Un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk

un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk

A 10-day conference on human rights and democracy convened by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) opening this week. The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar has noted that At a press conference following the 8th Moscow Conference on. Combating Organized Crime in Asian-Pacific Region: Organization and Cooperation Problems: Papers Presented at International Conference. Irkutsk: IRGTU. un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk

Un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk - seems

Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TraCCC)

Feoktistov, M.V.Economic and Official Crimes. / Specialized study course.- Saratov, Saratov Research Center on Organized Crime and Corruption: Satellite, 2003.Dosyukova T. VOrgainized Crime in Economic Sphere: Problems of Categorization/ Specialized Course.- Saratov, Saratov Research Center on Organized Crime and Corruption: Satellite, 2003.Garmaev. Y.P.Participation of Dishonest Lawyers in Organized Crime and Corruption: Analysis and Problems of Combating. Specialized Training Course.- Saratov, Saratov Research Center on Organized Crime and Corruption: Satellite, 2003.Crime and Corruption: Contemporary Russian Realities. Compilation of Research Papers.- Saratov, Saratov Research Center on Organized Crime and Corruption: Satellite, 2003.- 248 PagesEvstifeeva E.V.Organized Crime and Human Trafficking: Criminological and Criminal-Legal Analysis: Specialized study course/Edited By Kobzeeva E.V. – Saratov, Saratov Research Center on Organized Crime and Corruption, 2004.Chuklinov A.E.Administrative Resources as Specific Form of Political Corruption: Specialized Study Course/ Edited By Kobzeeva E.V. – Saratov, Saratov Research Center on Organized Crime And Corruption, 2004.Crime And Criminal Law: Realities, Tendencies and Interrelations: Compilation of Research Papers/ Edited By Prof. N.A. Lopashenko.- Kobzeeva E.V. – Caratov, Saratov Research Center on Organized Crime and Corruption, 2004. -586 PagesOrganized Crime and Corruption: Results of Criminological-Sociological Surveys. 1st Edition./ Edited By Prof. N. A. Lopahenko. – Saratov, Saratov Research Center on Organized Crime and Corruption: Satellite, 2005.Klimenko N.Y.Drug Use And Drug Business: Problems of Combating at Federal and Regional Levels: Specialized Course/ Edited By E. V. Kobzeeva. Saratov, Saratov Research Center on Organized Crime and Corruption: Satellite, 2005.Klimenko I.I.Problems of Combating Organized Crime: Specialized Study Course/ Edited By E. V. Kobzeeva. Saratov, Saratov Research Center on Organized Crime and Corruption: Satellite, 2005.Contemporary Types of Russian and International Crime: Analysis, Tendencies, Ways of Combating. Compilation of Research Papers, Edited By Prof. N.A. Lopashenko. Saratov, Saratov Research Center on Organized Crime and Corruption: Satellite, 2005. – 548 Pages.Vedernikov O.N.International Legal Foundations of Combating Organized Crime, Terrorism and Corruption/ Specialized course. / Edited By Prof. N.A. Lopashenko. Saratov, Saratov Research Center on Organized Crime and Corruption: Satellite, 2006 -96 Pages.Garmaev Y.PMethods of Prosecution on Bribery/ Specialized Lecture Course. Edited By Prof. N.A. Lopashenko. Saratov, Saratov Research Center on Organized Crime and Corruption: Satellite, 2006. – 136 Pages.Shesler A.V.Group Crimes: Criminological and Criminal Law Aspects: Specialized Study Course/ Prof. N.A. Lopashenko. Saratov, Saratov Research Center on Organized Crime and Corruption: Satellite, 2006 – 144 Pages.Organized Crime and Corruption: Results of Criminological-Sociological Surveys. 2nd Edition./ Edited By Prof. N. A. Lopahenko. – Saratov, Saratov Research Center on Organized Crime and Corruption: Satellite, 2006.- 270 PagesCriminal –Legal Policy And Problems of Combating Contemporary Crime/ Compilation of Research Papers, Edited By Prof. N. A. Lopahenko. – Saratov, Saratov Research Center on Organized Crime and Corruption: Satellite, 2006.- 652 PagesRepetskaya A.L.Criminal Market Of Russia. – Saratov: Saratov Research Center on Organized Crime and Corruption: Satellite, 2007.- 120 Pages.

Ambassador Liu Guchang Hosts Press Conference on Premier Wen Jiabao's Visit to Russia

On September 16, 2004, at the invitation of the Interfax of Russia, Chinese Ambassador to Russia Liu Guchang hosted a press conference in the news agency to take questions on Premier Wen Jiabao's upcoming official visit to Russia and holding the 9th Regular Meeting between Chinese and Russian Prime Ministers as well as on China-Russia relations and international issues. More than 50 journalists from a number of Russian correspondents such as Interfax, ITAR-TASS, Novosti Press Agency,"Lighthouse" Radio, Russian First National Channel, thirty party news agencies such as Reuters, AFP and Kyodo News as well as resident Chinese correspondents in Russia attended the press conference.

The following is the full text of the Q&A of the press conference.

Liu Guchang: It is a great pleasure for me to meet our friends from the media. The Chinese side has announced that Chinese Premier of the State Council Wen Jiabao will pay an official visit to Russia and will hold the 9th Regular Meeting between Chinese and Russian Prime Ministers from September 23 to 25. This will be the first time for Premier Wen to visit Russia since he took office and also the first time for him to meet with Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov. Therefore, it represents a great event in bilateral relations. During the visit, Premier Wen will hold small-range and large-range talks with his Russian counterpart and meet with President Vladimir Putin, the Speaker of the Upper House of the Russian Parliament Sergei Mironov as well as the Duma Chairman Boris Gryzlov. Moreover, he will also hold talks with representatives from the scientific and educational circles and meet with a delegation of 100 Chinese youths as well as Russian youth representatives together with Prime Minister Fradkov. Premier Wen will deliver important speeches to various communities in Russia.

China-Russia relations are in a critical stage of development. During this visit, Premier Wen will hold in-depth discussions from a strategic perspective with Russian leaders on how to comprehensively deepen China-Russian strategic and coordinative partnership and promote pragmatic cooperation in various fields. Important achievements will be yielded. Premier Wen's visit is also the last important preparation for the meeting between the heads of state of the two countries in Beijing in October. He will exchange in-depth views and reach consensus on important contents of the meeting between the two heads of state in Beijing with Russian leaders.

Premier Wen's visit coincides with Russia's move on adopting every measure to counter terrorism and safeguard national solidarity, sovereignty and security. Premier Wen will bring with him the sincere sympathy and firm support of the Chinese leaders, government and people to the Russian leaders, government and people.

Both China and Russia give high priority to this visit. State Councilor Chen Zhili and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov co-hosted the 5th Meeting of China-Russia Cooperation Committee on Education, Science, Culture, Health and Sports days ago to prepare for bilateral cooperation in humanities. Vice Premier Wu Yi and Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov will also co-host the 8th Conference of the Committee on the Regular Meeting between Chinese and Russian Prime Ministers to make further preparations in the economic and trade field. We have every reason to believe that Premier Wen's visit will be a productive one and will help consolidate China-Russia good-neighborly friendship, enhance political mutual trust, deepen reciprocal cooperation and comprehensively push forward China-Russia strategic and coordinative partnership.

Thank you for your interest in Premier Wen's visit and I believe you will cast full coverage on it. Now I would like to take your questions.

Q (Interfax): It is reported that the agreement on the conclusion of negotiations on Russia's accession to the WTO will be signed before or during the meeting of the two Prime Ministers. I am wondering whether it will be discussed during the Regular Meeting of Prime Ministers of the two countries.

Chinese Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai held in-depth discussions with Russian Minister of Economy and Trade German Gref on Russia's accession to the WTO in August this year and important progress was made. Recently the new round of negotiations between the two sides, that is the 8th round, was held in Beijing and further progress was achieved. There are still some issues left. I am convinced that as long as we strive for the same goal, it is very possible for the two sides to reach consensus during Premier Wen's visit to Russia. We have set it as an objective to realize during the preparations for his visit.

Q (Interfax): I have two questions. First, how will China and Russia cooperate in the field of counter-terrorism? Second, how did China support Russia after the latter was hit by a series of terrorist attacks and what is China's stance?

China and Russia have been cooperating closely in the field of counter-terrorism. First, the stances of China and Russia are almost entirely identical. Fore instance, both of us are opposed to terrorism in any form, to double standards on the issue of counter-terrorism and to fighting against terrorism with hegemony. Second, after the 911 Incident, China and Russia immediately established a working group for counter-terrorism consultations. Up to now, four rounds of consultations have been held to discuss all kinds of issues related to counter-terrorism and to coordinate stances. Third, the special departments of the two countries have conducted close and fruitful cooperation. Fourth, the two sides have also collaborated closely within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to fight against "three forces" jointly.

After Russia was hit by terrorist attacks recently, the Chinese leaders, government and people have expressed the stance of the Chinese side in various forms, strongly condemning terrorist acts. They also expressed their sincere feelings to side with the Russian people and to support all measures adopted by Russia to fight against terrorism and safeguard national sovereignty, solidarity and security. What I would like to stress is that the sympathy and support to Russia offered by China are genuinely sincere without any conditions affiliated. After the hostage incident, the Chinese government offered medical instruments and pharmaceutical assistance worth 10 million RMB yuan to Russia and the Red Cross Organization of China offered 100-thousand-dollar cash to the Russian side, both of which have been put into place. The Chinese government was also planning to accept some injured children to China for treatment but learned that some parents were reluctant to send their children abroad for treatment. Therefore, the Chinese side immediately decided to send off a medical team consisting of experienced doctors and nurses to Russia to help treat the injured children. All in all, China will continue to firmly support Russia's efforts in fighting against the separatist forces in Chechnya and all kinds of terrorist forces.

QI would like to ask a follow-up question on the issue of Russia's accession to the WTO by the correspondent with Interfax. You said just now that some issues have not yet been agreed upon by the two sides. Could you share with us what are the issues that have not been agreed upon? And what economic cooperation projects will be discussed during Premier Wen's visit to Russia?

First, I am not fully clear about what issues have not been agreed upon by China and Russia on Russia's accession to the WTO. Second, even if I were clear, it would not be convenient for me to disclose them here. Premier Wen will start his visit in a few days and judging from the efforts made by the two sides you probably will not be interested in the question any more in a few days.

Premier Wen will hold in-depth discussions with Russian leaders on bilateral cooperation in various fields including how to expand economic and trade relations, how to realize diversification of bilateral economic and trade cooperation, how to promote cooperation in energy as well as scientific and technological fields.

Q (People's Daily): Will the two countries expand consular institutions in each other? What is the prospect for China to open a consulate general in Ekaterinburg and for Russia to open a consulate general in Guangzhou?

China-Russia relations have developed to a very high level. Bilateral personnel exchanges and cooperation in various areas are developing in an all-round way. Each of us has only two consulates in the other country. Russia's consulates general are located in Shanghai and Shenyang while China's consulates general are located in St. Petersburg and Khabarovsk. The arrangement of consular institutions has already not been able to meet the requirement of the development of bilateral relations. After assuming office, I have visited some areas in Russia's Far East and Siberia. Local leaders strongly called on the two sides to expand consular institutions in each other. For instance, leaders in Irkutsk once clearly indicated to Chinese national leaders that they hoped to see a consular institution in their state. It is the same with the Chinese side. People in many places hope Russia can open a consular institution there. In as early as 1994, the two heads of state have reached an agreement in principle on establishing two consulates general in Ekaterinburg and Guangzhou respectively. However, due to technical reasons, the two sides failed to agree upon relevant documents. Currently the two sides are busy negotiating on the draft document on the establishment of consulates which we hope can be signed as early as possible.

The two sides are also discussing the possibility on the technical level to upgrade Vladivostok Office of Khabarovsk Consulate General and Harbin Office of Shenyang Consulate General to two consulates general. In a word, China and Russia share the same view that to expand consular institutions in each other is a necessity and represents an urgent requirement of the development of bilateral relations.

Q (AFP): Will Premier Wen discuss the issue of Russia supplying oil to China with the Russian leaders? And what about Russia, China and Korea's cooperation on natural gas pipeline construction? Will the two leaders touch upon the KoreanPeninsula nuclear issue?

It has been tens years since Russia proposed in the first place to build the crude oil pipeline to China. Both countries have contributed considerable work and investments to that end. Construction of oil pipeline to China has been the consensus reached by both leaderships and governments on a number of occasions, which was confirmed by a series of documents between the two sides. As for the route of the pipeline, there were originally two plans, namely the southern route and northern route. But both have been vetoed due to internal reasons in Russia, especially environmental protection issues. So far as I know, there is a new plan proposed by the Russian side currently, namely the route from Taishet to Nakhodka, including a branch route to China. Russia has made an explicit decision to build pipeline to China in its Energy Strategy up to 2020. Recently, Russian leaders, in particular Khristenko, the minister in charge of the industry, indicated firmly on a number of occasions the determination to construct a pipeline to China. During our recent meeting, he said to me that Russia boasts the largest reserves and the strongest exploration capacity in oil and natural gas and China is the largest and most stable market in demand for oil and natural gas, which constitutes the most reliable foundation for China-Russia cooperation in the area energy. It is believed that Premier Wen's visit to Russia will push forward the implementation of pipeline project at an early date.

As for the natural gas pipeline project, Energy Cooperation Agreement signed between the Chinese and Russian governments in 2000 contains such content as Russia will supply natural gas to China, including the pipeline from Kovykta to China and the ROK and the exploration of Kovykta gas field. The feasibility research of natural gas pipeline project has been completed and is waiting for government approval. It is our hope that this plan may be approved and implemented as soon as possible.

The supply of oil by Russia to China via railway is going smoothly. In accordance with agreement between both parties, the volume will reach 5.5 million tons this year. In the Meeting of China-Russia Energy Cooperation Sub-Committee held in Beijing recently, Minister Khristenko indicated clearly that Russia will make all efforts to promote the expansion of oil supply from Russia to China via railway to 10 million tons by 2005 and 12 million tons by 2006. In the 8th Regular Meeting between Chinese and Russian Prime Ministers, Russia solemnly announced to China that Russia will build a crude oil pipeline to China and before the completion of the pipeline Russia promises to provide China with oil via railway.

As for the third question, I think Premier Wen will exchange in-depth views with Russian leaders on critical international and regional issues, including the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula. Every time we exchange views on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, we find almost no difference in the positions and views of China and Russia. In most cases, our stances are basically identical. For example, both parties insist to ensure the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, to ensure the peace and stability of the peninsula and to ensure the solution of the problem by all parties involved through peaceful and diplomatic means and negotiations.

Q (Oil Information Agency, Interfax):"Yukos", the current oil supplier to China, has encountered some problems at the moment. Will it affect oil supply to China? If the Russian government decides to auction "Yuganskneftegaz", a subsidiary of "Yukos", will China participate in the auction? If yes, what will be the terms?

The issue of "Yukos" is purely an internal affair of Russia. China has never interfered and will never interfere by any means. Despite the changes in Yukos, there has been no problem with oil supply to China via railway. I think no matter what changes take place in Russia's oil and natural gas companies, the Russian government is competent to ensure oil supply to China via railway.

As for whether China intends to purchase "Yuganskneftegaz oil and natural gas", I can definitely claim that no Chinese company has ever indicated the intention to participate in the bidding.

Q (Xinhua News Agency): Could you share with us your views on the prospect of China-Russia economic and trade cooperation? What's your prediction for bilateral trade in this year?

The bilateral trade volume exceeded USD 15.7 billion last year. The total volume for the first seven months is USD 11.14 billion, a year-on-year increase of 37.4 percent. It is expected to hit USD 20 billion this year. Since 1999, the annual growth rate for bilateral trade has averaged 25 percent. If we take the USD 20 billion as the base and provided that bilateral trade grows at 20 percent annually, China-Russia trade volume will reach USD 60 billion by 2010. If the annual growth rate reaches 25 percent, the volume will hit USD 80 billion.

During Premier Wen's visit, the two sides may set an even higher objective for bilateral economic and trade cooperation. As neighbors, China and Russia enjoy sound political relations and robust economic development. It is very likely that our trade will witness further development with higher level. In the first 8 months, China's trade with the European Union, the United States and Japan have all exceeded USD 100 billion. It is hoped that China-Russia trade volume can also exceed USD 100 billion at an early date. This requires the efforts of both sides.

Q(Reuters):Is there any hope for Russia to participate in the second phase construction of Tianwan Nuclear Power Station? Will the two sides reach an agreement on this issue during Premier Wen's visit to Russia?

It is possible for the two sides to talk about this issue. As for how the second phase project will be determined and who will undertake the project, it will large depend on the progress of the ongoing first phase project, especially the quality of the project.

Q (Guangming Daily): You mentioned just now that Premier Wen will meet with more than 100 Chinese and Russian youth representatives. Would you please share with us the situation of exchanges between the youths in the two countries?

The original plan was that Premier Wen and Prime Minister Fradkov will meet with a delegation of 100 Chinese youth who will be visiting Russia. Now Russia proposes to include some Russian youth representatives. So the two prime ministers will meet youths from both countries, which I believe is a wonderful arrangement.

Both sides have highly prioritized exchanges between youths over the years. In 2001, China and Russia signed the Good-Neighborly Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation, which defines that the two countries and peoples will be friends forever and will never become enemies. The two sides have placed higher priority over exchanges between the youths since then. To this end, President Hu Jintao and President Putin agreed at the end of last year to define this year as the Year for Friendly Exchanges between Chinese and Russian Youths. The two sides have arranged dozens of activities. For instance, a delegation of 100 Chinese youths will visit Russia during Premier Wen's visit. When President Putin visited China, a delegation of 100 Russian youths visited China as well. The exchanges of youths between the two countries cover a wide range of people such as young scientists, artists, journalists, entrepreneurs, primary and middle school students as well as college students and take a variety of forms such as summer and winter youth camps.

Q (Interfax): Whether the fourth round of six-party talks will be able to take place as scheduled is dismaying many people. What is your comment on that? It is reported that Chinese, Russian and Indian Foreign Ministers will meet with each other by the end of this year to coordinate their stances in the international arena. What is your comment?

The new round of six-party talks is planned to be held by the end of September. It is still hard to say whether it will be able to take place as scheduled. I hope the talks can be held as scheduled in line with the consensus reached by the parties involved during the third round of talks. I think the major issue at the moment is the mutual distrust between the DPRK and the US. We wish all parties can show patience, calmness, restraint and pragmatism in a bid to hold the fourth round of six-party talks by the end of September in accordance with the original plan.

Chinese, Russian and Indian Foreign Ministers have met with each other twice, which has become a common practice. The three parties planned to meet during the upcoming UN General Assembly. However, each foreign minister has his own schedule. It is possible that they cannot be in New York at the same time. If that is the case, the three parties will probably consult to hold the meeting at other times within this year.

(Un)Civil Societies Report: September 11, 2002

11 September 2002, Volume 3, Number 37

IS THE HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN EURASIA WORSE SINCE 11 SEPTEMBER?The first anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States on 11 September 2001 has prompted considerable reflection on whether the justifiable need to fight international terrorism has unintentionally worsened the human rights situation at home and abroad, specifically in Eurasia. The U.S. has strengthened military and political ties with the Russian and Central Asian governments even as they persist in ignoring human rights standards. And some activists are pondering whether more attention should be paid to economic concerns along with civil and political liberties to prevent terrorist movements from gaining a foothold in transition societies.

A 10-day conference on human rights and democracy convened by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) opening this week has brought some 500 government officials, international experts, and nongovernmental-organization (NGO) activists together to discuss democracy and human rights. Some NGO leaders travelling from Central Asia to the meeting have a stark message. "With the formation of the strategic partnership between the U.S. and Uzbekistan after the well-known events of 11 September 2001, many people hoped for an improvement in the human rights situation in Uzbekistan. But eventually all these hopes turned out to be illusions," says Abusalom Ergashev, leader of the Ferghana Valley branch of the Human Rights Society, in a statement prepared for the conference. As indicative of unchanging conditions, Ergashev cited the recent cases of women who demonstrated against the torture of their relatives in prison, and wound up in police custody themselves. Ergashev and other Central Asian activists have greater expectations from Western leaders now to put more pressure on their governments to implement human rights guarantees.

There is some sign that they are being heard. OSCE conference spokesman Jens-Hagen Eschenbaecher told RFE/RL that one of the major issues of the conference will be the fight against terrorism and its international repercussions on the human rights situation in many of the 55 member countries of the OSCE (see "OSCE: Conference To Focus On Terrorism, Human Rights In Central Asia," rferl.org, 9 September 2002). "There is no specific session on terrorism, but we expect this to be one of the major issues. And not only, of course, as regards the Western countries' response [to it], but also Central Asian countries. For example, using the fight against terrorism as a pretext to clamp down on human rights in their countries," Eschenbaecher said.

