The opening ceremony, chaired by Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel, was attended by AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Smail Chergui and Under-Secretary-General for UN Political Affairs Taye Brook Zerihoun .
Co-organized by Algeria and the Commission of the African Union (AU), this two-day Forum is part of the mandate entrusted to the President of the Republic, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, by his peers from the AU, as coordinator of the AU’s efforts in the field of prevention and the fight against terrorism.
This meeting in Oran brings together counter-terrorism officials from AU member states, representatives of partners, regional economic communities and African and international experts.
I affirm, once again, the willingness and readiness of my country, represented by President of the Republic Abdelaziz Bouteflika, as a coordinator of AU’s efforts in terms of prevention and fight against terrorism, to spare no effort that can give a concrete expression to this noble mission and we work incessantly to fight against terrorism in our continent,” said Messahel at the opening of the high-level Forum.
The minister broached the various challenges of violent extremism and terrorism, phenomena requiring unity and solidarity of our continent to face these scourges.
In this regard, he pointed out that “while preparing to take up these challenges, our countries and peoples can combine their efforts and resources for their development and prosperity.”
Abdelkader Messahel broached the risks related to the return of the African terrorists to their countries after their military defeat in Syria and Iraq, pointing out that these armed elements tend to settle in these regions to continue their terrorist objectives.
In this regard, the minister said that the terrorist organisation called Daesh called on its elements to return to Libya, Sahel region and Sahara, adding that there are reports on the movements of foreign combatants.