AU mission assessing Namibia's readiness to fight terrorism

Windhoek - A delegation from the African Union’s Africa Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT) is in Namibia to evaluate and review the implementation of the Namibia Central Intelligence Service's counter-terrorism strategy.

The evaluation and review of that strategy is being conducted at a five-day workshop, which commenced in the capital, Windhoek, on Monday. The workshop was opened by the Director-General (DG) of the Namibia Central Intelligence Service (NCIS), Lieutenant-General (Retired) Lucas Petrus Hangula.

He said the evaluation exercise was important to Namibia as it would assist the country in streamlining endeavours undertaken by the government in dealing with the threat of terrorism. The workshop is set to critically assess whether Namibia is living up to its commitments in accordance with the AU Plan of Action (2000) and other relevant decisions related to the fight against terrorism.

Hangula noted that the exercise should ascertain whether Namibia had the necessary capacity, infrastructure and required resources to prevent and combat terrorism, and would further develop recommendations in relation to steps Namibia could take to fully comply with the required standard and readiness for the prevention and combating the threat of terrorism.

Meanwhile, ACSRT Director Fransico Caetano Madeira said the workshop would pay particular attention to anti-terrorism legislation, to measures taken to combat terrorist financing, and to the level of co-operation between the services and bodies in charge of fighting terrorism to border control management services.

He added that in essence, the workshop would address issues which would enable the ACSRT to accomplish two goals -- listing the country's real needs in terms of technical assistance area by area, and according to identified priorities and also formulating recommendations for the Namibian government on measures aimed at improving the implementation of the commitments made in the framework of the Action Plan.

It will further formulate recommendations on procedures which endeavour to advance the coordination and teamwork between the services and agencies responsible for fighting terrorism and measures which intend to improve sub-regional and international cooperation.

The ACSRT is the technical appendage of the AU Commission, and is principally in charge of providing its expertise on all issues associated with the prevention and combating of terrorism in Africa. It aims to assist Member States to completely implement international and continental conventions on the fight against terrorism. – SAnews.gov.za-NNN-NAMPA