Some activists have come to see a kind of "axis of opportunism" emerging as certain U.S. allies in the war against terrorism have used the campaign as a cover to settle scores with their restive minorities and separatist movements, hoping to deflect criticism from the Western democracies. Speaking quite frankly during her last week in office as UN high commissioner for human rights, former Irish President Mary Robinson said the U.S., Russia, China and others were trampling on civil liberties to crush troublesome opponents, AP reported on 7 September. "Everything is justified by that T-word," Robinson said, referring to terrorism. "I hope that countries will put human rights back on the agenda because it tended to slip after 11 September," AP quoted her as saying.

With American military presence in the Central Asia, NGOs are taking a hard look at whether events since last year's terrorist attacks have worsened the human rights situation -- an impression many have but find hard to substantiate in numeric terms -- or whether the rising tide of expectations unleashed from increased U.S. military engagement as well as media attention to the region have made chronically bad human rights conditions more intolerable.

Acacia Shields, Central Asia researcher for the Europe and Central Asia Division of Human Rights Watch (HRW), told "(Un)Civil Societies" that trends in each country have to be analyzed separately and the relationship to the counterterrorism effort understood in more sophisticated fashion. "The way to understand the last year's changes is that even before [11 September], these countries in Central Asia were already going down the road of worsening human rights conditions and had already mastered the art of repression of their own people. But these governments have definitely been emboldened by the new strategic relationship with the U.S. to pursue increasingly brazen policies with very little lip service to international law or the standards of civil society since [11 September]," said Shields.

"In Kyrgyzstan, every day it is getting worse and worse -- there's no question -- and we can trace back this whole year [to last September] to see when it began to deteriorate dramatically," says Shields. "It's a total lack of public confidence in the government and a lack of trust by the government in the people," she says.

With Uzbekistan, "even before [11 September], we were in a long period with gruesome deaths in custody and there have been thousands of people in prison for their religious beliefs for years. It's hard to say this year has been 'worse' -- what has worsened is the attitude of the government. It's a new form of cynicism and sophistication, especially when reacting to expression of human rights concerns from the West. It is all window dressing. They are releasing a few prisoners, and mainly keeping the rest in the jails," said Shields.

To be sure, in Uzbekistan, for example, there have been small gestures achieved after Western interventions -- the registration of an NGO long denied legal status, the amnesty of some prisoners, the prosecution of some policemen caught using torture, and access to prisons for the International Committee for the Red Cross and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. There is new room to maneuver for democracy assistance programs as well. In a statement released on 20 August titled "Fighting for Fundamental Rights and Freedoms," and published on a website to commemorate the 11 September attacks (http://usinfo.state.gov/911/), the U.S. government outlined programs run by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan (where U.S. military bases are now established) to "promote the growth of democratically oriented political parties," to establish a printing press in Kyrgyzstan "that will ensure access to free and independent information," and a two-year project to "strengthen responsible journalism in Central Asia." With greater urgency now since the attacks, the bureau has "sought to advance human rights and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide in order to change the climate of disenfranchisement and alienation that gives rise to terrorism."

Activists feel it is not enough. "Central Asian governments justify a wide range of repressive actions against political opponents, religious movements, and independent media in terms of fighting terrorism, and they receive less criticism and pressure from abroad," Aaron Rhodes, executive director of the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF), told "(Un)Civil Societies." "What is worse, the civil society communities in those countries, which have committed themselves to democracy, pluralism and human rights, often feel as if they no longer have friends and allies as Western governments take a short-sighted and expedient approach toward terrorism," says Rhodes. The IHF, a Vienna-based group uniting 41 Helsinki and other human rights groups in Europe and North America, has published a number of reports assessing conditions in Eurasia since the 11 September attacks (see http://www.ihf-hr.org).

Activists want to make more explicit a linkage between improvement in human rights and foreign aid. In a statement released on 10 September, HRW accused the U.S. of "rubber-stamping" human rights improvements in Uzbekistan. HRW said Secretary of State Colin Powell had certified under U.S. law "substantial and continuing progress" in meeting the human rights and democracy commitments contained in a March 2002 bilateral agreement, although the actual situation in the country did not warrant it. The determination was required to release $45 million in additional assistance to the Uzbek government, now totaling $173 million this year, some of it earmarked for democracy and human rights promotion.

There has been some argument for pulling back on harsh criticism of Eurasian governments. Will support of democratic groups only cause unrest and untenable challenges for Central Asian strongmen who will see no choice but to crack down violently on citizens' demonstrations? In fact, say observers, such responses only help create the very terrorist movements they ostensibly sought to prevent. "I don't see why we should hand [Osama] bin Laden a victory and allow him to harm the human rights movement. To support repressive regimes in Central Asia constitutes a security threat because those regimes generate and export terrorism," says Rhodes.

As citizens continue to clash with authorities in Kyrgyzstan (see below), for example, human rights activists have warned that it is important not to confuse peaceful citizens' grassroots protest movements seeking redress of grievances and change -- and often provoking the violent backlash of brittle and nervous police states -- with terrorist groups bent on destruction or establishment of a fanatical system that would in turn itself violate civil rights.

Underlying the discussion about the backlash of counterterrorism on human rights is a deeper and often contentious debate both within governments and NGO movements about the hierarchy of types of rights or entitlements, and whether the focus should be on sustainable economic and social development or promotion of democracy and civil liberties. Speaking to a group of NGOs at the UN in New York on 9 September outgoing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Robinson was asked about the ongoing controversy about "root causes" of terrorism, whether they are related to an absence of social and economic guarantees or a dearth of democracy and political freedoms. "A balance is needed," said Robinson. "Both sets of rights are needed to combat terrorism."

Yelena Bonner, chair of the Andrei Sakharov Foundation in Moscow, a veteran Russian human rights campaigner an outspoken critic of President's Putin's continued war in the North Caucasus, told "(Un)Civil Societies" that the situation had worsened considerably in Chechnya in the last year. This week a Russian human rights monitoring group, Memorial Society, discovered another mass grave of persons on its list of disappeared detainees; it was one of many such incidents of atrocities in the three-year war "essentially ignored by the West," says Bonner.

Even before 11 September, Putin's rule was notable for an erosion in media freedom and other backsliding, says Bonner; but particularly since last year's attack on the U.S. "the encouragement of patriotic sentiment has been accompanied by a worsening human rights situation," she says. She pointed to a decade-long downward spiral in all the former Soviet republics. "The Soviet dissidents were occupied with only some of the articles of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the guarantees for the freedom of speech, and freedom of dissemination of information and movement of people across frontiers. Today, these issues are less important for the average citizen than other articles of the Universal Declaration, regarding adequate social and economic rights such as health care, pensions, and education. Now these social rights are massively violated," says Bonner, noting that most people perceived the standards of social protection to have been greater in the Soviet era. Clearly, the upheavals of the last decade of transition, the resistance of Eurasian regimes to change and the increased expectations of their citizens, coupled with the unintended consequences of the war on terrorism, will pose serious challenges to Western governments still exploring the limits of their policies in the region. CAF

OPPOSITION RELEASES JOINT DECLARATION.The 16 opposition parties that aligned last week with the aim of fielding a single candidate to oppose incumbent Robert Kocharian in the presidential ballot scheduled for 19 February 2003 unveiled their joint declaration on 4 September. According to Noyan Tapan, it accuses Kocharian of neglecting the country's interests in his determination to retain power at all costs, and stresses the 16 parties' shared determination to bring about a change of leadership. The 16 parties pledge to coordinate their political activities and to agree on a single presidential candidate and program. But Albert Bazeyan, one of the leaders of the opposition Hanrapetutiun Party, told journalists on 4 September that the opposition may in fact field several candidates in the first round of the presidential ballot, RFE/RL's Yerevan bureau reported. Doing so would offer voters a choice of alternatives to the incumbent president and thus lessen his chances of gaining the 50 percent-plus-one vote needed for a first-round victory. "Haykakan zhamanak" observed on 5 September that at least six of the 16 opposition leaders have said they plan to contest the upcoming presidential election. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 5 September)

FORMER RULING PARTY WILL NOT JOIN OPPOSITION ALLIANCE.The Armenian Pan-National Movement (HHSh) will not join the coalition of 16 opposition parties formed last week, HHSh election-campaign strategist Tigran Hakobian told RFE/RL on 3 September. He explained that the HHSh has grounds to believe that despite their criticism of the existing leadership, some unidentified parties in that alignment continue to cooperate with it. He further pointed out that the 16 have diverging priorities and ideologies, and predicted that their alliance will prove to be short-lived. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 4 September)

SUPPORTERS OF FORMER PRESIDENT SENTENCED.Azerbaijan's Court for Serious Crimes on 5 September handed down sentences of between five and 10 years to five supporters of former President Ayaz Mutalibov found guilty of planning to mount a coup d'etat in October 2001 with the aim of returning Mutalibov to power, Turan reported. Those charges were based on the testimony of a single witness. All five men pled not guilty. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 6 September)

MILITARY CADETS LAUNCH PROTEST...Some 3,000 cadets from Azerbaijan's Higher Military Academy staged a walkout on 3 September to protest harsh conditions, poor food, and mistreatment by the college's administrative and teaching staff, ITAR-TASS and Turan reported. They claim the situation at the college deteriorated after the departure of Turkish instructors. Some 600 cadets returned to the college on 4 September and several hundred parents gathered outside the premises. Turan reported on 4 September that the cadets were demanding a meeting with senior Defense Ministry personnel and President Heidar Aliev, and the return of the Turkish instructors. ITAR-TASS reported the same day that Defense Minister Colonel General Safar Abiev went to the college late on 3 September. Some 800 of the 2,000 cadets who walked out on 3 September returned on 4 September, Turan reported. The remainder vowed not to return unless their demands for improved conditions and return of the Turkish instructors are met, reported zerkalo.az on 5 September. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 4 and 5 September)

...WITH NATO VS. RUSSIAN INSTRUCTION STYLE AT ISSUE."[email protected]," an electronic weekly bulletin published in Baku, reported on 5 September (No.36) that in addition to protesting hazing by senior officers, and lack of adequate food and clothing, the cadets rejected the Russian Army-style curriculum in favor of Turkish instruction with NATO standards. A beating of a first-year student seems to have sparked the student walkout, parents told reporters. They said the Turkish Defense Ministry had supplied instructors, taught courses according to the NATO system of military specialties rather than the Russian system, and allocated food and clothing for the students which they claim was stolen by school administrators. Students also said they had to give bribes to get home leave and were punished brutally for infractions. CAF

TRADERS CONTINUE STRIKE OVER FISCAL PRESSURE.Some 1,000 market vendors staged a demonstration in Minsk's central square to protest tax increases, insurance fees, and regulations they say are intended to make small business unprofitable, AP reported. Anatol Shumchenka, a representative of the United Council of Entrepreneurs, told the agency that some 70 percent of the 180,000 people registered as individual entrepreneurs are taking part in the strike that began on 1 September. Shumchenka said half the markets in 20 cities are effectively shut. He added that the 1 September strike was planned as a one-day action, but vendors groups decided to prolong it indefinitely because there was no reaction from the government. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 5 September)

PARENTS KEEP KIDS AWAY FROM SCHOOL, PROTEST WAGE ARREARS.Unable to draw attention to their plight by other means, parents in the village of Guta, Vitebsk Oblast, kept their children home from school for a week in protest against nonpayment of salaries at a glass-making factory in the town where most local residents are employed, reported Charter 97 on 5 September. While authoritarian Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka often claims wages are paid on time, and Belarusians, while earning much less, have not experienced the lengthy delays of neighboring Russia, in the last year continuing deterioration in the economy has meant increasing incidents of nonpayment. CAF

OPPOSITION DEMONSTRATOR JAILED FOR 10 DAYS.A court in Hrodna on 6 September imposed a 10-day jail sentence on Dzmitry Ivanouski, the deputy chairman of the local branch of the opposition Belarusian Popular Front and leader of the Hrodna Choice coalition, Belapan reported. Ivanouski was punished for his participation in an unauthorized demonstration in Hrodna on 8 July to mark the second anniversary of the disappearance of Belarusian journalist Dmitry Zavadski. Ivanouski, an artist, declared a hunger strike after the judge's sentence and asked visitors to bring him paper and pencils, reported Charter 97. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 9 September)

GOVERNMENT DECREES ACCREDITATION OF POLLING AGENCIES.The government has passed a resolution whereby all legal entities dealing with public-opinion polls on the political and social situation in the country are required to obtain official accreditation in order to pursue their activities, Belapan reported on 4 September. The resolution provides for the creation of a Commission for Studies of Public Opinion under the National Academy of Sciences to issue this accreditation. The commission is obliged within three months to work out a procedure and conditions for granting accreditation to agencies that conduct and publish public-opinion polls pertaining to "nationwide referendums, elections of the president of the Republic of Belarus, deputies of the Chamber of Representatives and members of the Council of the Republic, and the social and political situation in the country." ("RFE/RL Newsline," 4 September)

BOSNIAN SERB REPORT ON SREBRENICA CALLS MASSACRE IMAGINARY.A new Bosnian Serb government report seeks to deny that the Srebrenica massacre took place and to portray Serbs as victims in the Bosnian war, international media reported on 3 September. The study suggests that exhausted Muslim men imagined a massacre or invented stories to attract the attention of the international community. Reuters quoted the report as saying that "to walk for almost 20 days in an area that might be full of landmines, without any food and water, under the fear of being shot from any direction, was such a trauma that Muslim soldiers sometimes mixed reality with illusions. Having looked at dead bodies under such psychological [pressure], some Muslim soldiers could have believed what they imagined." The report calls a Serbian soldier who admitted taking part in the killings "mentally disturbed." Following international outcry over the report (see below), authorities seemed to back down. Republika Srpska Prime Minister Mladen Ivanic said in Banja Luka on 9 September that the controversial report does not represent government policy, RFE/RL's South Slavic and Albanian Languages Service reported. Ivanic said that the study was an early version for the media and that the final document has yet to be released. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 4 and 10 September)

'IRRESPONSIBLE' REPORT ATTEMPT TO MISLEAD VOTERS.A spokesman for Paddy Ashdown, the international community's high representative in Bosnia, said in Sarajevo on 3 September that the report is a "callous and irresponsible attempt to misguide voters [in the 5 October general elections] and exploit the trauma of those who survived or were bereaved by the massacre.... History cannot be rewritten in this way," AP reported. Ashdown himself said that the Bosnian Serb document is "so far from the truth as to be almost not worth dignifying with a response." He added that "pretending [the massacre] didn't happen is an insult to people of all ethnic groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina," Reuters reported. Ashdown dubbed the report "tendentious, preposterous, and inflammatory." In Banja Luka, the Bosnian Serb government press office called the foreigners' reactions hasty and ill-informed, RFE/RL's South Slavic and Albanian Languages Service reported on 4 September. But the Bosnian Serb Helsinki Committee for Human Rights called the report "unacceptable." ("RFE/RL Newsline," 4 September)

EU SLAMS BOSNIAN SERB REPORT ON SREBRENICA.In the name of the European Union, the Danish Embassy in Sarajevo released a statement saying that it fully supports the objections raised by Ashdown to a recent Bosnian Serb report denying that a massacre took place in Srebrenica, Deutsche Welle's Bosnian Service reported on 5 September. The EU called on "all responsible people and institutions" to reject the study. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 5 September)

U.S. JOINS CRITICISM OF BOSNIAN SERB REPORT.The U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo has called on the Bosnian Serb authorities to repudiate a recent study that denies that the 1995 Srebrenica massacre took place, Deutsche Welle's Bosnian Service reported on 6 September. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 6 September)

BOSNIAN CROATS FACE EVICTION FROM KNIN.An association of Croatian refugees from Bosnia said that more than 50 families living in homes owned by Serbs in Knin have received notices from the Croatian authorities saying that they must evacuate the premises within 15 days or face eviction, RFE/RL's South Slavic and Albanian Languages Service reported. One of the major problems in facilitating the return of refugees and displaced persons in former Yugoslavia is that those who want to go home are often unable to do so because their homes are occupied by refugees from somewhere else -- who themselves are unable to go home. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 6 September)

RULING COALITION STRESSES NEED FOR POLITICAL CONSENSUS.Replying to threats from the conservative opposition Union of Democratic Forces (SDS) that the party will move a vote of no confidence if the government of Bulgaria is not invited to join NATO this fall, Plamen Panayotov, the chairman of the parliamentary group of the ruling National Movement Simeon II (NDSV), said on 4 September that it is time for the opposition to show whether it places national interests above increasing its popularity rating by a few points, BTA reported. "Let us discuss the country's real problems: its economic development, social policies, and the fight against crime and corruption," Panayotov said. Lutfi Mestan of the NDSV's junior coalition partner, the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), also stressed the need for political stability prior to the NATO summit in Prague. Mestan underscored the role of the country's economic development. "Regardless of all political juggling, if we fail to meet the economic standards, membership in the EU will remain a dream," Mestan said. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 5 September)

FARMERS STAGE PROTEST.Some 1,500 farmers protested in Sofia on 5 September to demand higher prices for agricultural produce as well as legal mechanisms to defend Bulgarian farmers from foreign competitors, BTA reported. Agriculture Minister Mehmed Dikme said the government will not yield to pressure from producers. "It is not possible to set minimum purchase prices because this country is in a currency-board arrangement [with the International Monetary Fund] and this contradicts market principles," Dikme said. The government recently announced that will purchase part of this year's wheat harvests and will reschedule farmers' debts in order to stabilize the agricultural commodities market. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 6 September)

PRESIDENT PROPOSES STRIKE BAN AT STRATEGIC FACILITIES.Following weeks of strikes by power-sector workers demanding the payment of wage arrears, President Eduard Shevardnadze proposed at a government session on 4 September drafting legislation banning strikes at strategic facilities, Caucasus Press and Interfax reported. He also ordered Energy Minister David Mirtskhulava to pay all outstanding wages in the energy sector. Addressing the same session, National Security Minister Valeri Khaburzania said he has information that some opposition factions are planning to incite energy-sector workers to mass strikes in the autumn and winter months. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 5 September)

HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS URGE GOVERNMENT NOT TO EXTRADITE TURKMEN DISSIDENT.Amnesty International has appealed to the Kazakh authorities not to hand over opposition politician Gulgeldy Annaniyazov to the Turkmen government, Interfax reported on 6 September. Annaniyazov was extradited on 2 September from Russia to Kazakhstan after arriving at Moscow's Domodedovo Airport from the Kazakh city of Aqtau earlier that day. According to the Russian human rights group Memorial, Annaniyazov requested political asylum upon his arrival in Moscow but the request was refused. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 9 September)

GOVERNMENT SEEKS TO IMPOSE THREE-MONTH BAN ON MEETINGS.In the wake of the grenade attack on Security Council Secretary and acting presidential administration head Misir Ashyrkulov, the government issued a decree on 7 September on urgent measures to prevent the destabilization of the situation in Kyrgyzstan, akipress.org reported. On 9 September, Prime Minister Nikolai Tanaev submitted to the Legislative Assembly (the lower chamber of parliament) a bill imposing a three-month moratorium on all public marches, meetings, and rallies, Interfax reported. But Ata-Meken Party Chairman Omurbek Tekebaev and Ar-Namys Party Deputy Chairman Emil Aliyev protested that both the government decree and the draft bill violate the constitution and the right to assembly. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 10 September)

KYRGYZ OFFICIALS IDENTIFY NEW ISLAMIC THREAT...Addressing the Legislative Assembly on 9 September, Tanaev said that the proposed three-month ban on meetings and demonstrations is intended to thwart the activities of the banned Islamic movement Hizb ut-Tahrir which, Tanaev claimed, has developed a radical wing that does not eschew violence in its bid to establish an Islamic caliphate in Central Asia, akipress.org reported. Tanaev added that Kyrgyzstan's security services have identified a new organization named the Islamic Movement of Central Asia, which operates in Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyz National Security Service Chairman Kalyk Imankulov said in Bishkek the same day that the new organization was formed on the basis of the banned Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), together with "Islamic separatists" from Tajikistan and Chechnya and Uighur separatists, and is headed by a former IMU leading member, Takhir Yuldashev, Interfax reported. Imankulov said the new movement has its base in Badakhshan, Afghanistan. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 10 September)

