African Union warns of return of African fighters from Iraq, Syria

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-18 06:22:32|Editor: yan
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ALGIERS, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- One of the main security challenges that Africa needs to address is the return of foreign fighters of terror groups from Iraq and Syria after their defeat there, said the African Union (AU) on Sunday.

The AU raised the concern on the 11th Focal Points Meeting of the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT), which started Sunday for three days in the Algerian capital of Algiers.

The AU is worried that the return of African fighters would undermine peace and security in the continent, as the fighters could form new terrorist cells and conduct terrorist attacks, not only in the most vulnerable regions, but also in areas which have never been hit by terrorist threats.

Some 6,000 African fighters, who joined the Islamic State (IS) camps in Iraq and Syria, could return home after their defeat. African countries have to cooperate closely to cope with the serious threat, Smail Chergui, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, quoted a UN report as saying.

Chergui further noted that "the international community has to help Africa in dealing with the challenge of terrorism just like it helped and stood up with Iraq and Syria in their fight against the Islamic State."

This meeting is attended by representatives from AU member states, in addition to several other regional and international security organizations, including the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa and NATO.