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continent

African leaders urge support for new security doctrine

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Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, Senegal’s Macky Sall, Mali’s Ibrahima Boubacar Keita and the president of the Commission of African Union Moussa Faki Mahamat are urging Africa to be more proactive in shaping the continent’s peace and security framework

African leaders on Monday used a regional forum to underline the need for the continent to assure its own security after years of Western interventions, while also calling for international funding to support the anti-terror fight.. The annual Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security this year brings together the presidents of Mali, Rwanda and host Senegal along with military officials and experts to discuss Africa’s serious challenges in the sector. In an opening address, Senegal’s President Macky Sall said a “military response must be comprehensive, and one of solidarity, to leave terrorist groups no place to hide.

“The risk today is seeing terrorists defeated elsewhere seeking fallback zones in Africa,” Sall added.

The vast Sahel region, stretching from Senegal to Sudan, has turned into a hotbed of lawlessness since chaos engulfed Libya in 2011, Islamists overran northern Mali in 2012 and Boko Haram rose up in northern Nigeria. Beyond the Sahel, the Shabaab, a militant group aligned with Al-Qaeda, regularly carries out suicide bombings in its bid to overthrow Somalia’s internationally-backed government, while civil conflicts in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and South Sudan blight the continent. Sall pointed to the Western intervention in Libya as an example of why African populations had to be involved in decisions on rooting out terror groups, as the north African nation’s instability has fuelled conflict elsewhere.

“We must beware of preconceived solutions formulated without Africans,” Sall said. “The consequences of these interventions, which we are living in the Sahel, are often worse than what they were supposed to rectify.”

– Sahal force funding –

The forum follows the recent launch of the G5 Sahel force, an anti-jihadist military initiative working across Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger to counter the significant threat Al-Qaeda-linked groups pose in the region and to stop the Islamic State group from gaining a foothold. The world’s newest joint international force, the five-nation G5 Sahel plans to number up to 5,000 military, police and civilian troops by March 2018. French Defence Minister Florence Parly described the G5 force as “a success”, though Moussa Faki Mahamat, head of the African Union Commission, said United Nations support was of “the greatest importance” for that initiative, and for another regional deployment in the Lake Chad region against Boko Haram.

France wanted the force to have full UN logistical and financial backing, but the United States argued against the idea, partly on cost grounds. The Dakar Forum is a French-backed initiative, and the European nation retains a heavy military presence across the Sahel. Mahamat, Sall and Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita all emphasised that the G5 Sahel force required significant funding from the international community, as current pledges stand at 108 million euros ($126 million) while up to 423 million euros may be required in the first year of its existence.

Paul Kagame, the Rwandan President who will chair the African Union from 2018, said African nations “have only ourselves to blame” if the international community alone decided on the continent’s security needs.

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References

  1. ^ e-mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)

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Norfolk Constabulary: European seatbelt campaign

05 september 2013

Police across Norfolk and Suffolk are continuing to focus on the
Fatal Four driving behaviours as part of a campaign to keep
Europe s roads safe.

From Monday 19 August to Sunday 25 August 2013, officers carried
out speed checks as part of the TISPOL (European Traffic Police
Network) week of action. One thousand five hundred and sixty five
(1565) drivers were caught over the speed limit across both
counties and were given either words of advice, a chance to take a
speed awareness course, a Fixed Penalty Notice of 100 and three
points on their licence, or were reported for court.

The next European-wide initiative focuses on seatbelts, and runs
from Monday 9 September to Sunday 15 September 2013. Led by
officers from the joint Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing Unit,
vehicles in which a driver or passenger is not wearing a seatbelt
will be stopped.

It is illegal not to wear a seatbelt when
travelling in a car or goods vehicle and it is the responsibility
of the driver to ensure all passengers under the age of 14 are
wearing a seatbelt or child restraint. Not wearing a seatbelt
attracts a 100 Fixed Penalty Notice.

Head of Roads Policing, Chief Inspector Chris Spinks said:
Policing the Fatal Four is our core business in Norfolk and
Suffolk. Roads Policing officers concentrate on these driving
offences every day as anyone committing them is putting themselves
and other road users in danger.

During the European weeks of action, we join up with our other
uniformed colleagues to focus on one of these behaviours across
both counties and contribute to a wider message across the
continent.

We use these weeks to educate as well as enforce, as we
want to change attitudes and make drivers think about the
potentially life-threatening or life-changing consequences of
speeding, using a mobile phone, consuming alcohol or for the coming
week, not wearing a seatbelt.

Many of the 1500+ drivers caught speeding will get the chance
to complete a speed awareness course.

Anyone stopped not wearing a
seatbelt next week will be given advice, and where appropriate a
Fixed Penalty Notice.

Our aim is for road users to understand
exactly the risks they are taking and how their actions can affect
others, and our work highlighting the Fatal Four continues after
each TISPOL campaign.

Follow the joint Roads Policing Unit on Twitter
@NSRoadsPolicing