...WARN THAT PROTEST MARCH COULD TURN VIOLENT.First Deputy Prime Minister Kurmanbek Osmanov on 9 September linked the ban on meetings and demonstrations with the ongoing protest march on Bishkek by villagers demanding President Askar Akaev's resignation, Interfax reported. Parliament deputy Azimbek Beknazarov told Interfax the marchers, who on 9 September reached Kara-Kul, number roughly 2,000, while akipress.org gave the figure as 400. Osmanov accused unnamed "political forces" of seeking to tap popular discontent with socioeconomic conditions to achieve their own political ends. He appealed to parliament deputies to set up an "initiative group" to talk with marchers in order to "prevent illegal steps" and "keep passions from flaring up." National Security Service First Deputy Chairman Boris Poluektov similarly warned parliament deputies that "if the protest march arrives in Bishkek, there may be...provocations that could result in bloodshed," Interfax reported. He accused the marchers of intending "to hinder the work of the parliament and government, which could result in a civil war," as in neighboring Tajikistan. Tanaev told parliament deputies that the marchers would not be allowed to proceed from Kara-Kul to Bishkek. He added that the police would use only truncheons, but not firearms, to prevent them doing so, akipress.org reported. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 10 September)

PRIME MINISTER PROPOSES CHECKING OPPOSITION GROUPS' FINANCING.Speaking on 3 September at the opening session of the Legislative Assembly (the lower chamber of parliament), Tanaev proposed investigating how the opposition parties planning a protest march to Bishkek are financed, Interfax reported. He accused "so-called human rights organizations" of deliberately fuelling tensions and aspiring to power, and said that the government will take all necessary measures to preserve political stability. Kyrgyz State Secretary Osmonakun Ibraimov issued a similar warning last week . ("RFE/RL Newsline," 4 September)

SECURITY OFFICIAL SAYS ISLAMIC ORGANIZATION 'THIRD FORCE' IN KYRGYZ POLITICS.The banned Islamist organization Hizb ut-Tahrir operates in close conjunction with Al-Qaeda and the outlawed Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, and has become a "third force" that intends, together with drug traffickers, to destabilize the political situation in Kyrgyzstan, National Security Service Director Imankulov told Interfax on 3 September. He said Hizb ut-Tahrir is "undoubtedly financed from abroad," and that it draws support primarily from the poorer strata of the population. Some 82 percent of Kyrgyz families live below the poverty line, and almost 40 percent of the country's 5 million population subsist on per-capita incomes of less than 140 soms ($3) per month. Imankulov said membership of Hizb ut-Tahrir is officially estimated at 2,000, but may be much higher. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 4 September)

OFFICIAL WOUNDED IN GRENADE ATTACK.Security Council Secretary and acting presidential administration head Misir Ashyrkulov received multiple, but not life-threatening injuries when unidentified assailants threw three grenades at his automobile as he was approaching his home late on 6 September, akipress.org and RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reported. Presidential aide Bolot Djanuzakov told journalists the following day that the attack was a politically motivated terrorist act, according to Reuters. Speaking in Moscow on 7 September, Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Askar Aitmatov said it is hard to say who might have tried to kill Ashyrkulov and why. Ashyrkulov himself told journalists from his hospital bed that religious extremists might have been responsible, Interfax reported. RFE/RL's Bishkek bureau quoted Human Rights Movement of Kyrgyzstan Chairman Tursunbek Akunov as saying that Ashyrkulov may have incurred the disapproval of other senior Kyrgyz officials by his recent efforts to promote reconciliation between the authorities and the opposition. Speaking on condition of anonymity, an opposition figure similarly suggested to Reuters that "it looks like internal bickering" within the government. He also suggested that Hizb ut-Tahrir might have been responsible. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 9 September)

PRESIDENT REJECTS CALLS FOR PARLIAMENTARY REPUBLIC.Chairing the first session of the Constitutional Council on 4 September, Akaev rejected calls by some opposition parties to abolish the presidency, Interfax and RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reported. Akaev argued that a parliamentary republic is not viable because Kyrgyz political parties are weak and "do not represent public views and sentiments." He said the experience of other CIS states has demonstrated the advantages of strong presidential rule combined with "a competent parliament." Akaev did, however, offer to replace the present bicameral legislature with a unicameral one. Council members rejected an opposition proposal to rename the council a consultative council and to appoint an opposition representative as co-chairman. Some opposition politicians left the session in protest. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 5 September)

FOREIGN MINISTRY REFUSES VISA FOR ZHIRINOVSKII.Foreign Ministry Press Secretary Vilmars Henins told LETA on 3 September that Russian nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovskii's application for a visa to visit Latvia has been turned down. The chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia and Duma deputy speaker applied on 30 August for a visa for 4-10 September to attend the celebrations for the fifth anniversary of the television show "Balzams dveselei" (Balsam to the Soul). According to the daily "Diena," Zhirinovskii sent a letter to Latvian Ambassador to Russia Normans Penke declaring that he would demand Penke's expulsion from Russia if his visa was not granted. Latvia declared Zhirinovskii persona non grata in 1993. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 4 September)

PRO-PPCD RALLY CALLS ON AUTHORITIES TO FREE MEMBERS OF 'ILASCU GROUP'...A resolution approved at a rally organized in Chisinau by the Popular Party Christian Democratic (PPCD) on 1 September called on Moldovan authorities to "take all necessary measures" leading to the liberation of the three members of the Ilie Ilascu group still being detained in Tiraspol, RFE/RL's bureau in the Moldovan capital reported. The resolution asserts that the "tragic situation" of the three members of the group, who have been imprisoned for 10 years, "once again attests to the inhuman and illegal character of the separatist group headed by [Igor Smirnov], a citizen of the Russian Federation." The rally also approved a resolution demanding the unconditional and full withdrawal of Russian forces from the separatist region and the disarming and dissolution of the paramilitary forces subordinated to the regime in Tiraspol. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 3 September)

...DEMANDS COUNTRY LEAVE CIS...The 1 September rally participants also approved a resolution saying it is "vitally necessary" for Moldova to break away from the CIS in order to attain integration in Europe, RFE/RL's Chisinau bureau reported. The resolution says the 11 years' experience garnered since independence shows that Moldova's foreign policy was "duplicitous." It adds that while the Baltic states and other former communist countries had a consistent policy of integration into the EU, Moldova has remained a hostage of the Russian Federation within the CIS and does nothing more than have its leaders deliver occasional pro-Western speeches that are backed by neither concrete diplomatic, legislative, nor economic action. In a separate resolution, the rally's participants called for Moldova to join NATO. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 3 September)

...AND POLICIES OF COUNTRY'S RUSSIFICATION BE STOPPED.Participants at the 1 September rally also approved a resolution calling on the ruling Party of Moldovan Communists to put an end to the policies of Russification of both the Romanian majority and of non-Russian national minorities, RFE/RL's Chisinau bureau reported. The resolution also denounced the destruction of the country's democratic institutions, infringements on the independence of the judiciary and on local autonomy, censorship at national radio and television broadcasters, the alleged persecution of the opposition, and the attempt to impose the communist ideology on society as a whole. Estimates of participation in the rally ranged from 4,000-15,000. PPCD Chairman Iurie Rosca accused authorities of having prevented people from reaching Chisinau to participate in the rally. Rosca also said another rally of PPCD supporters will take place on 6 October. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 3 September)

YET ANOTHER RNE REGIONAL BRANCH FACING CLOSURE.Omsk Oblast Prosecutor Sergei Kazakov has filed an appeal to an oblast court asking it to rescind the registration of the local branch of the nationalist political party Russian National Unity (RNE), lenta.ru and RIA-Novosti reported on 4 September. According to Kazakov's press service, the prosecutor believes that RNE's charter and its emblem -- a stylized swastika -- are in violation of federal law. The party is also charged with inflaming racial, ethnic, and religious hatred, as well as slandering the authorities. The local RNE branch in Tomsk is also being challenged in court and branches in Khabarovsk Krai, Primore, and the Republic of Karelia have already been liquidated (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 14 June and 30 July 2002). ("RFE/RL Newsline," 4 September)

LOCAL DEPUTIES BAN THEMSELVES FROM SEEKING RE-ELECTION.Deputies of the Novgorod Oblast legislature have amended the oblast charter to forbid municipal heads from serving as legislative deputies as of 2006, izvestia.ru reported on 3 September. In doing so, the legislature brought the charter into accord with federal legislation. The move, however, was unprecedented because municipal heads currently compose more than half of the legislature meaning that, in effect, they banned themselves from seeking re-election. The changes must now be approved by Novgorod Oblast Governor Mikhail Prusak. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 3 September)

STREET FIGHTING MARS CITY DAY.One person was killed and one injured during a massive street brawl during the celebration of Moscow's City Day on 31 August, Russian news agencies reported on 1 September. Sixteen-year-old Valerii Panikhin was killed by a knife wound to the neck in the fight, which involved several hundred people, according to polit.ru. Fifteen people were arrested during the incident, according to polit.ru, although Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov was quoted by Interfax as saying that 30 people were detained. Interfax reported that the fight broke out between skinheads and fans of rap music. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 3 September)

U.S. EMBASSY EMPLOYEE VICTIM OF ASSAULT.A 23-year-old employee of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow was attacked in the Moscow metro on the evening of 31 August, "The Moscow Times" and polit.ru reported. Murdoch Lucas, an African-American who works as an embassy librarian, was reportedly attacked by two unidentified men while riding a train. The men allegedly struck Lucas in the face several times and fled when the train stopped. Lucas was treated at a local clinic. The embassy has declined to comment. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 3 September)

BISHOPS STILL DON'T HAVE A PRAYER OF ENTRY.More than a month after Russian President Vladimir Putin wrote to Pope John Paul II to explain why one of Russia's four Catholic bishops is being denied entry to the country, the exact reasons he gave remain unclear. "The letter is in the hands of the Holy Father. Not many in the Vatican have seen it," a Vatican official was quoted as saying by Keston News Service on 5 September. He noted that Catholic leaders had decided it would be better not to make Putin's letter public. The pope had sought an explanation from Putin in the wake of the stripping of the visa from Bishop Jerzy Mazur of Irkutsk, a Polish citizen, at Moscow's Sheremetevo Airport in April and a similar move against the Italian Catholic priest Stefano Caprio. The pope had also asked for these moves to be revoked. A Vatican official close to Russian affairs told Keston that Putin's letter has not led to any progress in resolving the visa denials. "I don't know of any moves forward. But our hope is great. Prayer is very important," said the official. (Keston News Service, 5 September)

GOVERNMENT ADOPTS ENVIRONMENTAL DOCTRINE.The government's Information Department announced on 3 September that Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov has signed a national environmental doctrine, RIA-Novosti and other Russian news agencies reported. The document formulates state policy concerning environmental protection and lays out priorities for implementing that policy. The doctrine includes such measures as incorporating into economic indicators the full cost of environmental impact, plus costs associated with protecting the environment. It also calls for the creation of a mechanism for collecting payments from natural-resources developers and the distribution of these funds for environmental preservation. The government also directed all relevant organizations to submit plans for implementing the doctrine by 15 November. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 4 September)

PACE DELEGATION VISITS GROZNY.A delegation from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) headed by Lord Frank Judd traveled to Grozny on 3 September and met the following day with Chechen administration head Akhmed-hadji Kadyrov, Prime Minister Stanislav Ilyasov, and Chechen displaced persons who recently returned from Ingushetia to Grozny, Interfax and "The Moscow Times" reported. Judd described the conditions in hostels for displaced persons as "grim," noting the absence of running water, disruptions in power supplies, and shortages of food. He expressed concern over widespread reports that displaced persons are being pressured to leave Ingushetia and that during searches for Chechen fighters Russian soldiers indiscriminately target civilians or abduct them and hold them for ransom. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 5 September)

PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR CHECHNYA OPERATION DECLINING.The number of Russian citizens who approve of Russia's military operation in Chechnya has fallen to 30 percent, RosBalt reported on 8 September, citing a study by the All-Russia Center for the Study of Public Opinion (VTsIOM). Forty-eight percent of those polled expressed a negative opinion of the conflict. The survey polled 1,500 respondents in 44 regions. In July 2000, VTsIOM recorded 64 percent support for the campaign. In July 2001, 59 percent of Russians approved of the military action, while that figure had declined to 37 percent in February of this year. However, VTsIOM also found that 48 percent of Russians think that President Putin's performance has been "excellent," and 38 percent describe it as "satisfactory." ("RFE/RL Newsline," 9 September)

ROMANY ORGANIZATION SUES SMER, PSNS...In a complaint filed with the Prosecutor-General's Office on 3 September, the Romany Initiative of Slovakia (RIS) accused Smer (Direction) and the Real Slovak National Party (PSNS) of inciting racial and ethnic hatred, TASR reported. The RIS also asked the Central Election Commission to ban Smer and the PSNS from running in the elections scheduled for 20-21 September. RIS Chairman Alexander Patkolo said that the electoral campaigns of both formations are primarily targeting the Romany minority, with racial hatred and intolerance being spread at electoral rallies and roundtables. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 4 September)

...WHILE EXTREME NATIONALISTS COMPETE ON POPULIST RHETORIC.Slovak National Party (SNS) Chairwoman Anna Malikova said on 1 September on Slovak television that in the September ballot Slovaks will have to opt between NATO membership and "normal life," TASR reported. Malikova said that if Slovakia remains out of NATO, the money saved could be used for increasing pensions and reviving the economy. She also said the SNS supports free university education and raising teachers' salaries. Jan Slota, Malikova's predecessor as SNS chairman who is now heading the PSNS, said his formation's priority is to "solve the problem of the Hungarians and the Gypsies" in Slovakia. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 4 September)

CONFLICTING POLLS PREDICT CLOSE RACE IN ELECTIONS.Contrary to trends shown by the latest opinion polls, the prestigious Institute for Research of Public Opinion (UVVM) on 4 September released a survey showing the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) ahead of Smer, TASR and CTK reported. According to the UVVM, the HZDS has the support of 18.7 percent of voters, while Smer is backed by 15.2 percent. The UVVM poll was conducted in late August and early September. The MVK polling institute on the same day released a survey showing Smer ahead of the HZDS. This poll was also conducted in late August-early September and shows Smer backed by 18.5 percent, with the HZDS garnering 17.6 percent. Sociologist Pavel Haulik of the MVK was quoted by CTK as saying the outcome of the elections will be "a lottery" and is less predictable than ever before. Since Slovak law forbids publication of opinion-poll results in the final two weeks before the ballot and in view of the close race between the HZDS and Smer, it will not be possible for pollsters to do more than measure the mood of the public two weeks ahead of the vote, and that mood may change, Haulik said. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 5 September)

COURT HEARS APPEAL AGAINST LEXA'S RELEASE FROM DETENTION.A district court in Bratislava on 3 September began examining the prosecution's appeal against the Supreme Court's August decision to free Ivan Lexa from detention, TASR and CTK reported. The former chief of the Slovak Information Service was extradited to Slovakia from South Africa in July but was freed from detention by the Supreme Court on procedural grounds. Lexa told the court that he has no reason to flee the country because he is innocent and does not fear the court proceedings. Lexa fled the country in 1999 while awaiting trial. Upon leaving the court on 3 September, Lexa accused Prosecutor Michal Serbin of acting on the political orders of Justice Minister Jan Carnogursky and Premier Mikulas Dzurinda. The judge has yet to rule on the case. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 4 September)

OPPOSITION LEADERS MUSTER REGIONAL SUPPORT FOR PLANNED PROTEST.Some 10,000 people attended a meeting with Yuliya Tymoshenko, Oleksandr Moroz, and Petro Symonenko in Zhytomyr on 4 September, UNIAN reported. According to what the agency was told by the Socialist Party press service, participants in the rally voiced "whole-hearted support" for the opposition protest campaign that is scheduled to start on 16 September. Later the same day, the three opposition leaders met with some 9,000 people at a similar rally in Rivne. "[The rally in Rivne] took place under slogans demanding that President Leonid Kuchma be ousted, early presidential elections be held, and honest politicians come to power," the Fatherland Party press service told UNIAN. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 5 September)

PARLIAMENTARY COMMISSION WANTS PRESIDENT TO BE INDICTED IN GONGADZE CASE.The Verkhovna Rada's ad hoc commission for investigating the disappearance of Heorhiy Gongadze has decided to address a request to the Prosecutor-General's Office to instigate criminal proceedings against President Kuchma and other current and former top officials over the kidnapping of the journalist, UNIAN reported on 3 September, quoting lawmaker Hryhoriy Omelchenko, the chairman of the commission. "There is sufficient evidence indicating that Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, Verkhovna Rada head Volodymyr Lytvyn, former Interior Minister Yuriy Kravchenko, and lawmaker Leonid Derkach were collaborators in crime as organizers of the kidnapping of journalist Heorhiy Gongadze," Omelchenko said. Meanwhile, police have arrested Serhiy Obozov, the prosecutor of Tarashcha Raion where Gongadze's decapitated body was found nearly two years ago. "Obozov is not the last official to be arrested in the [Gongadze] case," Prosecutor-General Svyatoslav Piskun told journalists on 3 September. He did not comment on the charges against Obozov. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 4 September)

BELGRADE FIRM IN DEFENSE OF SERBIAN EXTREMIST.Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Nebojsa Covic said on 5 September in Prishtina that it is possible that ethnic Serb members of Kosova's legislature will boycott that body unless the authorities withdraw an arrest warrant for Serbian extremist politician Milan Ivanovic, RFE/RL's South Slavic and Albanian Languages Service reported. Ivanovic is wanted for murder by the UN civilian authority in Kosova (UNMIK), which has asked the Serbian authorities to extradite him. He is living openly in Belgrade. Elsewhere, Michael Steiner, who heads the UNMIK, turned down a demand by Covic that Steiner withdraw the arrest warrant. Steiner stressed that only the courts have the power to do that. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 6 September)

SOLANA APPLIES FRESH PRESSURE TO SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO.EU foreign and security policy chief Javier Solana began talks with leading political figures in Belgrade on 6 September aimed at urging the conclusion of a Constitutional Charter for the new state of Serbia and Montenegro, AP reported. The governments of the two republics have already reached a deal, but Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica and several other leading politicians have objected that the new state is too weak. Serbian Justice Minister Vladan Batic takes a very different view, arguing that Serbia must become fully independent of its much smaller neighbor. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 6 September)

SPS LEADER CAUGHT CONSPIRING WITH BELARUSIAN OPPOSITION.Duma Deputy and Union of Rightist Forces (SPS) leader Boris Nemtsov said on 5 September that he will sue the newspaper "Sovetskaya Rossiya" for publishing on 4 September a transcript of a late-August telephone conversation between Nemtsov and a leader of the Belarusian opposition, polit.ru reported on 5 September. According to the report, Nemtsov has acknowledged that the conversation took place. In the transcript, Nemtsov discussed with Anatol Lyabedzka possible models for uniting Russia and Belarus that would be amenable to the opposition lined up against Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka. Nemtsov said that he supports President Putin's line toward Lukashenka and discussed developing a joint strategy against the Belarusian president. "Sovetskaya Rossiya" reported that it acquired the tape from the nationalist weekly newspaper "Zavtra," which in turn purchased it from a man who offered an entire collection of taped telephone conversations featuring leading Duma members. "Zavtra" claimed that it only had enough money to purchase one of the tapes. Nemtsov also said that he will ask the Prosecutor-General's Office to explain how the telephone conversations of Duma members could have been illegally recorded. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 5 September)

MOSCOW EXTRADITES TURKMEN DISSIDENT.The Russian authorities sent Turkmen dissident Gulgeldy Annaniyazov back to Kazakhstan on 2 September after he arrived at Domodedovo Airport on a flight from Aqtau earlier that day with false travel documents, Yevgeniy Zhovtis, who heads the Kazakh Bureau of Human Rights, told RFE/RL's Kazakh Service on 4 September. Annaniyazov, who is 42, has been forbidden to leave Turkmenistan because of his political activities; he reportedly crossed the Turkmen-Kazakh border in late August. In a 3 September press release, Amnesty International noted that as a signatory to the United Nations Convention Against Torture, Kazakhstan is legally obliged not to return Annaniyazov to Turkmenistan, where he might be subject to torture in detention. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 5 September)

1. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in cooperation with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), will hold the Inter-Regional Conference on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalization that Lead to Terrorism in Seoul (Chosun Hotel) from April 19 to 20.

 

※ The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is an organization for security cooperation between European and Atlantic countries based on the comprehensive security concept which takes into account political and military security, economic and environmental security, and human security in a comprehensive manner (57 member states).

- The Republic of Korea has participated in the OSCE as an Asian Partner for Co-operation since 1994.

 

o The upcoming conference will cover a range of topics concerning violent extremism, including challenges and solutions; top priorities for devising national strategies; strengthening the capacity of youth; and ways to respond to terrorists’ activities to spread propaganda online. It will be attended by about 150 people, including government officials from European and Asian countries, and academics from home and abroad.

 

※ Key speakers at the conference include Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mongolia Batmunkh Battsetseg; Assistant Secretary of Australia’s Countering Violent Extremism Centre Samuel Grunhard; Co-ordinator of Activities to Address Transnational Threats at the OSCE Rasa Ostrauskaite; Michi Ebata, handling promotion in external relations at the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT); and Facebook's Asia-Pacific and South Asia head of counterterrorism policy Gullnaz Baig.

