Politics  |  World  

Terrified, A World Locked Down By Terrorism

By Kamal Tayo Oropo   |   29 November 2015   |   1:46 am  
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ORDINARILY, when Turkey shot down a Russian jet over allegation of unathorised (17 seconds) flight into its airspace, all hell might have been let loose. Moscow would have sought its pound of flesh on Istanbul. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), to which Turkey is a member, would have come to its defence militarily and the face-off would have escalated, reminiscent of events leading to World War I. But there is no prospect for now. The world faces a more terrified war in the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL), a war of terror without borders.

From its base in the Middle East to Africa. Europe to America. The world is under a state of hysteria and terrified of the next place to bear the brunt of gruesome activities of ISIL or any of its affiliates in terror. They come in different shades, but with no clear-cut ideology or negotiable nationalist demand, even as they are largely indiscriminate in their targets. Their stock of trade –– minimum provocation, maximum terror. Mostly clad in supposedly religious garment, but their activities and respect for the sanctity of life is anything but religious. By combination of many factors, the ISIL may have emerged as the deadliest in the history of terror.

Terrifying as last Tuesday’s shooting portray, Turkey and Russia have started working together to intensify the war against ISIL. Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Friday said the incident was not an act against a specific country. “While the measures to defend our territory will remain in place, Turkey will work with Russia and our allies to calm tensions,” Davutoglu.

He stressed that if Turkey and Russia are at odds, the winner will be IS, derisively known as Daesh. “This is the time to stand firm against Daesh,” Davotoglu said. “Collective action that harnesses the varying strengths of the US, the EU, Russia, Turkey and others can, and will, turn the tide.”

Also, Moscow has announced that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had requested a meeting with Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, tomorrow (Monday) on the sidelines of the climate change conference (COP21) in Paris.

On November 20, 2015, the UN Security Council unanimously passed resolution 2249 of 2015, noting that acts of terrorist organisations like ISIL constitute “a global and unprecedented threat to international peace and security.”

Speaking to The Guardian, the country director of the United Nations Information Center (UNIC), Dr. Ronald D. Kayanja, stressed the danger the activities of groups like the IS pose to the international community. According to him, “The UN recognises that the heinous acts of terrorism carried out now constitute a threat to international peace and security.”

The Security Council also reaffirmed that “terrorism in all forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivations, whenever and by whomsoever committed.”

Against the backdrop of claims of injustice, or perception of it, in the Middle East as one of the reasons for escalation of terror activities, Kayanja reiterated the UN position on such impression. He said, “According to the UN, acts of terrorism cannot be justified for whatever reasons or motivations. Terrorism is unjustifiable.”

But beyond the hysteria, is the international community responding appropriately? What are they doing satisfactorily? What are they not doing? Presently, the United State is carrying out the largest operation against the IS, with over 150 warplanes bombing the group’s bases in Iraq and Syria. Also, a number of EU countries are using the situation to tighten the noose on migrants. “In this instance, one can recall the position of the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon. The UN Secretary-General has always reiterated his strong belief in the need for a holistic approach to preventing and countering the scourge of terrorism, stressing due regard for international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law, Kayanja said.

According to him, it is not correct to say the UN has not been active in the war against terror. “The UN Counter Terrorism Committee (CTC) is guided by Security Council resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005), the CTC works to bolster the ability of United Nations Member States to prevent terrorist acts both within their borders and across regions. It was established in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.”

The resolution calls upon countries to implement a number of measures intended to enhance their legal and institutional ability to counter terrorist activities, including taking steps to criminalise the financing of terrorism, freezing without delay any funds related to persons involved in acts of terrorism, as well as, denying all forms of financial support for terrorist groups.

Other measures include, suppressing the provision of safe haven, sustenance or support for terrorists; sharing information with other governments on any groups practicing or planning terrorist acts, cooperating with other governments in the investigation, detection, arrest, extradition and prosecution of those involved in such acts; and criminalising active and passive assistance for terrorism in domestic law and bringing violators to justice.

According to Kayanja, “You must also recall that the resolution also calls on countries to become parties, as soon as possible, to the relevant international counter-terrorism legal instruments. Specifically, resolution 1624 of 2005 pertains to incitement to commit acts of terrorism, calling on countries to prohibit it by law, prevent such conduct and deny safe haven to anyone with respect to whom there is credible and relevant information giving serious reasons for considering that they have been guilty of such conduct.”

Complimenting the US 150 warplanes, France has a total of 38 planes going after IS stronghold. Russia, a strong ally of the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has 34. Australia and Canada has six, respectively. However, new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has vowed to end Canada’s role in the fight against IS.

Whatever the world does, it should not back off fighting the terror group, wherever they are found, security expert and Rwanda-based UN consultant, Mr. Gani Are, told The Guardian. According to him, “They thrive on creating maximum fear. The more tension and fear they create, the more entrenched and attractive they become to would-be members. The international community must never give in to fear. We must not give in. in any case, if you do that, then what becomes of everyone? What does the terror group want? Their ways of life? How many people subscribe to their ways, even in the communities under their captivity? Their so-called popularity was procured through fear. Without the instrumentality of creating fear, it is doubtful if they would remain popular anywhere in the world.”



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