Africa works to contain 'terrorist arc'

May 14, 2013 at 11:40 AM

UNITED NATIONS, May 14 (UPI) -- An arc of terrorism may stretch across Africa if governments there don't have the means to contain the threat, the president of the U.N. Security Council said.

The U.N. Security Council declared the fight against terrorism in Africa through conventional law enforcement strategies needs a reconciliation and human rights counterpart.

Togo President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe, whose country holds the rotating presidency at the Security Council, said there is "every reason to fear the creation of a terrorist arc" that spreads from Mauritania to Nigeria without effect strategies.

The Security Council said long-term strategies must include efforts to build state capacity, reduce poverty and promote good governance throughout the Sahel region. The council called on African leaders to work closely with the African Union and other regional blocs to ensure that counter-terrorism strategies don't rely exclusively on the use of force.

The Economic Community of West African States said it would do its part to push for a holistic approach to stem terrorism.

Mali, Algeria and Libya are just a few of the countries in the region struggling to contain the threat from groups like al-Qaida.

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