 

2. The forthcoming conference, which marks the first between the OSCE and Asia in the area of counter-terrorism, is expected to serve as an opportunity to share experiences of preventing and countering violent extremism, being discussed actively in the international community, and to establish networks among relevant experts in the public and private sectors.

 

o Furthermore, as the OSCE is playing a leading role in facilitating dialogues and exchanges in Europe to prevent and counter violent extremism, the ROK government, by hosting the conference, will actively play a bridging role to deepen counterterrorism cooperation between the OSCE and Asia.

 

3. In his opening address on April 19, Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun will talk about the need for cooperation between Europe and Asia to respond to the transnational threat of violent extremism, and especially stress the importance of building the capacity of the youth.

 

o He will also explain the ROK government’s efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism, including preparing a national action plan in January 2018 in accordance with the UN General Assembly resolution adopted in July 2016, as well as carrying out cooperation projects with the OSCE, the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), and the UN Counterterrorism Executive Directorate (UNCTED).

 

 

* unofficial translation


Chapters

Foreword

The United States and our international partners made major strides to defeat and degrade international terrorist organizations in 2017. We succeeded in liberating nearly all of the territory ISIS once held in Iraq and Syria. We increased pressure on al-Qa’ida to prevent its resurgence. We amplified efforts to expose and curtail Hizballah’s malign activities inside Lebanon, in the Middle East, and across the globe. We worked with allies and partners around the world to expand information sharing, improve aviation security, enhance law enforcement and rule of law capacities, and prevent terrorist recruitment and recidivism.

Despite our successes, the terrorist landscape grew more complex in 2017. ISIS, al-Qa’ida, and their affiliates have proven to be resilient, determined, and adaptable, and they have adjusted to heightened counterterrorism pressure in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, and elsewhere. They have become more dispersed and clandestine, turning to the internet to inspire attacks by distant followers, and, as a result, have made themselves less susceptible to conventional military action. Further, the return or relocation of foreign terrorist fighters from the battlefield has contributed to a growing cadre of experienced, sophisticated, and connected terrorist networks, which can plan and execute terrorist attacks.

As ISIS lost territory, it continued to shift away from a centralized command and control structure toward a more diffuse model. It has experimented with and employed small unmanned aerial systems and has used rudimentary chemical weapons. The group encouraged sympathizers to use whatever weapons were at hand – such as large vehicles – against soft targets and public spaces. Increasingly, the responsibility for deciding where, when, and how to attack has devolved to homegrown terrorists inspired or enabled by ISIS to conduct operations far from the war zone. In 2017, we saw such attacks in Manchester, UK; Barcelona, Spain; Sinai, Egypt; Marawi, Philippines; New York City; and elsewhere.

Al-Qa’ida quietly expanded its membership and operations in 2017. Its global network includes the remnants of its core in Afghanistan and Pakistan, al-Nusrah Front (in Syria), al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula, al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb, al-Shabaab (in Somalia), and al-Qa’ida in the Indian Subcontinent. Nusrah’s formation of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, drawing in other hardline Syrian opposition groups, exemplified its effort to rebrand itself to appeal to a wider segment of the Syrian population. Al-Qa’ida affiliates also conducted major attacks, such as in October 2017, when al-Shabaab detonated a truck bomb in the heart of Mogadishu, killing over 300 people, the deadliest terrorist attack in Somali history. Al-Qa’ida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri continued to publicly call for supporters to attack the U.S. government and citizens globally.

Iran remained the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism and continued to support attacks against Israel. It maintained its terrorist-related and destabilizing activities through the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Qods Force and the Lebanon-based terrorist group Hizballah. Iran is responsible for intensifying multiple conflicts and undermining the legitimate governments of, and U.S. interests in, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen. In particular, Iran and Hizballah are emerging from the Syria conflict emboldened and with valuable battlefield experience that they seek to leverage across the globe. IRGC leader Qasem Soleimani recruited and deployed Shia militias from diverse ethnic groups across the Middle East and South Asia to fight in defense of the Assad dictatorship in Syria. Beyond the Middle East, Iran and its terrorist affiliates and proxies posed a significant threat and demonstrated a near-global terrorist reach. Notably, in June 2017, the FBI arrested two suspected Hizballah operatives in Michigan and New York who allegedly were conducting surveillance and intelligence gathering on behalf of the organization, including in the United States.

Regionally focused terrorists groups remained a threat in 2017. For example, Hamas continued to rebuild its military infrastructure and capabilities to support terrorist attacks against Israel. Additionally, Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar e-Tayyiba continued to pose a regional threat in the subcontinent. Some regional and local terrorist groups have avoided greater international attention by remaining independent from ISIS and al-Qa’ida while others may have concluded that the benefits of greater expertise, resources, and prominence outweighed the risks of a formal connection with a notorious transnational terrorist network.

In short, the nature of the terrorist threat confronting the United States and our allies around the world evolved in 2017. While the immediate dynamics that led terrorists to flock to Iraq and Syria since 2014 have diminished, other factors that terrorists exploit to recruit new followers remained a challenge, such as sectarianism, failing states, and conflict zones. More than ever, it remains a critical priority for the United States and our allies to defeat our terrorist adversaries.

*****

In 2017, the United States led efforts to enhance the international community’s law enforcement and other civilian capabilities that are increasingly essential in the next phase of global counterterrorism. In December, with U.S. leadership, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2396, with 66 co-sponsors. UN Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 2396 requires member states to collect airline reservation data to block terrorist travel, to develop watchlists of known and suspected terrorists, and to use biometrics to spot terrorists who might be trying to cross their borders. The resolution also calls on UN members to enact serious criminal offenses that will enable them to prosecute and penalize terrorists who have returned from the battlefield.

In addition, throughout 2017, the State Department led bilateral diplomatic efforts with key countries to improve border and aviation security and information sharing. We increased the number of Homeland Security Presidential Directive 6 (HSPD-6) arrangements to share information about known and suspected terrorists by almost 15 percent in 2017. Our total number of HSPD-6 partners now stands at 69, including all 38 members of the Visa Waiver Program. The United States also deployed the latest border security systems to key counterterrorism partners, provided screening technology and training, and worked to expand global engagement on transportation-related threats. Border security support through the Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation Systems (PISCES) expanded to 260 ports of entry in 23 countries.

We also used foreign assistance resources to enable our partners to better identify, deter, disrupt, apprehend, prosecute, and convict terrorists and their supporters. Our goal is for partners to be able to confront the terrorist threats they face themselves without turning to the United States for assistance. We placed special emphasis on helping partner countries enact appropriate legal frameworks to bring criminal charges against terrorist offenders. At the end of 2017, 70 countries had laws in place to prosecute and penalize foreign terrorist fighters, and 69 had prosecuted or arrested foreign terrorist fighters or their facilitators.

The United States also worked to stanch the flow of money to terrorist networks by designating 30 organizations and individuals as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) and/or Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs). This included top ISIS and al-Qa’ida leaders and operatives. The State Department also continued to expose and sanction states that back terrorism. We designated the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 2017, and also designated key Hizballah figures as SDGTs as we pushed back on Iranian support for terrorism across the globe.

These efforts are only a snapshot of our ongoing work to protect the United States, our allies, and interests from terrorism. Country Reports on Terrorism 2017 provides a more detailed review of last year’s successes and challenges so we can consider how to strengthen our counterterrorism efforts going forward. As we look to the rest of 2018 and beyond, the United States remains committed to working with our allies and partners to confront the shared threat of global terrorism. I hope this report will serve as a useful resource for those seeking to better understand this threat and our efforts to defeat it.

Ambassador Nathan A. Sales
Coordinator for Counterterrorism

Chapter 1. Country Reports: Africa

AFRICA

OVERVIEW

African countries expanded their efforts to develop regional counterterrorism solutions while they struggled to contain the expansion of terrorist groups, affiliates, and aspirants involved in attacks or other activities in 2017. In East Africa, the Somalia-based terrorist group al-Shabaab continued to threaten regional security. It retained safe haven, access to recruits and resources, and de facto control over large parts of Somalia through which it moves freely. Similar to 2015 and 2016, however, al-Shabaab did not claim any attacks outside of Somalia and northeastern Kenya in 2017. In October, the group was blamed but did not claim responsibility for the deadliest terrorist attack in Somalia’s history, despite having lost a number of operatives to counterterrorism operations in the months prior. Northeastern Kenya experienced a significant increase in activity attributed to al-Shabaab, primarily in the form of improvised explosive device attacks targeting Kenyan security forces and vehicles transporting civilians. Al-Shabaab maintained its allegiance to al-Qa’ida, remaining intent on limiting the influence and reach of the northern Somalia-based group of ISIS-linked fighters responsible for local suicide bombings and other attacks against Somali security forces.

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali security forces increased cooperation with the United States to exert pressure on al-Shabaab, primarily through coordinated counterterrorism operations in southern Somalia. The United States continued to support East African partners in their efforts to build counterterrorism capacity, including in the areas of aviation and border security, advisory assistance for regional security forces, training and mentoring of law enforcement to conduct investigations and manage crisis response, and advancing criminal justice sector reforms. East African partners undertook efforts to develop and expand regional cooperation mechanisms to interdict terrorist travel and other illicit activities.

In the Lake Chad region, Boko Haram and its offshoot ISIS-West Africa (ISIS-WA) increased asymmetric attacks against civilians, government, and security forces, which resulted in deaths, injuries, abductions, and destruction of property. Nigeria, along with its neighbors Cameroon, Chad, and Niger – often through the Multinational Joint Task Force – worked to counter these threats. These countries also responded to the ongoing and devastating humanitarian crisis, protected civilians, and restored governance and rule of law in the affected areas. The United States continued to provide advisors, intelligence, training, logistical support, and equipment to Lake Chad region countries and supported a wide range of stabilization efforts. Continued attacks by Boko Haram and ISIS-WA have caused nearly 2.5 million displaced people in Nigeria. Approximately 8.5 million people in Nigeria alone require humanitarian assistance.

In the Sahel, terrorist groups – including affiliates and adherents of al-Qa’ida and ISIS – have expanded their operations in central Mali and the Tri-Border Region of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger. In response, the African Union Peace and Security Council authorized a new G-5 Sahel Joint Force in April 2017, comprising military and police forces from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. The Joint Force began operations in late 2017 along the shared border to interdict the flow of terrorist groups and criminal trafficking.


TRANS-SAHARA COUNTERTERRORISM PARTNERSHIP

Established in 2005, the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP) is a U.S.-funded and -implemented, multi-faceted, multi-year effort designed to build the counterterrorism capacity and cooperation of military, law enforcement, and civilian actors across North and West Africa. TSCTP partners include Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tunisia. TSCTP has built capacity and cooperation despite setbacks caused by a restive political climate, terrorism, ethnic rebellions, and extra-constitutional actions that interrupted work and progress with select partner countries.

Regional cooperation, a strategic objective of U.S. assistance programming globally, continues to improve in West and Central Africa among most of the partners of the TSCTP. Lake Chad region governments in Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria remained actively engaged in countering Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa, including coordinating forces with Benin to form the Multinational Joint Task Force. In the Sahel, regional partners Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger formed the G-5 Sahel Joint Force to combat al Qa’ida and ISIS elements operating primarily in northern Mali and in the Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger Tri-Border Region. The United States added four Sahel states to the Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund in 2016 – Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Senegal – which provided comprehensive assistance to targeted partners. This funding is also complementary to the efforts of TSCTP and seeks to produce tangible results in a range of counterterrorism-related fields.


PARTNERSHIP FOR REGIONAL EAST AFRICA COUNTERTERRORISM

First established in 2009, the Partnership for Regional East Africa Counterterrorism (PREACT) is a U.S.-funded and -implemented framework designed to build counterterrorism capacity and cooperation between military, law enforcement, and civilian actors across East Africa. PREACT serves as a coordination mechanism for the U.S government’s regional counterterrorism programming to help partners enhance criminal justice, defense, and financial sector reform. PREACT programming complements the U.S. government’s assistance by promoting collaborative training environments and mentorship initiatives that emphasize respect for human rights, the rule of law, and good governance.

Through PREACT, the United States supports joint training exercises for Kenyan, Tanzanian, and Ugandan first responders and law enforcement professionals as part of a broader effort to encourage regional coordination and cooperation, protect shared borders, and respond to terrorist incidents responsibly and effectively. Active PREACT partners include Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania, and Uganda. Inactive members of PREACT are Burundi, Comoros, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Sudan, and Sudan; they did not receive PREACT assistance in 2017.


BURKINA FASO

OverviewBurkina Faso experienced a slow but steady increase in terrorist activity in 2017, including numerous cross-border attacks in its northernmost region bordering Mali. The Government of Burkina Faso has made numerous arrests of terrorist suspects, augmented the size of its special terrorism detachment Groupement des Forces Anti-Terroristes (GFAT) in the country’s north, and joined the newly-created G-5 Sahel Joint Force to fight terrorism and criminal trafficking groups with regional neighbors Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger.

In 2017, the Sahara Branch of al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb, al-Murabitoun, Ansar al-Dine, and the Macina Liberation Front came together to form Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM). JNIM and other groups like Ansarul Islam and ISIS in the Greater Sahara are all known to operate in Burkina Faso.

The French military’s Operation Barkhane continued its integrated counterterrorism mission for the Sahel region. Cooperating with Malian forces, Barkhane sought to degrade terrorist elements in northern and central Mali, particularly JNIM.

Terrorist organizations successfully recruited marginalized, poor, and historically disadvantaged Fulani inhabitants. Burkinabe security forces have been accused of torture, extrajudicial killings, burning of property, and arbitrary detention in their response to terrorism in the north. The Government of Burkina Faso has opened an investigation into these allegations, which was ongoing at year’s end. We refer you to the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices and Report on International Religious Freedom for further information.

The United States was in the process of implementing USAFRICOM’s US $5.6 million program to build upon a previously Trans Sahara Counter Terrorism Partnership (TSCTP)-funded Gendarmerie border security program in the northern region of Burkina Faso. In 2017, the United States pledged US $30 million for the Burkinabe military to equip its security components of the G-5 Sahel Joint Force and another US $30 million for the other G-5 countries for a total of US $60 million.

Additionally, TSCTP funded US $6 million in other security assistance programs to reinforce security at the airbase in Ouagadougou and equip the Gendarme Special Intervention Unit with radios, body armor, and ballistic shields. It will also make improvements to the peacekeeping training center in Loumbila.

2017 Terrorist Incidents: Approximately 50 attacks that took place mainly in Burkina Faso’s northernmost region along the border with Mali were believed to be terrorist-related. Attacks have included targeted killings, kidnappings, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and attacks on security outposts, police stations, and barracks. Attacks using IEDs were witnessed for the first time in 2017 and targeted Burkinabe security forces and civilians. The deadliest attack occurred on August 17, when an IED detonated under a military vehicle patrolling the Djibo area, causing three deaths and seriously injuring two. Attacks have also targeted Burkinabe government officials, schools, and markets. On November 17, in the village of Taouremba, six heavily armed individuals on motorcycles conducted a targeted attack on a municipal councilor in the town market that resulted in the death of 10 individuals.

The largest attack in Burkina Faso took place on August 13 in Ouagadougou at the Aziz Istanbul Café, a Turkish-owned restaurant frequented by expatriates. Two armed gunmen wounded 25 and killed approximately 19 people, including 10 Burkinabe and nine foreigners. Two of the foreigners were Kuwaiti – one of whom was imam of the Kuwaiti Great Mosque, Dr. Waleed Al‑Ali. Both were in Burkina Faso for a charitable mission.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: In 2017, Burkina Faso began making changes to its legal framework. In January, lawmakers created a Special Judicial Interagency working group based on best practices across the region that will have jurisdiction over terrorism-related legal cases. However, it was not fully operational by the end of 2017.

Approximately 22 judicial investigations linked to attacks committed against civilians and security forces were ongoing at the end of 2017. Some of the cases started on the basis of citizen claims that someone was a terrorist or suspected of belonging to terrorist groups. Many cases stagnated while awaiting information from neighboring countries. Burkina Faso has not yet brought to trial any of the approximately 150 alleged terrorists detained in Burkina Faso’s High Security Prison, opened in 2014.

Burkinabe security and law enforcement officials continued to cite border security as a major area of concern. Burkina Faso’s Counterterrorism Strategy, Mission de Securitization du Nord, strives to address terrorist activities along its northern border. To accomplish this, Burkina Faso operationalized and deployed a joint Army-Gendarmerie-Police counterterrorism task force known as the Groupement des Forces Anti-Terroristes (GFAT) in January 2013. This force’s level has increased from 500 troops in 2016 to 1,600 troops in 2017 in an effort to counter the growing terrorist threat.

Burkina Faso relies on the Terrorist Interdiction Program’s Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System (PISCES), and uses International Organization for Migration-provided screening equipment and software to conduct traveler screening and watchlisting.

The Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program provided workshops on cross-border security, crisis management, criminal justice procedures, and prosecution of terrorists. This included an Advanced Rural Border Patrol course and Border Unit mentorship to assist Burkina Faso in securing its borders. The United States partnered with the UN Office for Drugs and Crime for a program on Burkina Faso’s legal framework to counter terrorism.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Burkina Faso is a member of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA), a Financial Action Task Force-style body. Burkina Faso’s financial intelligence unit (Cellule Nationale de Traitement des Informations Financières – CENTIF) tracks terrorist financing, but had not tried any cases by year’s end. In 2017, the Minister of Territory Office of Public Freedoms and Associations took responsibility for terrorism financing from the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 2017, CENTIF required non-profit organizations to declare their funding sources. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2018 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume II, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.

Countering Violent Extremism (CVE): The Burkinabe government launched the Sahel Emergency Plan in 2017 to strengthen the role of government, enhance community law enforcement, and generate economic opportunities in its Sahel region. Burkina Faso did not have programs to rehabilitate or reintegrate terrorists into mainstream society.

The U.S. Agency for International Development’s CVE programming included a regional messaging project, called Voices for Peace, which counters terrorist narratives through radio programs and social media. It also includes an effort called Partnerships for Peace to strengthen the capacity of the national government, civil society organizations, and regional organizations – G-5 Sahel and the Economic Community of West African States – to counter violent extremism and a research initiative to identify the conditions terrorists exploit for recruitment in local communities.

Regional and International Cooperation: Burkina Faso participates in the G-5 Sahel Joint Force and provides forces to improve security along shared borders to interdict the flow of terrorist groups and criminal trafficking. Burkina Faso maintains two peacekeeping battalions in Mali as part of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali.


CAMEROON

Overview: In 2017, Cameroon experienced significant terrorist activity in the Far North Region. The Government of Cameroon attributed the violence to Boko Haram as opposed to ISIS-West Africa (ISIS-WA). Lake Chad region governments and media rarely make a distinction between Boko Haram and ISIS-WA and instead generally refer to both groups as Boko Haram. Boko Haram continued to regularly carry out attacks in Cameroon, primarily through the use of suicide bombers, while ISIS-WA attacked less frequently, targeting military outposts and generally refraining from killing civilians.

Countering terrorist threats remained a top security priority for the Government of Cameroon. It continued its cooperation with the international community, remained a member of the Trans‑Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership, contributed significantly to operations of the Multinational Joint Task Force, and continued to work with the United States to improve the capacity of its security forces.

The Cameroonian government began formulating a reintegration plan for former Boko Haram fighters for the first time in 2017. On October 20, four ex-terrorists who claimed to have defected from Boko Haram were allowed to return to their village in Tolkomari. Although local residents expressed skepticism, the government declared it was the state’s duty to protect them and treat them with respect. Although efforts to institutionalize formal defections and reintegration policies were nascent, the government announced that a permanent location for ex‑combatants in Zamai would serve as a de-radicalization and re-socialization center.

Cameroon joined the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS in 2017.

2017 Terrorist Incidents: Boko Haram continued to take advantage of weaknesses in Cameroon’s border security to conduct terrorist attacks in the country’s Far North Region, including suicide bombings, targeted killings, kidnappings, and raids in search of supplies. Boko Haram perpetrated multiple and indiscriminate killings against civilians – Muslim and Christian alike – but also against government officials and military forces. Although Cameroonian forces have become more effective at combatting Boko Haram, dozens of attacks, often suicide bombings, occurred in 2017. These included an attack in February that killed three soldiers, one in April that killed four vigilance committee members (vigilance committees are groups of ordinary residents who help protect the area from Boko Haram attacks), one in July that killed 14 people and wounded 32 others, and one in August that left 15 dead and eight abducted. In the very far northern area of the country, ISIS-WA conducted a few attacks, targeting military outposts, and generally refrained from killing civilians.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: There were no significant changes since the 2016 report. In 2017, the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program delivered two Explosive Incident Countermeasures trainings, an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Commanders Workshop, and a mentorship program with Cameroonian EOD personnel to build Cameroon’s counter-improvised explosive device capacity.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Cameroon is a member of the Task Force on Money Laundering in Central Africa (GABAC), a Financial Task Force-style regional body, and its financial intelligence unit, the National Agency for Financial Investigation, is a member of the Egmont Group. There were no significant changes since the 2016 report. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2018 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume II, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.

