Terrorist groups preying in the Sahel-Sahara region are, henceforth, allying with separatism advocates and at least 100 members of the Polisario are actively committed with the Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and the Movement for oneness and jihad in West Africa (MUJAO).
The warning came from Morocco’s general delegate for the penitentiary administration and reintegration, Mohamed Salah Tamek, who co-chairs the security work group of the Morocco-US strategic dialog.
He stressed that “this alliance is all the more alarming as the AQIM and MUJAO rings have taken such a scope that it also includes the Boko Haram terrorist group which has kidnapped over 200 hundred girls as well as the Chabab movement in Somalia, author of the explosion against a mall in Nairobi in 2013.”
Tamek who was speaking during a conference held by the American think-tank “The Washington Institute for Near East Policy” on “Morocco’s approach in the fight against violent terrorism”, urged for more efficient international counter-terrorism action and securing that all local Al Qaeda branches do not take profit of effects of the Arab spring to gain foothold in countries of the sub-region.
He also called for more resolved involvement in promoting democracy and liberal movements and re-considering education and religious policies through a moderate and tolerant approach.
Tamek further noted that authorities need to expand laws on the fight against financial support to terrorism and intensify technical cooperation at the regional and international levels.
He also underscored Morocco’s “concrete engagement”, under the leadership of HM King Mohammed VI, in promoting cooperation in the fight against terrorism with countries of the sub-region, recalling that the Sovereign, himself, underlined this approach and urged for mutually-profitable south-south economic cooperation during the speech he delivered at the official inauguration of Malian president Boubacar Keita, in September 2013.
Tamek cited among aspects of this fruitful anti-terrorism cooperation, cooperation in religious matters with Mali and the training of 500 Malian imams in Morocco, in addition to the fact that several other countries, including Cote d’Ivoire, Niger, Libya, Tunisia and Guinea-Conakry that have requested Morocco’s help to train their imams.