Strategies designed to decapitate terror networks
Southern Africa has come to realise that the fight against terrorism is not a job which can be undertaken by one single agency, it requires teamwork and input from a wide range of national and international organisations including law enforcement agencies, the military, the intelligence services, the financial sector, the diplomatic service and health organisations. The key to success is Organisation, Cooperation and Coordination hence the need for an integrated regional counterterrorism and counterinsurgency architecture. However, the sheer size of Southern Africa, the mosaic of cultural and societal differences creates daunting problems for intelligence gathering to penetrate some of the volatile terrains and decapitate multiple alliances of terrorist networks and organisations. This requires an integrated intelligence community that understands the dynamics ot the culturally embedded sub-clan structures that are used to motivate, harbour terror groups, as the case ot Somalia has shown.
Southern African Development Community: counter terrorism strategies
Although SADC has a small Muslim community when compared to the other regions, the period beyond 2001, has shown a steady growth of terror threat emanating from Islamic fundamentalism. As such, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) as a regional body has identified the international dimensions of terrorist which range from terrorist recruitment and training, financing, and operations that include sleeper cells operatives and human traffickers. As a result, the region’s combat posture necessitated the formation ot regional statutory bodies like; Migration Dialogue tor Southern Africa (MIDSA), Inter-state Defence and Security Committee (ISDSC), Inter-state Politics and Diplomacy Committee (ISPDC), Ministerial Committee Organisation (MCO) and the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services for Africa (CISSA) Southern Region among a host ot other counter-terrorist and counterinsurgency initiatives.
The concept of security in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is an elusive one as it encapsulates the critical aspects of human, economic, social, and environmental security. Security is an elusive concept in the sense that in SADC it mainly concerns with state security in Africa while other forms of security such as human security (economic, social, cultural, community, personal) are relegated to the terraces. This has been evidenced by the operations and guidelines ot the Organ tor Peace and Security in Southern Africa that do not articulate on security in its holistic sense by in terms of state security. This inclusive concept of security provides tor a holistic governance paradigm for the Southern African States in fulfilling their responsibilities to protect the lives and property of their citizens, as identified in the regional policy frameworks of the Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ (SIPO) and the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP). Given this sort of regional predisposition, the importance of regional States to steer clear of what one participant called “a blanket security approach,” which would ignore the dynamics through which security and development affect each other and make it easier for peoples’ rights to be violated.
To buttress the argument that Southern African is on high alert regarding terrorist threats, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) developed a Regional Counterterrorism Strategy which was adopted at the SADC Heads of State Summit on 18 August 2015. The new strategy is a response to confronting a number of threats and violent terrorist acts experienced on the continent also came at the request of the SADC Secretariat and the African Union’s Centre for Studies and Research on Terrorism (CAERT). This strategy which is modelled on the UN Counterterrorism Strategy (UNCCT) and the Bogota Guiding Principles for Counterterrorism Strategies focuses on the comprehensive prevention of terrorist activities that threaten to spill over from other regions. Since its adoption, UNCCT has helped to organise several expert workshops which bring together practitioners and Counterterrorism focal points from every SADC country. The workshops address measures to prevent and combat terrorism, conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, and the capacity-building needs of the Southern Africa region. For example, between November 2014 and October 2015, six such workshops have been organised thereby revealing evidence of the region’s vulnerability. Such workshops include the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Regional Counterterrorism Strategy drafting workshop on measures to prevent and combat terrorism. Held in Harare, Zimbabwe on 5—7 November 2014. Another initiative is that of The Integrated Counterterrorism and Non-proliferation of Anns Strategy for Central Africa drafting workshop on conditions conducive to the growth of terrorism and human rights and the mle of law that was brought about through a workshop held in Luanda, Angola, on 24—26 February 2015. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Regional Counterterrorism Strategy drafting workshop which addressed the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism and upholding the rule of law, held in Livingstone, Zambia, on 24—26 March 2015. The Integrated Counterterrorism and Non-proliferation of Arms Strategy for Central Africa drafting workshop on terrorist financing and money laundering held in Libreville, Gabon, from 19—21 May 2015. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Regional Counterterrorism Strategy drafting workshop on counterterrorism capacity building needs in the Southern Africa region, held in Gaborone, Botswana, on 10—11 June 2015, which also reviewed the draft strategy and associated Plan of Action that had been prepared by the SADC Secretariat, with extensive input from UNCCT, CAERT and the SADC Troika and the Integrated Counterterrorism and Non-proliferation of Arms Strategy for Central Africa drafting workshop on criminal justice responses to terrorism, held in Libreville, Gabon, from 29 September—1 October 2015. The thematic areas covered in all these workshops include police, security' and intelligence matters; customs, immigration, border control and small arms trafficking; conditions conducive to the growth of terrorism and human rights and the rule of law; terrorist financing and money laundering; and criminal justice responses to terrorism. Despite these efforts, Menkhaus in Zimmerman and Rosenau (2009:98) makes some inference on SADC in that is offers a conducive terrorist-prone environment in that “Sub-Saharan-Africa’s weak security sector and failed states continue to provide some non-African diasporas with safe heaven beyond the easy reach of counterterrorism operations.’’ He thus, cites Haroon Rashid Aswat, an Indian-born citizen of the UK, a suspect in the 2005 London bombings, who sought safe haven in Zambia, as a vindication of his argument (Menkhaus in Zimmemiann and William, ibid).