UN warns of rising terrorism in Central Asia, North Africa

Governments in Central Asia and the Sahel-Maghreb region should build up capacity to fight growing al Qaeda-led terrorism, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Monday. Ban said he is committed to working with government leaders in those areas to strengthen their counterterrorism capacity, considering the gravity of the situation there.

“In Central Asia, the UN is already working on capacity-building in the areas of law enforcement, criminal justice and international cooperation,” Ban told a UN Security Council session on counterterrorism, held under the council presidency of Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu.

Ban said the UN over the lpast five years has expanded its counterterrorism activities, increased interagency coordination and enhanced partnerships with a wide range of international and regional organizations.

Washington has called on governments in the Sahel-Maghreb region to cooperate as al-Qaeda has reportedly expanded its activities there.

Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Libya, Mali, Mauritania and Niger met in the spring in Algiers to collectively confront the threat of terrorism.

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who attended the high-level council meeting, reiterated US support for UN programmes fighting global terrorism, including a UN list provided to governments of names of suspected al-Qaeda terrorists. The list is regularly updated.

“The US is committed to working through multilateral institutions, including the UN, to confront the threat posed by terrorists,” she said, calling for strengthening those institutions.

The council debate was convened by Turkey, which holds the rotating presidency of the 15-nation council in September, to highlight and strengthen UN counterterrorism programmes.

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