Sierra Leone’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mamadi Gobeh Kamara while addressing the Sixth Committee of the United Nations General Assembly on the agenda item “Measures to eliminate international terrorism” reaffirmed Sierra Leone’s unequivocal condemnation of terrorism and violent extremism in all its forms and manifestations across the world.
Madam Kamara maintained that frantic efforts should be made to address critical aspects in the fight against terrorism adding that Sierra Leone is vigorously implementing the 2005 Anti-Money Laundering Act as amended in 2012 to include prohibition and punishment for the financing of terrorism.
Terrorism on the continent of Africa has been rising sharply over the decade with regrettable attacks by non-State actors increasingly targeting civilians in their horrific campaigns of violence.
The Deputy Minister thus noted that Sierra Leone is deeply concerned over the spate of terrorism in the West African sub-region and as a Member State of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), she underscored that the ECOWAS member States are taking steps, within the multilateral processes, to address the scourge of terrorism in the sub-region.
In highlighting additional steps taken by the Government of Sierra Leone to contain terrorism, she stated that Sierra Leone has “further enhanced the work of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) established in 2013 to prevent and suppress terrorism financing”. She also informed that the conduct of biometric identification and verification processes at all points of entry into Sierra Leone to identify red listed individuals in the global terrorist list are some of the key policy initiatives being pursued by the Government of Sierra Leone.
Madam Kamara called for support as the global dialogue continues with relevant United Nations agencies in the implementation of the go-travel software to monitor and report on movements of known and suspected terrorists through Advance Passenger Information and the Passenger Name Record as part of the pilot project rolled out by the UN Counter Terrorism Travel Programme to counter terrorist movements.
Deputy Minister Madam Kamara had earlier aligned the delegation of Sierra Leone’s statement with those delivered by the distinguished representatives of Morocco on behalf of the African Group, the Islamic Republic of Iran on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement and Saudi Arabia on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
In demonstrating Sierra Leone’s leadership at the Sixth Committee, Madam Kamara, on behalf of Sierra Leone called for the urgent finalization of the process to conclude a comprehensive convention on international terrorism (CCIT), and in appreciating the work done so far by the ad hoc committee on the draft CCIT, she further called for continued efforts and cooperate in reaching consensus to resolve the outstanding issues.
Madam Kamara recalled that the negotiations on the draft CCIT started in 2000, and it is now 2021. Over the 21 years that has elapsed, substantial negotiations have taken place and the convention is almost complete. The outstanding issues, however, continue to test the collective will of the UN member States. With Sierra Leone, acting in the capacity as Coordinator of the Informal Working Group on the Outstanding Issues, she called for renewed commitment to move forward the negotiations and for the working group to deliver on the collective mandate to further develop the legal framework concerning international terrorism by concluding the CCIT.
*By Mohamed Massaquoi Information Attache at the Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the United Nations Email: email@example.com Tel:9172940331.