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52 Heads of African Intelligence Agencies in Abuja for security Summit

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•Establish database for terrorist fighters
•Targets Illicit Financial Outflows from Africa
•Conference to be opened by Buhari
•Morocco, Eritrea, Seychelles not compliant yet

Senator Iroegbu

The 52 Director-Generals and Heads of Security and Intelligence Agencies of African countries who are members of the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA) are in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja to discuss the emerging security challenges across the continent.

This is coming as CISSA has established a database to track all terrorist fighters across the African continent, aimed at monitoring their movements and proactively disrupting their activities.

The Executive Secretary of CISSA, Mr. Shimeles W. Semayat, disclosed this on Wednesday while briefing journalists at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) Headquarters, Abuja.

Semayat said that the 4-day 16th Ordinary CISSA Conference, which will be hosted by the Director-General of NIA, Amb. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar, brings together under one roof, Intelligence Chiefs of the continent, with the theme: ‘Illicit Financial Outflows from Africa and Their Impact on National Security and Development’.

He noted that the Conference, which will be officially opened by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, will also have the African Union Chairperson, the Commissioner of the AU Commission Peace and Security Council (AUC PSC), as well as CISSA Strategic Partners (SP), Regional Mechanisms and other special guests in attendance.

According to him, the Conference will deliberate on major issues of concern on the continent and adopt appropriate strategies to deal with the various threats to peace, security and stability.

While fielding questions, Semayat stressed that there are security implications of Financial Outflows from Africa as well as financing of terrorists and extremists activities.

He noted that since the activities are highly transnational, it behoves on the African countries to cooperate, pool resources together, share and coordinate intelligence in order to effectively deal with the evolving security challenges confronting the continent.

It is on the premise, he revealed that the African security services are aiming to cut of the terrorists financing of which if it succeeds, would have dealt with 90 percent of the security problems.

He said: “We African security services and institutions need to coordinate so as to effectively tackle the dangers that might come from the terrorists. We are of the view that if we succeed in drying up the sources of funds for terrorists their activities will be drastically reduced by 90 percent. That is why the African countries are cooperating in sharing intelligence.

“To this end, CISSA has established a database for terrorist fighters in order to share this information easily with member states and monitor their movements and curb their activities.”

The CISSA Executive Secretary said the organisation was informed by “the realisation that the security threats confronting Africa were increasingly becoming transnational and borderless in nature, hence the need for the continent’s Intelligence and Security Services to cooperate and coordinate their efforts through collaborative action in order to most effectively respond to the security needs of the continent”.

He said: “One of the key objectives of CISSA is to provide intelligence support to the African Union leadership in its efforts to maintain peace, security and stability in Africa by means of prevention, management and resolution of conflicts and elimination of all forms of security threats on the continent.

“In this regard, CISSA functions as a ‘Silent Pillar of African Union Peace and Security Architecture’ and provides strategic and predictive intelligence to the African Union Commission, in particular the Peace and Security Council (PSC), for informed policy decision making relating to the maintenance of peace, security and stability on the continent.”

Semayat said that currently, “52 Intelligence and Security Services of the 55 African Union Member States are members of CISSA” with the exception of only three including Morocco, Eritrea and Seychelles.

Nigeria’s Foreign Spy-Chief, Rufai Abubakar, will at the opening of the Conference on Thursday be appointed to take over as the Chairperson of CISSA from the incumbent, Amb. B.K. Likando of the Namibian Intelligence Service for a period of one year until the next Conference in Cairo, Egypt.

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