Last Tuesday a UN counter-terrorism office was opened, the first branch of this organism in an African country

Marruecos se convierte en el enclave antiterrorista de las Naciones Unidas

PHOTO / ARCHIVO - Morocco signed an agreement with the United Nations on Tuesday night, creating a UN programme to combat terrorism and training, the first in Africa

On Tuesday night, Morocco signed an agreement with the United Nations to create a UN programme to combat terrorism and the training of these criminal practices.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Living Abroad, Nasser Bourita, stressed during the signing of the agreement with the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Counter-Terrorism, Vladimir Voronkov, that this office aims to strengthen the capacities of African countries by developing national training programmes in the field of combating terrorism.

The agreement, which was signed by electronic means, will enable this office, based in Rabat, to advise and help the African countries address the growing terrorist threat on the continent.

The Moroccan minister stressed the need for this UN centre in a continent that is suffering increasingly from the terrorist threat with the multiplication of Jihadist groups: the reinforced presence of the self-styled Islamic State (IS) in Libya, the threat of Boko Haram in the west of the continent, Al-Shabab in Somalia and al-Qaeda in the Sahel.

"The Moroccan experience and the United Nations' benchmark will provide the best mechanisms for the African countries to address the terrorist threat", he stressed. The new centre will be aimed at training and disseminating good practices in the fight against terrorism.

According to Bourita, the new body will also be based on the "global and multidimensional" approach of the Moroccan anti-terrorism policy, taking into account the preventive dimension (police investigation), the religious dimension and the socio-economic dimension.

The number of victims of terrorist acts on the black continent has tripled in the past eight years, while terrorist attacks have risen from 700 in 2012 to 4,100 in the past year.

Mr Voronkov praised Morocco's commitment to the fight against terrorism and its collaboration with different international programmes and organisations to eradicate extremist violence and Jihadism. 

Nasser Bourita
Morocco dismantles a terrorist cell in the city of Tangiers

Demonstrating its tireless fight against terrorism, last week the Moroccan police dismantled a terrorist cell in Tangiers consisting of four alleged followers of the terrorist group Daesh.

According to a statement by the anti-terrorist body Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ), the rapid intervention troops had to fire warning shots during the operation to stop them.

The alleged terrorists intended to join the Daesh terrorist group in the Sahel area, but when they failed to do so, they decided to perpetrate "dangerous and imminent terrorist" actions against the Maghreb country.

During the operation, which took place in the popular Al-Aouama neighbourhood, the police confiscated knives, electronic equipment and a video in which the alleged leader of the network pays tribute to the Daesh group.

On 10 September the Moroccan police also dismantled a Jihadist command linked to Daesh made up of five presumed suicides who were then planning "imminent" attacks in Morocco.

The last terrorist attack suffered by Morocco occurred in December 2018, when a Jihadist commando killed and decapitated two Scandinavian tourists in the Atlas mountains; the perpetrators were arrested days later, tried and sentenced, three of them to death.