The governments of the United States, Italy, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia, along with the Republic of Benin, convened the Global Coalition to defeat Daesh/ISIS Africa Focus Group in Cotonou, Benin, on Wednesday.
This collaborative effort, involving 28 Coalition members, aims to strengthen counterterrorism capabilities in African nations facing threats from ISIS affiliates in coastal West Africa.
The meeting highlighted the persistent threat from ISIS affiliates such as Boko Haram in West Africa and reiterated the Coalition’s commitment to addressing this challenge.
Participants discussed regional security issues, acknowledging the multifaceted nature of the current challenges in the area.
The Africa Focus Group outlined its action plan, focusing on four key pillars: “1. strengthening and enhancing border security, biometric collection, and battlefield evidence capabilities; 2. countering ISIS propaganda, recruitment efforts; and building community resilience. 3. Improving Coalition member capabilities to reduce ISIS’s use of illicit finance 4. Countering malign influences that diminish counterterrorism efforts.”
According to the U.S. Department of State, the meeting also involved coordination with other multilateral initiatives, including the Accra Initiative, the G-5, the Coalition for the Sahel, and the Aqaba Process.
Furthermore, Coalition observer UNOCT briefed participants on the planned Africa summit in spring 2024, complementing international efforts to counter ISIS affiliates in Africa.
The U.S Department of State said, “Participants in the Cotonou meeting reaffirmed both the importance of ongoing frank and open exchanges and that Africa Focus Group members would continue to share and develop best practices to build partner capacity and assist those countries seeking assistance in countering terrorism.
“Finally, the Africa Focus Group Co-Chairs underscored that the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh/ISIS remains committed to confronting and defeating Daesh/ISIS in West Africa and elsewhere in the world, wherever it operates.”