investigate and prosecute acts of terrorism.
It is also ramping up efforts to help countries adapt to the rapidly changing nature of the threat, which has become more digital and de-centralised in recent years.
“We will need to ensure that Afghanistan is never again used as a launching pad for global terrorism,” the UN official said.
Bianca Ojukwu Speaks on Sit At Home, Says Igbos Must Be Grateful To Nnamdi Kanu
Wife of late Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Bianca Odumegwu Ojukwu has pleaded with Igbos not to forget Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.
Nnamdi Kanu has been in custody of Department of State Services, DSS for months, following his arrest or rather kidnap in Kenya by the Nigerian authority. Kanu who leads separatist movement for the Independent state of Biafra commands and controls overwhelming number of followers and sympathizers in old Eastern region of Nigeria.
Weeks after Kanu was wrongly brought back to Nigeria, leaders of the separatist organization, IPOB ordered, as a form of solidarity effort, a sit at home every Monday in South East Nigeria. This order witnessed total compliance during the first week in the region. However, the order was cancelled by IPOB, as it was trailed by criticisms. Surprisingly, people in the region seem to have chosen the path of sitting at home on Mondays, despite cancellation of the order by IPOB leadership.
Bianca Ojukwu, wife of late leader of Biafra, Odumegwu Ojukwu has cautioned the Igbos about betraying their own people, like some of them did to Ojukwu prior and during the Biafran war between 1967-1970.
Speaking on the Sit At Home Order by IPOB, Bianca called for adherence to the order. She also called out first President of Nigeria, Nnamdi Azikiwe and Nigerian army major, Emmanuel Arinze Ifeajuna as people who in their foolishness betrayed Ojukwu by ganging up against him even when he was fighting for their own freedom. Bianca encouraged Igbo leaders to shun the ways of Zik and Ifeajuna, noting that there is urgent need for Igbos to unite and work for the release of IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
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BBNaija Season 6: Maria Got Evicted From The House
Eviction in Big Brother Naija has been concluded, as it has always been on Sundays and surprisely, Maria was among those who got evicted from the house.
It was a triple eviction night and earlier, Queen’s safety was announced while JMK and Sammie were asked to leave the house.
Ebuka later came to announce that there would be a third eviction and it meant either Maria, Pere or Cross would be asked to leave the house.
Sadly, Ebuka announced Maria name and it was confirmed that her journey in the house had come to an end.
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Unknown Gunmen Are Fulani People – Gov Ortom
The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has alleged that the unknown Gunmen are people from the Northen part of Nigeria, specifically the Fulanis.
Governor Ortom has remained one of the few Governors from the opposition party who has constantly opposed the Buhari’s APC administration and its policies. Being one of the state with the highest records of civilian slaughter, Ortom has pointed out, without fear, what he considers a bad policy and loopholes in Buhari administration.
Speaking to BBC News Pidgin, the Governor stated that unknown Gunmen are people from the Fulani tribe, in Northern Nigeria , who move to the South and Middle Belt to attack people of the regions. This is however contrary to what many have believed, that Separatists are the Unknown gunmen.
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In his words – “If the Government had the power to stop separatists, like Sunday Igboho and Nnamdi Kanu, why don’t they have the power to stop the bandits who come here to kill us”
“They call them unknown gunmen, but me, from Benue state, I know that it is Fulani people who come here to kill us”
The Governor further alleged that people in Aso Rock are accomplice in the murder of citizens across the country by the Herdsmen.
“Infact, no be me talk am, Fulani Bandits, they no longer like when you called them Fulani, dem just wan make we dey call them bandits and dem don confess say na this government bring dem for 2015, make dem come help dem win election. The people for Presidency, yes, people for Aso Rock, dem get hand for wetin this killers dey do” – He said speaking in Pidgin
When asked if he has proof to back up his allegations, the Governor said no one needs any proof at this point, considering that the government has refused to tag the killers as terrorists and was quick to tag the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB as terrorists.
“If he was quick to go after Igboho in South West and Nnamdi Kanu, but fails to do the same to the bandits, that is my evidence” – He said
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