Countering Violent Extremism (CVE): The Government of Cameroon does not have a national CVE action plan, but officials at all levels acknowledged radicalization to violence as a significant concern and said they integrate it into their work and planning. The government partnered with faith-based organizations, such as the Council of Imams and Religious Dignitaries of Cameroon (CIDIMUC), to educate citizens on the dangers of radicalization to violence, to promote religious tolerance, and to present religion as a factor for peace. Programs furthered these objectives through targeted messaging in mosques, special prayer sessions, press releases, and through roundtable discussions and conferences bringing together people from various religious backgrounds. One of CIDIMUC’s strategies has been to improve the living conditions of imams.

In 2017, the U.S. Agency for International Development expanded the scope of a community resilience and peace-building program it launched in December 2015. Using a network of community radio stations, the program focused on strengthening the resilience of communities through radio programs focused on peace building, which were transmitted in 26 languages in the north and far north regions.

Cameroonian cities Yaounde II, Kolofata, Kousseri, Meri/Diamare, and Mokolo are members of the Strong Cities Network.

International and Regional Cooperation: There were no significant changes since the 2016 report.


CHAD

OverviewThe Government of Chad continued to focus on counterterrorism efforts at the highest level, however, the worsening financial crisis affected its ability to meet even basic financial commitments, such as paying police and military salaries. Although financial hardships have limited the country’s ability to provide external counterterrorism assistance, Chad engaged in external military operations in neighboring countries. Chad provided approximately 2,000 combat forces to the Lake Chad Region’s Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), which also includes Benin, Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria, but drew down some of those troops in mid-2017 to focus on other issues such as insecurity along Chad’s northern border with Libya. Chad continued to host the French government’s Operation Barkhane, France’s integrated counterterrorism mission for the Sahel region that has partnered with forces in the Sahel to launch numerous operations to degrade terrorist groups in the region. Chad had 1,450 soldiers supporting the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali at year’s end.

Chad joined the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS in 2017.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: The Government of Chad updated its Penal Code in April 2017. Penalties for lesser terrorist offenses were increased to life imprisonment. Some civil society organizations expressed concern that the law was overly restrictive, required little evidence to prosecute individuals, and could be used to curtail freedoms of expression and association. We refer you to the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for further information.

While Chadian law enforcement units displayed basic command and control capacity, the Director General of the Chadian National Police requested training in investigations, crisis response, and border security capacity. Law enforcement leadership publicly acknowledged the requirement for all law enforcement officers to respect human rights. In practice, however, there were reports the government or its agents committed arbitrary and unlawful killings, including by torture, and impunity was an issue. The Director General of the Police has improved the Chadian National Police’s performance by fostering more efficient and effective communication across bureau lines. Its forensics unit has opened its files to the Regional Security Office for passage of photo and fingerprint records of suspected Boko Haram terrorists imprisoned in Chad.

The Chadian government operated at a heightened level of security and has instituted screenings at border-crossings to prevent infiltration by members of Boko Haram, ISIS-West Africa (ISIS-WA), and Central African militias, as well as transit of illegal arms, drugs, and other contraband. Border patrols were provided by a combination of border security officials, gendarmes, police, and military. Chad screened travelers using the U.S.-provided Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System (PISCES) at major ports of entry.

Chad participated in the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program in 2017. It received ATA training in support of its Crisis Response Team and received deliveries in support of its participation in the multilateral Flintlock 2017 exercise.

The U.S. Embassy’s Special Programs for Embassy Augmentation and Response (SPEAR) team continued its training and development. This team is composed of Chadian National Police and Groupe Mobile d’Intervention Police and is expected to be on call to respond to emergencies at the embassy and affiliated facilities.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Chad is a member of the Task Force on Money Laundering in Central Africa, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. Chad’s financial intelligence unit, the National Agency for Financial Investigation (ANIF), is a member of the Egmont Group.

Chad criminalized terrorist financing through the 2003 adoption of an anti‑money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) law drafted by the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa. The law allows immediate freezing and confiscation of terrorist assets and requires a variety of organizations involved in financial transactions to monitor money/value transfers and report any anomalies. The law does not appear to list non-profit organizations specifically within the list of organizations required to comply. The government also requires know-your-customer standards enforcement for both foreign and domestic transactions.

ANIF, which falls under the authority of the Ministry of Finance and Budget, is tasked with ensuring public and private financial institutions in Chad implement the AML/CFT law. It investigates suspicious transactions brought to its attention by financial institutions and refers cases to the Attorney General’s office in the Ministry of Justice for further action and prosecution.

For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2018 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume II, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.

Countering Violent Extremism (CVE): The Government of Chad adopted a national strategy and action plan to “Counter Violent Extremism and Radicalization” in December 2017. Prior to the strategy and action plan, the government used its five-year development strategy as its primary tool to prevent and counter radicalization to violence.

The number of Chadians joining terrorist organizations remained low in 2017. Chadians who joined Boko Haram or ISIS-WA came primarily from the Buduma ethnic group who reside on Lake Chad islands. Separately, there was evidence that a few individuals had become radicalized to violence through propaganda accessed on social media platforms.

Efforts to encourage defections and returnees among the Buduma people around Lake Chad were informal. Moderate messaging was broadcast over 12 community radio stations and one state-operated radio station under a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) project. Additionally, USAID committed to a multi-year CVE program.

International and Regional Cooperation: Chad remained active in the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership. Chad is a member of the G-5 Sahel Joint Force, which also includes Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. As a member of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, Chad participated in efforts to develop the MNJTF. Chad cooperated actively with Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria in operations to counter the threat of Boko Haram and ISIS-WA on its borders.


DJIBOUTI

Overview: Djibouti offered a vital platform for regional counterterrorism and countering violent extremism (CVE) efforts in 2017. Since 2002, Djibouti has hosted Camp Lemonnier, the headquarters of AFRICOM’s Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa and the only enduring U.S. military installation in Africa. Djibouti’s Armed Forces also participated in the U.S.-funded Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance program and deployed soldiers to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) campaign. Djibouti hosts the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Center of Excellence for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism, which serves as a regional CVE hub and resource for CVE research, development, and training. IGAD positions Djibouti as a regional leader on counterterrorism and CVE.

In 2017, the Government of Djibouti hosted several conferences:

  • A Ministry of Islamic Affairs-led conference with Muslim religious leaders from the Horn of Africa on strategies to address “extremist” messaging directed at youth;
  • A Ministry of Justice-led conference with the international organization of La Francophonie and the Association of Francophone Prosecutors on counterterrorism prosecutions; and
  • A Central Bank-led conference with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.

As in previous years, Djiboutian government officials, particularly law enforcement and members of the High Islamic Council, worked closely to identify and address terrorist activity.

Djibouti joined the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS in 2017.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Djibouti has a legal framework for prosecuting terrorism-related crimes and can try terrorists in criminal courts using its penal code. As such, there were no significant changes on terrorism-related legislation in 2017. The Djiboutian government continued to use counterterrorism legislation to suppress criticism by detaining and prosecuting opposition figures and other activists. We refer you to the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for further information.

In 2017, the Djiboutian government made structural and judicial counterterrorism-related changes. The Minister of Justice appointed a new State Prosecutor, who reorganized the Prosecutor’s office to allow deputy prosecutors to specialize in terrorism-related cases. Djibouti also passed a comprehensive refugee law and two implementing decrees to ensure refugees have freedom of movement, education, work, and access to public services, including those related to criminal justice, which were not de jure rights for refugees prior to their passage. Recognizing that refugees account for more than three percent of the population, the government’s decision to provide them access to the criminal justice system serves as an effective long-term response to address the risk of any vulnerable population, including this one, to recruitment, radicalization to violence, and other terrorist-related activity.

Djiboutian law enforcement entities continued to prioritize counterterrorism due to Djibouti’s geographic location and an al-Shabaab attack in Djibouti City in May 2014. Djibouti maintained a system of checkpoints and conducted cordon-and-search operations within the capital, Djibouti City, and concentrated security forces at border control points to screen for potential security threats. Government officials enhanced the protection of soft targets, including hotels and grocery stores, measures first implemented after the May 2014 attack. Djiboutian law enforcement also extended vehicle searches throughout the capital in an effort coordinated through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Djibouti’s law enforcement organizations include the Djiboutian National Police (DNP), the Djiboutian National Gendarmerie, the National Security Judiciary Police (NSJP), and the Djiboutian Coast Guard. In 2017, the DNP, National Gendarmerie, and NSJP received training from both the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program and the International Law Enforcement Academy in Gaborone. ATA assistance focused on building technical capacity for improved crisis response and border security capabilities. The DNP, National Gendarmerie, and the NSJP also received training through the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Legal Attaché office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Djibouti’s law enforcement organizations routinely interacted with U.S. government counterparts and frequently sought U.S. input to identify potential terrorist suspects.

Djiboutian law enforcement personnel acknowledged the difficulty of securing their land and sea borders. The DNP controls border checkpoints and Djibouti’s armed forces are responsible for patrolling land borders in remote locations, with support from the Gendarme patrolling between border posts. Djibouti continued to process travelers on entry and departure at its international airport and seaport with the Personal Identification Secure Comparison Evaluation System (PISCES). While the airport and seaport remain important entry points, the vast majority of travelers cross into Djibouti by land at one of three land border points, one of which is the Loyada crossing at the Somali border, which was refurbished with U.S. funding.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism: In 2017, Djibouti applied for membership to the Middle East and Northern Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF)), a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. Its application is under consideration by MENAFATF members. The Central Bank of Djibouti houses a financial intelligence unit known as the Financial Information Service (SRF). Due to limited financial and human resources, the SRF has been unable to perform the core functions of a financial intelligence unit and has focused instead on banking supervision. The SRF referred no cases to law enforcement involving suspected terrorist financing in 2017.

Djibouti’s Central Bank places the responsibility for staying updated on sanctions lists with the financial institutions themselves. Many of the financial institutions operating in Djibouti have software packages that include links to UN sanctions lists, lists of designated terrorists, or terrorist entities provided by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control and the European Union. The Central Bank monitors compliance with these lists through routine supervision and audits of the financial institutions.

For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2018 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume II, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.

Countering Violent Extremism (CVE): Law enforcement agencies worked with the High Islamic Council to identify and monitor activity that promoted terrorist ideology. Djibouti continued to host and provide oversight for the operation of the IGAD Center of Excellence for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism and has also prioritized economic growth to address the high unemployment among youth.

International and Regional Cooperation: Djibouti hosts the IGAD’s headquarters offices and Secretary General. The Djiboutian military continued its participation in AMISOM, which includes military forces from Burundi, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Uganda.


ERITREA

Overview: The Government of Eritrea continued to make regular public statements about its commitment to fighting terrorism. Eritrea also continued and broadened its support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, and it allowed military elements of the coalition to base in Eritrea.

In May 2017, the United States recertified Eritrea as “not cooperating fully” with U.S. antiterrorism efforts under Section 40A of the Arms Export and Control Act, as amended. In considering this annual determination, the Department of State reviewed Eritrea’s overall level of cooperation with U.S. efforts to counter terrorism, taking into account U.S. counterterrorism objectives and a realistic assessment of Eritrean capabilities.

Eritrea has been subject to UN Security Council (UNSC) sanctions since December 2009 due to past evidence of support for al-Shabaab and other activities that have contributed to regional instability. UN Security Council resolutions (UNSCR) 1907 (2009) and 2011 (2013) established and consolidated a two-way arms embargo on Eritrea, most recently renewed in UNSCR 2385 (2017). The sanctions regime on Eritrea also includes provisions for a travel ban and asset freeze measures with regard to individuals or entities designated by the UN Sanctions Committee for Somalia and Eritrea. At present, there are no UN listings for the sanctions regime as it relates to Eritrea. While the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group’s (SEMG) 2017 report did not find conclusive evidence that Eritrea is supporting al-Shabaab, the Government of Eritrea continued to refuse to allow the SEMG inspectors to visit Eritrea, limiting the scope of its investigations. The SEMG did not find evidence of continued Eritrean support to armed groups intent on destabilizing Ethiopia and Djibouti.

Due to the Government of Eritrea’s lack of transparency, there was no clear picture of the methods it used to track terrorists or safeguard its citizens. For a number of years, members of the police have refused to meet with security officials from western nations to discuss policy matters, although the United States had informal contact with some law enforcement counterparts in 2017.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: There were no significant changes since 2016.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Eritrea is not a member or observer of a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body or a member of the Egmont Group. Eritrea is a member of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, which has a maritime security program that focuses on building the capacity of law enforcement agencies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2018 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume II, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.

Countering Violent Extremism (CVE): There were no significant changes since 2016.

International and Regional Cooperation: In December, Eritrea co-sponsored UNSCR 2396 on returning and relocating foreign terrorist ‎fighters.


ETHIOPIA

Overview: The continuing al-Shabaab threat emanating from Somalia dominated the Government of Ethiopia’s security posture and the Ethiopian National Defense Force’s (ENDF) 2017 counterterrorism efforts. Ethiopia also focused its counterterrorism strategy on pursuing potential threats from armed opposition groups often based in neighboring countries. The Ethiopian Federal Police (EFP) and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) shared information on counterterrorism matters pursuant to a memorandum of understanding. The Ethiopian government contributed to FBI cases related to al-Shabaab and other U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations by providing information, evidence, and access to witnesses.

Ethiopia joined the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS in 2017.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border SecurityThe Government of Ethiopia uses the 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (ATP) to prosecute crimes associated with terrorist activity. Ethiopia convicted 23 individuals in 2017 for planning to conduct terrorist attacks in Ethiopia after making contact with al-Shabaab and al-Qa’ida.

Ethiopia also continued to use the ATP to suppress criticism by detaining and prosecuting journalists, opposition figures – including members of religious groups protesting government interference in religious affairs – and other activists. The Ethiopian government released some, but arrested several others during the year. These arrests peaked under the State of Emergency the Ethiopian government imposed in October 2016 in the wake of anti-government protests and violence that resulted in tens of thousands of arrests and several hundred deaths. We refer you to the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices and Report on International Religious Freedom for further information.

In late August, the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law conducted a workshop in Addis Ababa for judges handling ATP cases. Ethiopian judges are often overwhelmed with hundreds of ATP-related cases because Ethiopian prosecutors often seek to bring the highest charges for cases that they cannot resolve with plea agreements. With U.S. support, the Attorney General’s Office is working on revising Ethiopia’s Criminal Procedure Code to include plea agreements.

The ENDF, the EFP, Ethiopian intelligence, and regional special police worked to detect and deter al-Shabaab attacks in Ethiopia. The National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), which has broad authority for intelligence, border security, and criminal investigation, is responsible for overall counterterrorism management in coordination with the ENDF and EFP. The three security organizations comprise the Ethiopian Task Force for Counterterrorism, a federal-level committee to coordinate counterterrorism efforts. The NISS facilitated some coordination with the United States to include several domestic counterterrorism cases.

Border security was a persistent concern for Ethiopia, which worked to tighten border controls with Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, and South Sudan. Ethiopia employed the Terrorist Interdiction Program’s Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System (PISCES) to conduct traveler screening and watchlisting at airports and other ports of entry.

Ethiopia is East Africa’s only last point of departure to the United States, one of only a few on the African continent. The U.S. Transportation Security Administration continued to conduct semi-annual inspections of Ethiopia’s national carrier and of Bole International Airport, including one that occurred in early December. Inspectors reported implementation of all recent enhanced security measures and that cooperation with Ethiopian aviation security officials remains strong.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Ethiopia is a member of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group, a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body. In October, the FATF and the European Commission listed Ethiopia as one of 11 high-risk and non-cooperative jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies in its anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regimes and recommended that any financial flows from the country be subject to additional counter checks and know-your-customer rules. Ethiopia is one of eight countries named on both the FATF and European Commission lists.

Following the completion of the National Risk Assessment for money laundering and terrorism finance in early 2017, Ethiopia approved and began implementing a National Risk Mitigation Action Plan.

Ethiopian law enforcement handles low-end money laundering investigations but is ill equipped to expand to larger AML/CFT investigations. Law enforcement lacks the forensic tools, human resources, and training to focus on these types of cases. In addition, the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) and law enforcement did not appear to coordinate their efforts fully. The FIC processes and submits suspicious transaction reports to the police for money laundering and to the NISS for terrorist financing cases. However, there appeared to be a lack of follow-up on AML/CFT investigations.

Ethiopia has made no apparent attempt to investigate and prosecute cases on suspicious or fraudulent mobile money transactions. This is especially significant since it appears that a large number of mobile money transactions occur within the Somali region of Ethiopia, an area where the Ethiopian government has concentrated much of its counterterrorism efforts. The two mobile money platforms in Ethiopia reported growth in its revenues, especially from transactions originating in rural areas, and have expressed interest in cooperating with law enforcement on investigations under certain conditions.

For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2018 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume II, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.

Countering Violent Extremism (CVE): Ethiopia has not yet developed a CVE strategy. In 2017, the U.S. Agency for International Development provided assistance through a local Ethiopian civil society organization to undertake research on the existing potential vulnerabilities to extremism in Ethiopia. This research was conducted in communities across eight of the nine regional states as well as in Dire Dawa and Addis Ababa, cities deemed at risk of radicalization to violence and terrorist recruitment. The findings of this research were presented and validated by Ethiopian government (federal and regional state) officials and non-government interlocutors (religious leaders) in November.

The government’s continued restrictions on funding to civil society and non-governmental organizations under the Charities and Societies Proclamation limited the activity of non-governmental organizations, including CVE programming targeting at-risk youth and engaging communities and credible leaders.

International and Regional Cooperation: There have been no significant changes since the 2016 report. The ENDF continued its participation in the African Union Mission in Somalia, which includes military forces from Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya, and Uganda. Ethiopia joined the UN Security Council (UNSC) as an elected member in January 2017 and served as a vice chair of the UNSC 1373 Committee on Counterterrorism. In December, Ethiopia co-sponsored UNSC Security Council resolution 2396 on returning and relocating foreign terrorist ‎fighters.


KENYA

Overview: Kenya saw a significant increase in al-Shabaab terrorist attacks in the region bordering Somalia during 2017, particularly through improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and ambushes. Kenya is a strong U.S. partner in counterterrorism investigation, prosecution, and incident response, and continued to play an important role in regional counterterrorism cooperation. The Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) continued to participate in the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and supported border security and counter-IED efforts within Kenya. Kenyan security services responded to numerous terrorist incidents, while also disrupting al-Shabaab and ISIS attack planning, recruitment, and travel. Reports of human rights violations by security forces during counterterrorism operations continued, including allegations of extra-judicial killings, disappearances, and torture. We refer you to the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices and Report on International Religious Freedom for further information.

2017 Terrorist Incidents: Al-Shabaab increased its attacks against Kenyan security forces inside the country, primarily along the border with Somalia. Terrorist incidents included:

  • On January 27, al-Shabaab fighters – including Somalis and Kenyans – attacked a KDF camp at Kolbio, on the Somali border, using vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs), mortars, and small arms. The KDF claimed nine Kenyan service members and 70 al-Shabaab terrorists died, while media reported at least 20 KDF soldiers had been killed. Al-Shabaab employed numerous IEDs and ambushes targeting police patrols in Kenya’s northeastern counties and Lamu County.
  • In four attacks from May 16 to 25, police reported approximately 30 security officials and civilians died, including five police officers in an attack on the Mandera County Governor.
  • On July 8 and September 6 in attacks in Lamu County, al-Shabaab militants killed at least 13 civilians, beheading the victims.
  • On July 13, al-Shabaab militants in Lamu County attacked the vehicle of, and attempted to abduct, the Principal Secretary of the national Ministry of Public Works, who later died. According to police and media, at least six police officers died in the ambush and subsequent rescue operation.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Kenya’s government used the Prevention of Terrorism Act (amended in 2014) to aggressively investigate and prosecute terrorism, but it has fallen short in implementing initiatives to improve access to justice among terrorism suspects in 2017. In August, the government launched a National Legal Aid Action Plan but has not funded a public defender service envisioned by law. The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions worked to finalize national plea-bargaining rules, which awaited publication in the Kenya Gazette at year’s end. The judiciary supported a rule of law-based approach to prosecutions, applying equal legal and evidentiary standards to terrorism cases as in other criminal cases. In a January ruling, the High Court overturned five convictions for attempted terrorist travel to Somalia, as the Kenyan government had not followed legal procedures designating Somalia as a prohibited destination.

