~ Dory: Transnational terrorism a “poisonous mix”
RABAT (October 26, 2013) – On the second day of the Atlantic Dialogues, Amanda J. Dory, deputy assistant secretary for African affairs at the U.S. Department of Defense, said that the conversation regarding stability in Africa has changed over the last decade from war and genocide to worrying pockets of conflict and insurgency. “We are seeing the arrival of transnational elements taking advantage of local grievances,” she explained. “This is truly the challenge of the moment. It’s a poisonous mix. There’s a trans-border exchange of finance, expertise, and fighters.”
“It takes a network to fight a network,” she continued, encouraging regional and partner powers to coordinate their anti-terrorism efforts.
Ms. Dory was speaking at The Atlantic Dialogues, a high-level gathering of international public- and private-sector leaders from around the Atlantic Basin. The Atlantic Dialogues is a joint initiative of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the OCP Foundation, and the OCP Policy Center in Morocco.
The conference’s first panel of the day focused on security issues in Africa. Lt. Gen. Pasquale Preziosa, chief of the Italian Air Force, agreed with Dory. “We cannot answer global phenomena with a single state. I think what we need is just to link all the countries together,” he said. “We do not have the right tools” to cope with new, non-traditional threats.
Major General Obed Akwa, commandant and executive director of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, said that the long-term solution is to remove the motivation for extremism. “most of the young men who undertake this suicide bombing are not involved in business and therefore, they would take any option that comes to them,” he said. “We have to take better care of our people.”The next panel also touched on Africa, focusing on the infrastructure challenges in the countries around the Atlantic Basin. Jean-Pierre Elong Mbassi, secretary general of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa, said that very often African cities are ignored in favor of its rural areas. “The feeling is this continent will come out of poverty through agriculture,” he said. “Africa’s cities are seen as pale copies of what cities should be.”
Also on that panel, Rachel MacCleery, senior vice president for content at the Urban Land Institute, said that often planners and engineers lose sight of the ultimate goal of infrastructure. “If we think about the needs of people first, it solves a lot of problems,” she said. “We should be building for people, not for cars or technology.”
Dominique Lallement, an international development consultant with 40 years’ experience at the World Bank, was even more specific. “Infrastructure is often thought of as a male sector, but infrastructure provides services for both women and men,” she said. “Their needs may differ, so planners must understand everyone’s needs.”
The Atlantic Dialogues is a high-level gathering of international public- and private-sector leaders from around the Atlantic Basin. The Atlantic Dialogues is organized by the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) in partnership with the OCP Foundation, and OCP Policy Center of Morocco. The Atlantic Dialogues brings together around 300 high-level public- and private-sector leaders from around the Atlantic Basin for three days of open, informal discussion on cross-regional issues ranging from security to economics, migration to energy. Participants from North and South America, Africa, Europe and Asia include senior officials, business leaders, opinion shapers, and the media.
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