Counterterrorism functions were divided among the three branches of the National Police Service – the Kenya Police’s paramilitary General Service Unit, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (including the investigative Anti-Terrorism Police Unit, the Bomb Disposal Unit, and the Cyber Forensics Investigative Unit), and the Administration Police (including the Rural Border Patrol Unit). The National Intelligence Service and elements of the KDF. Interagency also shared responsibility. Coordination was uneven, with improved information sharing in some cases and failure to appropriately pass threat information in others. Overall, resource constraints, insufficient training, corruption, and unclear command and control hindered effectiveness. Kenya’s National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) expanded outreach to private security companies and key sectors on soft target attacks. Kenya’s security agencies focused on soft target threats in major cities and tourist areas, primarily universities, shopping malls, hotels, and resorts.

Terrorists exploited Kenya’s sparsely populated border regions and largely uncontrolled land borders to conduct attacks and move operatives in and out of the country. The Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program trained and equipped rural Border Patrol Unit personnel in tactical ground sensor operations and border security operations. Other ATA programs included law enforcement training to respond to active shooter threats.

Kenyan officials continued efforts to draft a coordinated interagency border control strategy. In April, Kenya signed an agreement with the United States to implement the Automated Targeting System-Global to facilitate sharing of Advance Passenger Information for air travelers. Kenya worked to improve aviation safety and security at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Kenya established an interagency Joint Operations Centers at several ports of entry and border crossings to promote information sharing and maintained its traveler screening partnership with the United States using the Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System (PISCES) at major ports of entry. Immigration officers employed government watchlists. Watchlist screening and basic equipment at smaller ports of entry was generally lacking.

The Kenyan government worked to prevent the transit of foreign terrorist fighters, including Kenyans attempting to join al-Shabaab or ISIS, and those returning from abroad. In March, police arrested three alleged ISIS travel facilitators in Malindi. In May, South Sudanese and Kenyan police cooperated in the repatriation of three Kenyans and a Somali, who were arrested in South Sudan after the Malindi group allegedly recruited them to travel to join ISIS-Libya. Kenyan security services also detected and deterred terrorist plots and responded to dozens of terrorism-related incidents. The Kenyan government or its agents continued to face allegations that they committed arbitrary and unlawful killings, particularly of known or suspected criminals, including terrorists.

Court trials in terrorism cases often proceeded slowly. At the end of 2017, trials continued in the cases of four Kenyans accused of providing support for the 2013 Westgate Mall attack and of four Kenyans and one Tanzanian in connection with the 2015 Garissa University College attack. The Tanzanian defendant was found competent to stand trial in January after previously being found unfit in late 2016. The trial on explosives charges against British terrorism suspect Jermaine Grant, who was serving a nine-year sentence from a separate conviction in 2015, was pending a verdict at year’s end.

The Kenyan government cooperated with the United States regarding threat information and security at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, including through a dedicated General Service Unit counterterrorism response team funded by U.S. assistance. Kenya’s national elections required additional resources and personnel to conduct security operations, compelling the Kenyan government to limit certain counterterrorism-related training and redeployments.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Kenya is a member of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. In July, the Kenyan government appointed the first permanent Director General of its financial intelligence unit, the Financial Reporting Center (FRC), since its establishment in 2012. The FRC remained hampered by a lack of essential resources and faced challenges meeting minimum staffing, physical security, and information technology requirements. The FRC also lacked an electronic reporting system for analyzing suspicious transactions. The use of unregulated informal financial mechanisms, including hawalas, continued. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2018 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume II, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.

Countering Violent Extremism (CVE): Kenya’s government worked in 2017 to implement its 2016 National Strategy to Counter Violent Extremism, primarily through county-level action plans. Kenya’s NCTC worked with county governments, security actors, and civil society to launch action plans in Kwale, Mombasa, Lamu, and Kilifi Counties. The NCTC also led Kenya’s Country Support Mechanism for the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF), which began awarding grants for community initiatives to counter violent extremism. Kenya is also a GCERF beneficiary country. Police in Nairobi, coastal, and northeastern counties participated in community policing, dialogues on post-traumatic stress, and early warning and early response programs. Prison officials improved their handling of terrorist offenders. Other small-scale efforts to rehabilitate and reintegrate former terrorists, facilitators, and sympathizers continued, but these lacked a clear legal framework and supportive public messaging. Kenya’s second-largest city, Mombasa, is an active member of the Strong Cities Network.

International and Regional Cooperation: Kenya continues to host the United Nations (UN) Office in Nairobi, serving as a hub for regional coordination against transnational threats. The KDF continued its participation in the African Union Mission in Somalia, which includes military forces from Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Uganda. In December, Kenya cosponsored UN Security Council resolution 2396 on returning and relocating foreign terrorist ‎fighters.


MALI

Overview: The Government of Mali remained a willing U.S. counterterrorism partner in 2017, despite serious challenges. Widespread terrorist activity continued in Mali’s largely ungoverned northern regions and in the country’s center and Tri-Border Region with Burkina Faso and Niger. Slow implementation of the June 2015 peace accord between the Malian government and two coalitions of armed groups hampered the return of public services and security to the north and parts of the center. Mali continued to rely heavily on the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and French forces to help stabilize and secure the northern regions. Terrorist groups increased their attacks on all accord signatories, including former rebel groups with whom they had briefly allied. Terrorist activities also increased in number and severity in the central and southern regions.

The French military’s Operation Barkhane continued its integrated counterterrorism mission for the Sahel region. Cooperating with Malian forces, Operation Barkhane sought to degrade terrorist elements in northern and central Mali, particularly Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM), the umbrella group that formed after the Sahara Branch of al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), al-Murabitoun, Ansar al-Dine, and the Macina Liberation Front merged to form the group.

MINUSMA maintained its northern presence in 2017, particularly in the Gao, Kidal, and Timbuktu regions. It continued its work with the Malian government and various militia groups to facilitate the redeployment of government administrators and security forces to the north as part of implementing the 2016 Peace Accord.

2017 Terrorist Incidents: AQIM and JNIM continued to conduct terrorist attacks, primarily targeting Malian and international military forces. The terrorist groups launched attacks against civilians, security forces, peacekeepers, and others they reportedly perceived as not adhering to their interpretation of Islam. Attacks by terrorist groups expanded beyond the traditional conflict zone in the north to Mali’s center and south. Malian Security Forces continued to suffer the largest number of casualties resulting from terrorist attacks. An estimated 138 Malian soldiers were killed in numerous incidents. Terrorist incidents included:

  • On June 18, an attack at Le Campement Kangaba resort northeast of Bamako left nine dead including four guests, a Malian Counterterrorist Force member, and four terrorists. Three people were wounded. JNIM claimed responsibility.
  • On October 31, an attack between Dia and Diafarabé, against a convoy of Member of Parliament and President of the High Court of Justice Abdramane Niang, caused at least six deaths, including five Malian soldiers and one civilian. JNIM claimed responsibility.
  • On November 24, an attack against a MINUSMA convoy in Indelimane, Menaka region killed three Nigerien United Nations (UN) peacekeepers and wounded many others. JNIM claimed responsibility.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: In June, the Malian Gendarmerie Crisis Response Team, trained by the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program, responded to the Campement Kangaba terrorist attack and aided Malian forces in killing four assailants. At least 50 people were at the hotel at the time, and the fact that more patrons were not killed is evidence of the improvement of Malian first responders at the tactical level since the November 2015 Radisson Blu Hotel attack, which killed 20 people. In 2017, ATA provided additional advanced training and mentoring to the Malian Gendarmerie Crisis Response Team.

The Malian Armed Forces under the Ministry of Defense (MOD) remained the primary entities responsible for securing Mali against terrorist threats. The General Directorate of State Security under the Ministry of Security and Civil Protection (MOS) had the authority to investigate and detain persons for terrorism offenses. Combined counterterrorism missions involving law enforcement and military units lacked delineation and coordination.

Although Mali has basic border security, law enforcement units lacked the capacity, training, and necessary equipment to secure Mali’s porous borders, which extend approximately 4,500 miles and touch seven countries. The United States worked with Malian security forces at Bamako’s Senou International Airport to expand the U.S.-funded Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System program (PISCES). The gendarmerie, which reports to both the MOD and the MOS – and the national border police, which reports to the MOS – both provide paramilitary support to prevent and deter criminal activity at borders. Customs officials under the Ministry of Economy and Finance monitor the flow of goods and enforce customs laws at borders and ports of entry. Mali receives INTERPOL notices, but the INTERPOL database is unavailable at some of Mali’s points of entry. The UN International Organization for Migration is managing a project with the Malian Border Patrol to provide portable biometrics systems for scanning at primary border crossing areas to counter trafficking of persons, but this system lacks connection to a central database. The information is not centralized or searchable and is largely inaccessible and unusable. Exit and entry stamps used by border officials have inconsistent size and shape, which undermines efforts to authenticate travel documents.

Malian passports, including diplomatic and official versions, incorporate security measures including ultraviolet features and a full-color digital photo. Unfortunately, imposters can obtain fraudulent documents, such as birth and marriage certificates, with relative ease.

In 2017, the government opened 69 terrorism-related cases and detained 30 people for terrorism-related crimes. Resource constraints, a lack of training in investigative techniques, and inexperience with trying terrorism cases plagued a weak judicial system. The Malian government has never investigated, prosecuted, and sentenced any terrorists from start to finish. Mali has taken steps to improve its institutional capacity to fight terrorism, passing laws that create new terrorism-related offenses and allow for the use of special investigative techniques. This includes setting up a Special Judicial Interagency Work Group against terrorism and its equivalent for law enforcement – the specialized judicial brigade – and working with international partners to build the capacity of these units, including the UN Office of Drugs and Crime.

Mali worked cooperatively with the United States to prevent acts of terrorism against U.S. citizens. The Malian judicial system continued its cooperation with U.S. law enforcement agencies in the investigation into the November 2015 Radisson Blu Hotel attack, which killed one U.S. citizen.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Mali is a member of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. Mali’s financial intelligence unit, the Cellule Nationale de Traitement des Informations Financières (CENTIF-Mali), is a member of the Egmont Group. There were no significant changes since 2016. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2018 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume II, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.

Countering Violent Extremism (CVE): In June, the Government of Mali adopted a national strategy for the prevention of radicalization to violence and terrorism. The Ministry of Religious Affairs is responsible for developing and monitoring the national strategy and for working with the High Islamic Council and other religious associations to promote moderate Islam and maintain a secular state. Considerations to counter violent extremism were integrated into Mali’s “Program for Accelerated Development in the Northern Regions,” as was a draft decentralization policy.

Mali is a Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund beneficiary country.

The government launched the Integrated Central Region Security Plan in August, which aims first to secure and then re-establish government services across the Mopti region and the neighboring Segou region, which also experienced increasing insecurity.

International and Regional Cooperation: Mali remained active in regional organizations and international bodies, including the Economic Community of West African States, the UN, the African Union, and the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership. Mali also participated in Global Counterterrorism Forum events.

The Malian military participated in multinational border security operations under the G-5 Sahel mandate. Following a December U.S.-led Joint Combined Exchange Training event, Malian units deployed to the center sector of the G-5 Sahel Joint Force.


MAURITANIA

Overview: Mauritania was an excellent U.S. security and regional counterterrorism partner in 2017. Since 2011, when U.S. engagement with Mauritanian security forces greatly increased and Mauritanian forces defeated al-Qa’ida elements in three separate battles, Mauritania has not suffered a terrorist attack, despite continuing terrorist violence in neighboring Mali.

The Government of Mauritania continued to oppose terrorism effectively, building on an approach that hinges on community outreach, improving the capacity of security forces, and securing the country’s borders. The government has continued its counterterrorism cooperation with the United States and seized opportunities to participate in U.S.-sponsored training on counterterrorism tactics and techniques.

Mauritania Armed Forces and Law Enforcement Services worked with the United States to track, monitor, and counter terrorist groups, which include al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), ISIS, and Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM) – the group that formed after the Sahara Branch of al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb, al-Murabitoun, Ansar al-Dine, and the Macina Liberation Front came together in 2017.

Through the support of the United States and other partners such as France, Mauritania deployed 20,000 soldiers, divided between seven military regions around the country. Despite these efforts, regions in the interior of Mauritania remained imperfectly monitored, owing to their geographic isolation from population centers and inhospitable desert conditions. AQIM elements and like-minded terrorist groups were present in the region, particularly along the southeastern border with Mali, which remained the leading terrorist threat to Mauritania in 2017.

On November 6, Mauritanian press reported that AQIM released a new video in which it warned Mauritania of consequences for its cooperation with the so-called “crusaders’ forces.”

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Border security remained inadequate due to a standing policy that accords responsibility for different sections of the country’s land borders to different formations of the security forces. Owing to their geographic isolation from population centers, hard-to-access areas of the Sahara Desert further complicated efforts to monitor and secure borders.

On November 12, Mauritania declared its border with Algeria a military “Red Zone,” forbidden to civilians. This decision was motivated by the increased and diverse trafficking of prohibited goods through this region.

In collaboration with Mauritanian authorities, the Senegalese security forces arrested two suspected Algerian terrorists from ISIS on October 6 at the Mauritanian border crossing of Rosso. The two suspects were wanted by the Government of Algeria.

The Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program, in cooperation with host nation partner forces, provided training for 160 police officers and gendarmerie in topics including facilities protection, border security, interviewing terrorist suspects, crisis incident management, weapons of mass destruction, and border security and interdiction.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Mauritania is a member of the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. In 2017, Mauritania applied for membership within the Egmont Group. There were no other significant changes since 2016. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2018 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume II, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.

Countering Violent Extremism (CVE): The Mauritanian government continued to support CVE programs and offer alternatives to at-risk individuals. During 2017, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs and Traditional Education (MIATE) hosted a two-day regional workshop in Nouakchott to share the Mauritanian CVE experiences with representatives from the Maghreb countries and the G-5 Sahel countries. The workshop was organized in cooperation with the American Friendship Project.

The MIATE collaborated with independent Islamic religious groups to counter radicalization to violence in a series of workshops in all 15 provinces. The MIATE organized an international conference on “Violence and Extremism from Sharia’s Perspective,” held on March 19, 2017.

In coordination with two University of Nouakchott professors, a think tank, and some society leaders, the U.S. Embassy organized a two-day awareness training workshop for university students on violent extremism, how to recognize possible recruitment activities, and strategies to counter them.

The southern Mauritanian city of Kiffa is a member of the Strong Cities Network.

Mauritanian political and religious personalities periodically condemned ISIS’s aims, methods, and activities in public statements.

International and Regional Cooperation: Nouakchott serves as host to the headquarters of the G-5 Sahel, which includes Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. Mauritania will be responsible for the western sector of the G-5 Sahel Joint Force located along the border between Mauritania and Mali.

Under the auspices of the G-5 Sahel, Mauritania, the European Union, and the German Agency of International Cooperation, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime organized a meeting of experts on mechanisms and standards for information exchange within the Security Cooperation Platform of the G-5 Sahel in Nouakchott on October 24-25, 2017.


NIGER

Overview: Terrorist groups active in Niger included the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), ISIS in the Greater Sahara (ISIS-GS), Boko Haram, ISIS-West Africa (ISIS-WA), and Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM), the group that formed after the Sahara Branch of al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb, al-Murabitoun, Ansar al-Dine, and the Macina Liberation Front came together in 2017.

Terrorists freely crossed many of Niger’s borders. In the southeast, Boko Haram and ISIS-WA profited from porous borders with Chad and Nigeria to attack civilian and security targets in Niger’s Diffa region. Al-Qa’ida (AQ) and ISIS affiliates transited the Mali and Burkina Faso borders in the west to attack security targets in the Tillabery region and crossed the Libyan and, to a lesser extent, the Algerian borders in the Agadez region in the north. Terrorists, weapons, and contraband transited freely through the vast northern part of Niger.

Niger remained a strong opponent of terrorism in the region, continued to cooperate with international partners, and received substantial international counterterrorism assistance. From 2012 to the end of 2017, the Departments of Defense and State executed approximately US $240 million in security assistance, counterterrorism, and countering violent extremism (CVE) programming. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is programming an additional US $30.9 million, including US $16 million for USAID/Office of Transition Initiatives for CVE programs. Foreign assistance has helped the Nigerien military increase its capability to patrol, collect information, and interdict terrorists.

Niger is standing up the Central Sector Command Post in Niamey for the G-5 Sahel Joint Force. Niger conducted joint patrols with Chad and Nigeria as part of its increased cooperation with Lake Chad Basin Commission member countries in the fight against Boko Haram and ISIS‑WA. Niger has increased its number of border control facilities and is working with the international community to construct and equip these facilities.

Niger joined the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS in 2017.

2017 Terrorist Incidents: Numerous terrorist attacks occurred in the Diffa and Tillabery regions, leading to dozens of deaths and injuries. Terrorist organizations frequently stole military vehicles and equipment that they then used in later attacks. Terrorist attacks in western Niger focused almost exclusively on security forces, while Boko Haram and ISIS-WA attacked both civilian and military targets in the southeast. Attacks included:

  • On June 28, two suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers attacked a refugee camp in Kabelewa, Diffa, killing three refugees and wounding 11 others. This was the first suicide attack in Diffa in more than one year.
  • On July 2, Boko Haram terrorists kidnapped 39 women and killed nine civilians in N’Galewa village in Diffa region.
  • On October 4, suspected ISIS-GS terrorists attacked U.S. and Nigerien Special Operations Forces in Tongo Tongo, Tillabery, killing four U.S. soldiers and five Nigerien soldiers and wounding two U.S. soldiers and four Nigerien soldiers.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Niger’s laws criminalize acts of terrorism consistent with international instruments. Nigerien law enforcement and security services were actively engaged in detecting, deterring, and preventing acts of terrorism on Nigerien territory, but they suffered from insufficient manpower, funding, and equipment. Counterterrorism investigations in Niger are primarily the responsibility of the Central Service for the Fight against Terrorism (SCLCT), an interagency body comprising representatives from Niger’s National Police, National Guard, and Gendarmerie. Information sharing occurred among the law enforcement agencies of SCLCT.

Niger’s long borders and vast areas of harsh terrain made effective border security a challenge. Through the U.S. Global Security Contingency Fund, a joint interagency program between the U.S. Departments of Defense, Justice, and State, Niger developed a Draft National Border Security Strategy and corresponding Implementation Plan. Niger continued to use rudimentary terrorism watchlists that it shared with the security services and at border checkpoints. The Government of Niger continued to screen travelers using the U.S.-provided Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System (PISCES). Niger is one of six African countries participating in the Security Governance Initiative to strengthen coordination among Niger’s military and law enforcement services.

In 2017, the SCLCT arrested 250 terrorist suspects on charges that included planning acts of terrorism, association with a terrorist organization, recruitment, and terrorist financing. Courts tried or dismissed approximately 550 terrorism cases. Approximately 1,100 terrorism suspects remained in detention awaiting trial at year’s end. While the law prohibits torture and degrading treatment, there were indications that security officials were sometimes involved in abusing or harming detainees suspected of terrorist activity.

The United States provided counterterrorism assistance to Nigerien law enforcement – including through the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program and a Resident Legal Advisor from the Department of Justice. ATA training included improvised explosive device awareness and command and control in support of Niger’s participation in the multilateral Flintlock exercise.

As part of a broader counterterrorism strategy, the United States is working with the Government of Niger to improve its capacity to employ forensic investigative tools. From April to May, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Defense collected the biometric information of more than 1,300 terrorism detainees and digitized more than 600 terrorism-linked paper fingerprint records. Niger is the only country in the region where terrorist suspects are identified systematically in a biometric enrollment initiative.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Niger is a member of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. There were no significant changes since 2016. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2018 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume II, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.

Countering Violent Extremism (CVE): The Government of Niger, through the High Authority for the Consolidation of Peace and the Ministry of Interior, increased its focus on CVE programs, although international partners and non-governmental organizations drove most of Niger’s programming. In May, the University of Diffa hosted an international Symposium on De-radicalization and Reintegration. The Ministry of Interior organized a high-level national conference, “Violent Extremism and Youth in Niger.”

In late December 2016, the Minister of Interior announced an amnesty policy for Boko Haram and ISIS-WA fighters who wished to defect. In 2017, 172 former fighters and affiliated non‑combatants officially defected, with 167 housed in a government-run camp in the Diffa region. The Government of Niger had not put forth a formal reintegration plan for former combatants by the end of 2017.

International and Regional Cooperation: In early 2017, Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali signed an accord creating the Liptako-Gourma authority to direct security operations in the Tri-Border Region where ISIS-GS and AQ are active. In mid-2017, the Liptako-Gourma authority was folded into the G-5 Sahel Joint Force, a military effort fielded by Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger, to address security threats in the region. Niger was standing up the Central Sector Command, based in Niamey.

On a rotational basis, Niger deploys an infantry battalion to the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali.

Niger conducted joint patrols with Chad and Nigeria and increased its cooperation with Lake Chad Basin Commission member countries to fight Boko Haram and ISIS-WA. Nigerien officials hosted and attended multiple international meetings on countering the two groups. Niger is a member of and contributes troops to the Multinational Joint Task Force along with Benin, Cameroon, Chad, and Nigeria.

Niger is a member of the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership. Nigerien officials continued to participate actively in regional programs organized by the Global Counterterrorism Forum’s Sahel Region Capacity-Building and Criminal Justice/Rule of Law working groups. Niger participates in a judicial cooperation organization, the Sahel Judicial Platform, with other countries in the region.


NIGERIA

Overview: Boko Haram and its offshoot, ISIS-West Africa (ISIS-WA), carried out killings, bombings, and attacks on civilian and military targets in northern Nigeria, resulting in thousands of deaths, injuries, and significant destruction of property.

Nigeria continued to work with other terrorism-affected neighbors in the Multinational Joint Task Force, including Benin, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger to counter-Boko Haram and ISIS-WA, regain control over territory previously held by these groups, and launch efforts to rebuild civilian structures and institutions in cleared areas.

Terrorist activity accounted for the internal displacement of nearly two million persons in the states of Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe, and the external displacement of more than 200,000 Nigerian refugees to neighboring countries, principally Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. The Nigerian government negotiated with Boko Haram for the May 6 release of 82 of the 276 female students abducted by Boko Haram in Chibok in 2014. According to the Bring Back Our Girls campaign, 113 students remained missing at the end of 2017.

Nigeria is a member of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.

An interdisciplinary assistance team composed of personnel from the Department of State, the Department of Defense, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Agency for International Development continued to coordinate efforts with the Nigerian military at the Defense Intelligence Agency, with daily military-to-military engagement at the Joint Combined Fusion Cell and the Joint Coordination Planning Committee.

In its response to Boko Haram and ISIS-WA attacks, and at times in response to crime and insecurity in general, Nigerian security service personnel perpetrated extrajudicial killings and engaged in torture, sexual exploitation and abuse, arbitrary detention, mistreatment of detainees, use of children by some security elements, looting, and destruction of property. We refer you to the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices and Report on International Religious Freedom for further information

2017 Terrorist Incidents: Boko Haram and ISIS-WA carried out hundreds of attacks in Nigeria using suicide bombers, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), vehicle-borne IEDs, raids, ambushes, and kidnappings. The following list details only a fraction of the incidents that occurred:

  • On June 7, suspected Boko Haram militants launched an attack on Maiduguri, Borno State, and engaged Nigerian forces in a gunfight. In coordination, three suicide bombers detonated explosives on civilian targets in the Muna Garage neighborhood of Maiduguri. The attack killed at least 17 civilians and injured 34 others.
  • On July 25, an ISIS-WA attack on the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) surveying project resulted in the deaths of at least 69 people. Victims included 19 soldiers, 33 civilian militia, and 17 NNPC and University of Maiduguri staff. Three university faculty were also abducted.
  • On November 21, a Boko Haram suicide bomber detonated explosives at a mosque in the town of Mubi, in Adamawa State, killing at least 50 people.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Nigeria’s 2011 counterterrorism law was amended in 2013 and was strengthened by the 2014 National Security Strategy and the 2016 National Counter Terrorism Strategy.

The Nigerian Office of the National Security Advisor is responsible on paper for coordinating all security and enforcement agencies. The Nigerian military has primary responsibility for combating terrorism in the Northeast. Several government agencies also perform counterterrorism functions, including the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), and the Ministry of Justice. The NPF has a Counterterrorism Unit and a Terrorist Investigation Branch. Both units are responsible for investigating acts of terrorism and conducting proactive measures to prevent terrorist attacks. Interagency cooperation and information sharing was limited. Due to their knowledge of the local context, community-based security groups, often collectively referred to as the Civilian Joint Task Force, provided critical and necessary responses to the terrorism threat in the Northeast.

In October, the Government of Nigeria began closed-door hearings in front of civilian judges for more than 1,600 suspected supporters of Boko Haram and ISIS-WA. According to a government statement, 600 suspects were arraigned in the initial proceedings. Of these, 45 pled guilty to various charges and were sentenced to between three and 31 years in prison, 468 persons were ordered to undergo a de-radicalization and rehabilitation program before being released, 34 cases were dismissed, and 28 cases were remanded for trial in civilian courts elsewhere in the country. Some human rights groups alleged terrorist suspects detained by the military were denied their rights to legal representation, due process, and to be heard by a judicial authority.

On December 8, the government said it adopted a new strategy for the screening of suspected Boko Haram members and other terrorists. This involved developing a national terrorism database and providing training in investigative interviewing techniques and evidence collection.

Border security responsibilities are shared between NPF, NSCDC, Customs, Immigration, and the military. Coordination among agencies was limited.

The Nigerian government continued to participate in U.S. capacity-building programs, worked with the FBI to investigate specific terrorism matters, and provided IED components to the FBI for analysis at the Terrorist Device Analysis Center. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and NPF also received crime scene training relevant to counterterrorism investigations.

In 2017, the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program continued to mentor Nigeria’s explosive ordnance disposal personnel. ATA also delivered a Crisis Intervention Seminar, Senior Leadership Seminar, and an IED awareness seminar in support of Nigeria’s participation in the Flintlock multilateral exercise.

The Nigerian government actively cooperated with the United States and other international partners to assist with counterterrorism investigations. On April 12, Nigeria’s state security agency said it had thwarted plans by terrorists they believed affiliated with Boko Haram to attack the British and U.S. embassies.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Nigeria is a member of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. On July 5, the Egmont Group suspended Nigeria for its failure to restructure its financial intelligence unit to make it operationally autonomous and isolated from possible political control, a requirement the Egmont Group places on all of its members. To rectify this deficiency, the Nigerian Senate, in November, passed the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Agency Bill. At the end of 2017, this legislation was awaiting passage by the Nigerian House. Additionally, the Money Laundering Prevention and Prohibition Bill of 2017, amending and strengthening the 2011 Money Laundering Act, was under active review in the Nigerian Senate and House. Other active, but not yet passed, legislation with a nexus to terrorist financing includes the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill and the Proceeds of Crime Bill. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2018 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume II, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.

Countering Violent Extremism (CVE): In August, Nigeria, with direct support from the British Department for International Development, adopted a Policy Framework and National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism. The framework was in accordance with relevant UN policy and developed in coordination with various ministries and civil society organizations. In December, under this framework, the government launched an Action Plan for Demobilization, Disassociation, Reintegration, and Reconciliation in Nigeria. Nigeria is a Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund beneficiary country. Kaduna state and Kano state are members of the Strong Cities Network.

International and Regional Cooperation: Nigeria continued its high-level participation in regional security and counterterrorism conferences. This included President Buhari’s participation in the Aqaba Conference on countering terrorism and radicalization in West Africa (sponsored by Jordan in December) and the AU-EU Summit held in Cote d’Ivoire in November. Nigeria is a member of the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership, a founding member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum, and part of the Security Governance Initiative between the United States and six African partners.


SENEGAL

Overview: Senegal experienced no terrorist attacks in 2017, however, security forces arrested three individuals suspected of having ties to ISIS. In light of its deep concerns about terrorist activity in the region, the Government of Senegal worked closely with U.S. military and law enforcement officials to strengthen its counterterrorism capabilities.

The risk of terrorist activity in Senegal arises from external and internal factors. Externally, transnational threats arose due to the Senegalese military presence in several theaters of operation in the region and the activities of terrorist groups in neighboring countries. Internally, the promotion of fundamentalist ideologies by a small number of religious leaders constituted the chief concern, however, these ideologies are outside the Islamic norms that predominate in Senegal.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: The Government of Senegal enacted no important changes to its counterterrorism laws in 2017. However, Senegal did make fully operational its specialized Inter-Ministerial Framework for Intervention and Coordination of Counterterrorism Operations (CICO) during the year. The CICO, which is intended to fully coordinate the government’s response to terrorism, was initially formed in 2016.

Senegal’s gendarmerie and national police have specialized units to detect, deter, and prevent acts of terrorism. Effective interagency cooperation and information sharing challenged the various governmental bodies that have counterterrorism functions in Senegal, but the advent of the CICO is leading to steady improvement in these areas. Senegal works to develop specific plans and capabilities to prevent and respond to terrorist attacks against soft targets and held a major exercise in 2017 in Dakar to test the ability of security forces to respond effectively.

Senegalese officials identified a continued lack of border resources and regional cooperation as security vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities were exacerbated by the absence of systems to ensure travel document security, the effective use of terrorist screening watch lists, and the collection of biographic and biometric screening capabilities beyond those deployed at major ports of entry. The southern and eastern portions of the country have far fewer resources to detect and deter terrorists who might travel through those areas.

Senegal is working to improve its law enforcement capacity by participating in multilateral efforts, such as the Border Security Initiative of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), programs of the African Union (AU), and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Additionally, Senegal has been working with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to promote cooperation and coordination between border agencies, including creating three new joint points of entry, funded by the European Union (EU) and the Government of Japan, on the border with Mauritania. With U.S. funding, the IOM implemented a complementary program to enhance institutional capacities in securing and managing national borders. This included developing and emphasizing stronger community engagement and more coherent approaches to border management; interagency cooperation and coordination; cross-border interoperability; and trust between border communities and security officials that contributes to establishing open, but well-controlled and secure borders that guarantee the full respect of human rights of persons on the move. Senegal also participated in the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program, which provided courses and consultations directly focused on soft target identification and protection.

Significant law enforcement actions in 2017 included the February arrest of two Malian nationals suspected of involvement in terrorism and the September arrest of two Algerian nationals on similar charges. The trial of Imam Alioune Badara Ndao and 31 other individuals charged in 2015 with criminal conspiracy in connection with terrorist groups, money laundering for terrorist activities, and terrorist financing, continued through the end of 2017. Imam Ndao has been associated with the Diokhane terrorist network and its links to Boko Haram and ISIS.

In November, when reporting indicated a possible terrorist plot to attack certain soft targets, the Senegalese government responded professionally and appropriately by increasing its security posture in Dakar.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Senegal is a member of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. Its financial intelligence unit, the National Financial Intelligence Processing Unit, is a member of the Egmont Group. While Senegal criminalizes the offense of terrorist financing, it does not criminalize the provision of funds to terrorist organizations or to individual terrorists in the absence of a link to a specific terrorist act. Senegal also lacks specific measures to criminalize the provision of support to foreign terrorist fighters. Additionally, while Senegal has a framework in place to carry out its obligations under the UN Security Council (UNSC) ISIL (Da’esh) and al-Qa’ida sanctions regime, the procedures for accessing and freezing assets of listed individuals is not clarified in existing regulations. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2018 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume II, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.

Countering Violent Extremism (CVE): There have been no significant changes since 2016. The Senegalese government did not have a national CVE strategy or plan of action, although Senegalese civil society groups were active in this field. The government was reportedly working on a strategy document built around the pillars of prevention, protection, intervention, and resilience, but it had not been completed at the end of 2017 and the draft had not been made public.

Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TraCCC)

Feoktistov, M.V.Economic and Official Crimes. / Specialized study course.- Saratov, Saratov Research Center on Organized Crime and Corruption: Satellite, 2003.Dosyukova T. VOrgainized Crime in Economic Sphere: Problems of Categorization/ Specialized Course.- Saratov, Saratov Research Center on Organized Crime and Corruption: Satellite, 2003.Garmaev. Y.P.Participation of Dishonest Lawyers in Organized Crime and Corruption: Analysis and Problems of Combating. Specialized Training Course.- Saratov, Saratov Research Un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk on Organized Crime and Corruption: Satellite, 2003.Crime and Corruption: Contemporary Russian Realities. Compilation of Research Papers.- Saratov, Saratov Research Center on Organized Crime and Corruption: Satellite, 2003.- 248 PagesEvstifeeva E.V.Organized Crime and Human Trafficking: Criminological and Criminal-Legal Analysis: Specialized study course/Edited By Kobzeeva E.V. – Saratov, Saratov Research Center on Organized Crime and Corruption, 2004.Chuklinov A.E.Administrative Resources as Specific Form of Political Corruption: Specialized Study Course/ Edited By Kobzeeva E.V. – Saratov, Saratov Research Center on Organized Crime And Corruption, 2004.Crime And Criminal Law: Realities, Tendencies and Interrelations: Compilation of Research Papers/ Edited By Prof. N.A. Lopashenko.- Kobzeeva E.V, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk. – Caratov, Saratov Research Center on Organized Crime and Corruption, 2004. -586 PagesOrganized Crime and Corruption: Results of Criminological-Sociological Surveys. 1st Edition./ Edited By Prof. N. A. Lopahenko. – Saratov, Saratov Research Center on Organized Crime and Corruption: Satellite, 2005.Klimenko N.Y.Drug Use And Drug Business: Problems of Combating at Federal and Regional Levels: Specialized Course/ Edited By E. V. Kobzeeva. Saratov, Saratov Research Center on Organized Crime and Corruption: Satellite, 2005.Klimenko I.I.Problems of Combating Organized Crime: Specialized Study Un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk Edited By E. V. Kobzeeva. Saratov, Saratov Research Center on Organized Crime and Corruption: Satellite, 2005.Contemporary Types of Russian and International Crime: Analysis, Tendencies, Ways of Combating. Compilation of Research Papers, Edited By Prof. N.A. Lopashenko. Saratov, Saratov Research Center on Organized Crime and Corruption: Satellite, 2005. – 548 Pages.Vedernikov O.N.International Un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk Foundations of Combating Organized Crime, Terrorism and Corruption/ Specialized course. / Edited By Prof. N.A. Lopashenko. Saratov, Saratov Research Center on Organized Crime and Corruption: Satellite, 2006 -96 Pages.Garmaev Y.PMethods of Prosecution on Bribery/ Specialized Lecture Course. Edited By Prof. N.A. Lopashenko. Saratov, Saratov Research Center on Organized Crime and Corruption: Satellite, 2006. – 136 Pages.Shesler A.V.Group Crimes: Criminological and Criminal Law Aspects: Specialized Study Course/ Prof. N.A. Lopashenko. Saratov, Saratov Research Center on Organized Crime and Corruption: Satellite, 2006 – 144 Pages.Organized Crime and Corruption: Results of Criminological-Sociological Surveys. 2nd Edition./ Edited By Prof. N. A. Lopahenko. – Saratov, Saratov Research Center on Organized Crime and Corruption: Satellite, 2006.- 270 PagesCriminal –Legal Policy And Problems of Combating Contemporary Crime/ Compilation of Research Papers, Edited By Prof. N. A. Lopahenko. – Saratov, Saratov Research Center on Organized Crime and Corruption: Satellite, 2006.- 652 PagesRepetskaya A.L.Criminal Market Of Russia. – Saratov: Saratov Research Center on Organized Crime and Corruption: Satellite, 2007.- 120 Pages.

(Un)Civil Societies Report: September 11, 2002

11 September 2002, Volume 3, Number 37

IS THE HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN EURASIA WORSE SINCE 11 SEPTEMBER?The first anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States on 11 September 2001 has prompted considerable reflection on whether the justifiable need to fight international terrorism has unintentionally worsened the human rights situation at home and abroad, specifically in Eurasia. The U.S. has strengthened military and political ties with the Russian and Central Asian governments even as they persist in ignoring human rights standards. And some activists are pondering whether more attention should be paid to economic concerns along with civil and political liberties to prevent terrorist movements from gaining a foothold in transition societies.

A 10-day conference on human rights and democracy convened by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) opening this week has brought some 500 government officials, international experts, and nongovernmental-organization (NGO) activists together to discuss democracy and human rights. Some NGO leaders travelling from Central Asia to the meeting have a stark message. "With the formation of the strategic partnership between the U.S. and Uzbekistan after the well-known events of 11 September 2001, many people hoped for an improvement in the human rights situation in Uzbekistan. But eventually all these hopes turned out to be illusions," says Abusalom Ergashev, leader of the Ferghana Valley branch of the Human Rights Society, in a statement prepared for the conference. As indicative of unchanging conditions, Ergashev cited the recent cases of women who demonstrated against the torture of their relatives in prison, and wound un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk in police custody themselves. Ergashev and other Central Asian activists have greater expectations from Western leaders now to put more pressure on their governments to implement human rights guarantees.

There is some sign that they are being heard. OSCE conference spokesman Jens-Hagen Eschenbaecher told RFE/RL that one of the major issues of the conference will be the fight against terrorism and its international repercussions on the human rights situation in many of the 55 member countries of the OSCE (see "OSCE: Conference To Focus On Terrorism, Human Rights In Central Asia," rferl.org, 9 September 2002). "There is no specific session on terrorism, but we expect this to be one of the major issues. And not only, of course, as regards the Western countries' response [to it], but also Central Asian countries. Un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk example, using the fight against terrorism as a pretext to clamp down on human rights in their countries," Eschenbaecher said.

Some activists have come to see a kind of "axis of opportunism" emerging as certain U.S. allies in the war against terrorism have used the campaign as a cover to settle scores with their restive minorities and separatist movements, hoping to deflect criticism from the Western democracies. Speaking quite frankly during her last week in office as UN high commissioner for human rights, former Irish President Mary Robinson said the U.S., Russia, China and others were trampling on civil liberties to crush troublesome opponents, AP reported on 7 September. "Everything is justified by that T-word," Robinson said, referring to terrorism. "I hope that countries will put human rights back on the agenda because it tended to slip after 11 September," AP quoted her as saying.

With American military presence in the Central Asia, NGOs are taking a hard look at whether events since last year's terrorist attacks have worsened the human rights situation -- an impression many have but find hard to substantiate in numeric terms -- or whether the rising tide of expectations unleashed from increased U.S. military engagement as well as media attention to the region have made chronically bad human rights conditions more intolerable.

Acacia Shields, Central Asia researcher for the Europe and Central Asia Division of Human Rights Watch (HRW), told "(Un)Civil Societies" that trends in each country have to be analyzed separately and the relationship to the counterterrorism effort understood in more sophisticated fashion. "The way to understand the last year's changes is that even before [11 September], these countries in Central Asia were already going down the road of worsening human rights conditions and had already mastered the art of repression of their own people. But these governments have definitely been emboldened by the new strategic relationship with the U.S. to pursue increasingly brazen policies with very little lip service to international law or the standards of civil society since [11 September]," said Shields.

"In Kyrgyzstan, every day it is getting worse and worse -- there's no question -- and we can trace back this whole year [to last September] to see when it began to deteriorate dramatically," says Shields. "It's a total lack of public confidence in the government and a lack of trust by the government in the people," she says.

With Uzbekistan, "even before [11 September], we were in a long period with gruesome deaths in custody and there have been thousands of people in prison for their religious beliefs for years, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk. It's hard to say this year has been 'worse' -- what has worsened is the attitude of the government. It's a new form of cynicism and sophistication, especially when reacting to expression of human rights concerns from the West. It is all window dressing. They are releasing a few prisoners, and mainly keeping the rest in the jails," said Shields.

To be sure, in Uzbekistan, for example, there have been small gestures achieved after Western interventions -- the registration of an NGO long denied legal status, the amnesty of some prisoners, the prosecution of some policemen caught using torture, and access to prisons for the International Committee for the Red Cross and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. There is new room to maneuver for democracy assistance programs as well. In a statement released on 20 August titled "Fighting for Fundamental Rights and Freedoms," and published on a website to commemorate the 11 September attacks (http://usinfo.state.gov/911/), the U.S. government outlined programs run by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan (where U.S. military bases are now established) to "promote the growth of democratically oriented political parties," to establish a printing press in Kyrgyzstan "that will ensure access to free and independent information," and a two-year project to "strengthen responsible journalism in Central Asia." With greater urgency now since the attacks, the bureau has "sought to advance human rights and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide in order to change the climate of disenfranchisement and alienation that gives rise to terrorism."

Activists feel it is not enough. "Central Asian governments justify a wide range of repressive actions against political opponents, religious movements, and independent media in terms of fighting terrorism, and they receive less criticism and pressure from abroad," Aaron Rhodes, executive director of the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF), told "(Un)Civil Societies." "What is worse, the civil society communities in those countries, which have committed themselves to democracy, pluralism and human rights, often feel as if they no longer have friends and un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk as Western governments take a short-sighted and expedient approach toward terrorism," says Rhodes. The IHF, a Vienna-based group uniting 41 Helsinki and other human rights groups in Europe and North America, has published a number of reports assessing conditions in Eurasia since the 11 September attacks (see http://www.ihf-hr.org).

Activists want to make more explicit a linkage between improvement in human rights and foreign aid. In a statement released on 10 September, HRW accused the U.S. of "rubber-stamping" human rights improvements in Uzbekistan. HRW said Secretary of State Colin Powell had certified under U.S, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk. law "substantial and continuing progress" in meeting the human rights and democracy commitments contained in a March 2002 bilateral agreement, although the actual situation in the country did not warrant it. The determination was required to release $45 million in additional assistance to the Uzbek government, now totaling $173 million this year, some of it earmarked for democracy and human rights promotion.

There has been some argument for pulling back on harsh criticism of Eurasian governments. Will amir lyrical terrorism .zip of democratic groups only cause unrest and untenable challenges for Un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk Asian strongmen who will see no choice but to crack down violently on citizens' demonstrations? In fact, say observers, such responses only help create the very terrorist movements they ostensibly sought to prevent. "I don't see why we should hand [Osama] bin Laden a victory and allow him to harm the human rights movement, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk. To support repressive regimes in Central Asia constitutes a security threat because those regimes generate and export terrorism," says Rhodes.

As citizens continue to clash with authorities in Kyrgyzstan (see below), for example, human rights activists have warned that it is important not to confuse peaceful citizens' grassroots protest movements seeking redress of grievances and change -- and often provoking the violent backlash of brittle and nervous police states -- with terrorist groups bent on destruction or establishment of a fanatical system that would in turn itself violate civil rights.

Underlying the discussion about the backlash of counterterrorism on human rights is a deeper and often contentious debate both within governments and NGO movements about the hierarchy of types of rights or entitlements, and whether the focus should be on sustainable economic and social development or promotion of democracy and civil liberties. Speaking to a group of NGOs at the UN in New York on 9 September outgoing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Robinson was asked about the ongoing controversy about "root causes" of terrorism, whether they are related to an absence of social and economic guarantees or a dearth of democracy and political freedoms. "A balance is needed," said Robinson, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk. "Both sets of rights are needed to combat terrorism."

Yelena Bonner, chair of the Andrei Sakharov Foundation in Moscow, a veteran Russian human rights campaigner an outspoken critic of President's Putin's continued war in the North Caucasus, told "(Un)Civil Societies" that the situation had worsened considerably in Chechnya in the last year. This week a Russian human rights monitoring group, Memorial Society, discovered another mass grave of persons on its list of disappeared detainees; it was one of many such incidents of atrocities in the three-year war "essentially ignored by the West," says Bonner.

Even before 11 September, Putin's rule was notable for an erosion in media freedom and other backsliding, says Bonner; but particularly since last year's attack on the U.S. "the encouragement of patriotic sentiment has been accompanied by a worsening human rights situation," she says. She pointed to a decade-long downward spiral in all the former Soviet republics. "The Soviet dissidents were occupied with only some of the articles of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the guarantees for the freedom of speech, and freedom of dissemination of information and movement un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk people across frontiers. Today, these issues are less important for the average citizen than other articles of the Universal Declaration, regarding adequate social and economic rights such as health care, pensions, and education. Now these social rights are massively violated," says Bonner, noting that most people perceived the standards of social protection to have been greater in the Soviet era. Clearly, the upheavals of the last decade of transition, the resistance of Eurasian regimes to change and the increased expectations of their citizens, coupled with the unintended consequences of the war on terrorism, will pose serious challenges to Western governments still exploring the limits of their policies in the region. CAF

OPPOSITION RELEASES JOINT DECLARATION.The 16 opposition parties that aligned last week with the aim of fielding a single candidate to oppose incumbent Robert Kocharian in the presidential ballot scheduled for 19 February 2003 unveiled their joint declaration on 4 September. According to Noyan Tapan, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk accuses Kocharian of neglecting the country's interests in his determination to retain power at all costs, and stresses the 16 parties' shared determination to bring about a change of leadership. The 16 parties pledge to coordinate their political activities and to agree on a single presidential candidate and program. But Albert Bazeyan, one of the leaders of the opposition Hanrapetutiun Party, told journalists on 4 September that the opposition may un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk fact field several candidates in the first round of the presidential ballot, RFE/RL's Yerevan bureau reported. Doing so would offer voters a choice of alternatives to the incumbent president and thus lessen his chances of gaining the 50 percent-plus-one vote needed for a first-round victory. "Haykakan zhamanak" observed on 5 September that at least six of the 16 opposition leaders have said they plan to contest the upcoming presidential election. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 5 September)

FORMER RULING PARTY WILL NOT JOIN OPPOSITION ALLIANCE.The Armenian Pan-National Movement (HHSh) will not join the coalition of 16 opposition parties formed last week, HHSh election-campaign strategist Tigran Hakobian told RFE/RL on 3 September, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk. He explained that the HHSh has grounds to believe that despite their criticism of the existing leadership, some unidentified parties in that alignment continue to cooperate with it. He further pointed out that the 16 have diverging priorities and ideologies, and predicted that their alliance will prove to be short-lived. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 4 September)

SUPPORTERS OF FORMER PRESIDENT SENTENCED.Azerbaijan's Court for Serious Crimes on 5 September handed down sentences of between five and 10 years to five supporters of former President Ayaz Mutalibov found guilty of planning to mount a coup d'etat in October 2001 with the aim of returning Mutalibov to power, Turan reported. Those charges were based on the testimony of a single witness. All five men pled not guilty, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 6 September)

MILITARY CADETS LAUNCH PROTEST.Some 3,000 cadets from Azerbaijan's Higher Military Academy staged a walkout on 3 September to protest harsh conditions, poor food, and mistreatment by the college's administrative and teaching staff, ITAR-TASS and Turan reported. They claim the situation at the college deteriorated after the departure of Turkish instructors. Some 600 cadets returned to the college on 4 September and several hundred parents gathered outside the premises. Turan reported on 4 September that the cadets were demanding a meeting with senior Defense Ministry personnel and President Heidar Aliev, and the return of the Turkish instructors. ITAR-TASS reported the same day that Defense Minister Colonel General Safar Abiev went to the college late on 3 September. Some 800 of the 2,000 cadets who walked out on 3 September returned on 4 September, Turan reported. The un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk vowed not to return unless their demands for improved conditions and return of the Turkish instructors are met, reported zerkalo.az on 5 September. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 4 and 5 September)

.WITH NATO VS. RUSSIAN INSTRUCTION STYLE AT ISSUE."[email protected]," an electronic weekly bulletin published in Baku, reported on 5 September (No.36) that in addition to protesting hazing by senior officers, and lack of adequate food and clothing, the cadets rejected the Russian Army-style curriculum in favor of Turkish instruction with NATO standards. A beating of a first-year student seems to have sparked the student walkout, parents told reporters. They said the Turkish Defense Ministry had supplied instructors, taught courses according to the NATO system of military specialties rather than the Russian system, and allocated food and clothing for the students which they claim was stolen by school administrators. Students also said they had to give bribes to get home leave and were punished brutally for infractions. CAF

TRADERS CONTINUE STRIKE OVER FISCAL PRESSURE.Some 1,000 market vendors staged a demonstration in Minsk's central square to protest tax increases, insurance fees, and regulations they say are intended to make small business unprofitable, AP reported. Anatol Shumchenka, a representative of the United Council of Entrepreneurs, told the agency that some 70 percent of the 180,000 people registered as individual entrepreneurs are taking part in the strike that began on 1 September. Shumchenka said half the markets in 20 cities are effectively shut. He added that the 1 September strike was planned as a one-day action, but vendors groups decided to prolong it indefinitely because there was no reaction from the government. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 5 September)

PARENTS KEEP KIDS AWAY FROM SCHOOL, PROTEST WAGE ARREARS.Unable to draw attention to their plight by other means, parents in the village of Guta, Vitebsk Oblast, kept their children home from school for a week in protest against nonpayment of salaries at a glass-making factory in the town where most local residents are employed, reported Charter 97 on 5 September. While authoritarian Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka often claims wages are paid on time, and Belarusians, while earning much less, have not experienced the lengthy delays of neighboring Russia, in the last year continuing deterioration in the economy has meant increasing incidents of nonpayment. CAF

OPPOSITION DEMONSTRATOR JAILED FOR 10 DAYS.A court in Hrodna on 6 September imposed a 10-day jail sentence on Dzmitry Ivanouski, the deputy chairman of the local branch of the opposition Belarusian Popular Front and leader of the Hrodna Choice coalition, Belapan reported. Ivanouski was punished for his participation in an unauthorized demonstration in Hrodna on 8 July to mark the second anniversary of the disappearance of Belarusian journalist Dmitry Zavadski. Ivanouski, an artist, declared a hunger strike after the judge's sentence and asked visitors to bring him paper and pencils, reported Charter 97. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 9 September)

GOVERNMENT DECREES ACCREDITATION OF POLLING AGENCIES.The government has passed a resolution whereby all legal entities dealing with public-opinion polls on the un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk and social situation in the country are required to obtain official accreditation in order to pursue their activities, Belapan reported on 4 September. The resolution provides for the creation of a Commission for Studies of Public Opinion under the National Academy of Sciences to issue this accreditation. The commission is obliged within three months to work out a procedure and conditions for granting accreditation to agencies that conduct and publish public-opinion polls pertaining to "nationwide referendums, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk, elections of the president of the Republic of Belarus, deputies of the Chamber of Representatives and members of the Council of the Republic, and the social and political situation in the country." ("RFE/RL Newsline," 4 September)

BOSNIAN SERB REPORT ON SREBRENICA CALLS MASSACRE IMAGINARY.A new Bosnian Serb government report seeks to deny that the Srebrenica massacre took place and to portray Serbs as victims in the Bosnian war, international media reported on 3 September. The study suggests that exhausted Muslim men imagined a massacre or invented stories to attract the attention of the international community. Reuters quoted the report as saying that "to walk for almost 20 days in an area that might be full of landmines, without any food and water, under the fear of being shot from any direction, was such a trauma that Muslim soldiers sometimes mixed reality with illusions. Having looked at dead bodies under such psychological [pressure], some Muslim soldiers could have believed what they imagined." The report calls a Serbian soldier who admitted taking part in the killings "mentally disturbed." Following international outcry over the report (see below), authorities seemed to back down. Republika Srpska Prime Minister Mladen Ivanic said in Banja Luka on 9 September that un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk controversial report does not represent government policy, RFE/RL's South Slavic and Albanian Languages Service reported. Ivanic said that the study was an early version for the media and that the final document has yet to be released. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 4 and 10 September)

'IRRESPONSIBLE' REPORT ATTEMPT TO MISLEAD VOTERS.A spokesman for Paddy Ashdown, the international community's high representative in Bosnia, said in Sarajevo on 3 September that the un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk is a "callous and irresponsible attempt to misguide voters [in the 5 October general elections] and exploit the trauma of those who survived or were bereaved by the massacre. History cannot be rewritten in this way," AP reported. Ashdown himself said that the Bosnian Serb document is "so far from the truth as to be almost not worth dignifying with a response." He added that "pretending [the massacre] didn't happen is an insult to people of all ethnic groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina," Reuters reported. Ashdown dubbed the report "tendentious, preposterous, and inflammatory." In Banja Luka, the Bosnian Serb government press office called the foreigners' reactions hasty and ill-informed, RFE/RL's South Slavic and Albanian Languages Service reported on 4 September. But the Bosnian Serb Helsinki Committee for Human Rights called the report "unacceptable." ("RFE/RL Newsline," 4 September)

EU SLAMS BOSNIAN SERB REPORT ON SREBRENICA.In the name of the European Union, the Danish Embassy in Sarajevo released a statement saying that it fully supports the objections raised by Ashdown to a recent Bosnian Serb report denying that a massacre took place in Srebrenica, Deutsche Welle's Bosnian Service reported on 5 September. The EU called on "all responsible people and institutions" to reject the study. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 5 September)

U.S. JOINS CRITICISM OF BOSNIAN SERB REPORT.The U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo has called on the Bosnian Serb authorities to repudiate a recent study that denies that the 1995 Srebrenica massacre took place, Deutsche Welle's Bosnian Service reported on 6 September. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 6 September)

BOSNIAN CROATS FACE EVICTION FROM KNIN.An association of Croatian refugees from Bosnia said that more than 50 families living in homes owned by Serbs in Knin have received notices from the Croatian authorities saying that they must evacuate the premises within 15 days or face eviction, RFE/RL's South Slavic and Albanian Languages Service reported. One of the major problems in facilitating the return of refugees and displaced persons in former Yugoslavia is that those who want to go home are often unable to do so because their homes are occupied by refugees from somewhere else -- who themselves are unable to go home. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 6 September)

RULING COALITION STRESSES NEED FOR POLITICAL CONSENSUS.Replying to threats from the conservative opposition Union of Democratic Forces (SDS) that the party will move a vote of no confidence if the government of Bulgaria is not invited to join NATO this fall, Plamen Panayotov, the chairman of the parliamentary group of the ruling National Movement Simeon II (NDSV), said on 4 September that it is time for the opposition to show whether it places national interests above increasing its popularity rating by a few points, BTA reported. "Let us discuss the country's real problems: its economic development, social policies, and the fight against crime and corruption," Panayotov said. Lutfi Mestan of the NDSV's junior coalition partner, the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), also stressed the need for political stability prior to the NATO summit in Prague. Mestan underscored the role of the country's economic development. "Regardless of all political juggling, if we fail to meet the economic standards, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk, membership in the EU will remain a dream," Mestan said. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 5 September)

FARMERS STAGE PROTEST.Some 1,500 farmers protested in Sofia on 5 September to demand higher prices for agricultural produce as well as legal mechanisms to defend Bulgarian farmers from foreign competitors, BTA reported. Agriculture Minister Mehmed Dikme said the government will not yield to pressure from producers. "It is not possible to set minimum purchase prices because this country is in a currency-board arrangement [with the International Monetary Fund] and this contradicts market principles," Dikme said. The government recently announced that will purchase part of this year's wheat harvests and will reschedule farmers' debts in order to stabilize the agricultural commodities market, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 6 September)

PRESIDENT PROPOSES STRIKE BAN AT STRATEGIC FACILITIES.Following weeks of strikes by power-sector workers demanding the payment of wage arrears, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk, President Eduard Shevardnadze proposed at a government session on 4 September drafting legislation banning strikes at strategic facilities, Caucasus Press and Interfax reported. He also ordered Energy Minister David Mirtskhulava to pay all outstanding wages in the energy sector. Addressing the same session, National Security Minister Valeri Khaburzania said he has information that some opposition factions are planning to incite energy-sector workers to mass strikes in the autumn and winter months. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 5 September)

HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS URGE GOVERNMENT NOT TO EXTRADITE TURKMEN DISSIDENT.Amnesty International has appealed to the Kazakh authorities not to hand over opposition politician Gulgeldy Annaniyazov to the Turkmen government, Interfax reported on 6 September. Annaniyazov was extradited on 2 September from Russia to Kazakhstan after arriving at Moscow's Domodedovo Airport from the Kazakh city of Aqtau earlier that day. According to the Russian human rights group Memorial, Annaniyazov requested political asylum upon his arrival in Moscow but the request was refused. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 9 September)

GOVERNMENT SEEKS TO IMPOSE THREE-MONTH BAN ON MEETINGS.In the wake of the grenade attack on Security Council Secretary and acting presidential administration head Misir Ashyrkulov, the government issued a decree on 7 September on urgent measures to prevent the destabilization of the situation in Kyrgyzstan, akipress.org reported. On 9 September, Prime Minister Nikolai Tanaev submitted to the Legislative Un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk (the lower chamber of parliament) a bill imposing a three-month moratorium on all public marches, meetings, and rallies, Interfax reported. But Ata-Meken Party Chairman Omurbek Tekebaev and Ar-Namys Party Deputy Chairman Emil Aliyev protested that both the government decree and the draft bill violate the constitution and the right to assembly. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 10 September)

KYRGYZ OFFICIALS IDENTIFY NEW ISLAMIC THREAT.Addressing the Legislative Assembly on 9 September, Tanaev said that the proposed three-month ban on meetings and demonstrations is intended to thwart the activities of the banned Islamic movement Hizb ut-Tahrir which, Tanaev claimed, has developed a radical wing that does not eschew violence in its bid to establish an Islamic caliphate in Central Asia, akipress.org reported. Tanaev added that Kyrgyzstan's security services have identified a new organization named the Islamic Movement of Central Asia, which operates in Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyz National Security Service Chairman Kalyk Imankulov said in Bishkek the same day that the new organization was formed on the basis of the banned Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), together with "Islamic separatists" from Tajikistan and Chechnya and Uighur separatists, and is headed by a former IMU leading member, Takhir Yuldashev, Interfax reported. Imankulov said the new movement has its base in Badakhshan, Afghanistan. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 10 September)

.WARN THAT PROTEST MARCH COULD TURN VIOLENT.First Deputy Prime Minister Kurmanbek Osmanov on 9 September linked the ban on meetings and demonstrations with the ongoing protest march on Bishkek by villagers demanding President Askar Akaev's resignation, Interfax reported. Parliament deputy Azimbek Beknazarov told Interfax the marchers, who on 9 September reached Kara-Kul, number roughly 2,000, while akipress.org gave the figure as 400. Osmanov accused unnamed "political forces" of seeking to tap popular discontent with socioeconomic conditions to achieve their own political ends. He appealed to parliament deputies to set up an "initiative group" to talk with marchers in order to "prevent illegal steps" and "keep passions from flaring up." National Security Service First Deputy Chairman Boris Un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk similarly warned parliament deputies that "if the protest march arrives in Bishkek, there may be.provocations that could result in bloodshed," Interfax reported. He accused the marchers of intending "to hinder the work of the parliament and government, which could result in a civil war," as in neighboring Tajikistan. Tanaev told parliament deputies that the marchers would not be allowed to proceed from Kara-Kul to Bishkek. He added that the police would use only truncheons, but not firearms, to prevent them doing so, akipress.org reported. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 10 September)

PRIME MINISTER PROPOSES CHECKING OPPOSITION GROUPS' FINANCING.Speaking on 3 September at the opening session of the Legislative Assembly (the lower chamber of parliament), Tanaev proposed investigating how the opposition parties planning a protest march to Bishkek are financed, Interfax reported. He accused "so-called human rights organizations" of deliberately fuelling tensions and aspiring to power, and said that the government will take all necessary measures to preserve political stability. Kyrgyz State Secretary Osmonakun Ibraimov issued a similar warning last week. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 4 September)

SECURITY OFFICIAL SAYS ISLAMIC ORGANIZATION 'THIRD FORCE' IN KYRGYZ POLITICS.The banned Islamist organization Hizb ut-Tahrir operates in close conjunction with Un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk and the outlawed Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, and has become a "third force" that intends, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk, together with drug traffickers, to destabilize the political situation in Kyrgyzstan, National Security Service Director Imankulov told Interfax on 3 September. He said Hizb ut-Tahrir is "undoubtedly financed from abroad," and that it draws support primarily from the poorer strata of the population. Some 82 percent of Kyrgyz families live below the poverty line, and almost 40 percent of the country's 5 million population subsist on per-capita incomes of less than 140 soms ($3) per month. Imankulov said membership of Hizb ut-Tahrir is officially estimated at 2,000, but may be much higher. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 4 September)

OFFICIAL WOUNDED IN GRENADE ATTACK.Security Council Secretary and acting presidential administration head Misir Ashyrkulov received multiple, but not life-threatening injuries when unidentified assailants threw three grenades at his automobile as he was approaching his home late on 6 September, akipress.org and RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reported. Presidential aide Bolot Djanuzakov told journalists the following day that the attack was a politically motivated terrorist act, according to Reuters. Speaking in Moscow on 7 September, Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Askar Aitmatov said it is hard to say who might have tried to kill Ashyrkulov and why. Ashyrkulov himself told journalists from his hospital bed that religious extremists might have been responsible, Interfax reported. RFE/RL's Bishkek bureau quoted Human Rights Movement of Kyrgyzstan Chairman Tursunbek Akunov as saying that Ashyrkulov may have incurred the disapproval of other senior Kyrgyz officials by his recent efforts to promote reconciliation between the authorities and the opposition. Speaking on condition of anonymity, an opposition figure similarly suggested to Reuters that "it looks like internal bickering" within the government. He also suggested that Hizb ut-Tahrir might have been responsible. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 9 September)

PRESIDENT REJECTS CALLS FOR PARLIAMENTARY REPUBLIC.Chairing the first session of the Constitutional Council on 4 September, Akaev rejected calls by some opposition parties to abolish the presidency, Interfax and RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reported. Akaev argued that a parliamentary republic is not viable because Kyrgyz political parties are weak and "do not represent public views and sentiments." He said the experience of other CIS states has demonstrated the advantages of strong presidential rule combined with "a competent parliament." Akaev did, however, offer to replace the present bicameral legislature with a unicameral one. Council members rejected an opposition proposal to rename the council a consultative council and to appoint an opposition representative as co-chairman. Some opposition politicians left the session in protest. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 5 September)

FOREIGN MINISTRY REFUSES VISA FOR ZHIRINOVSKII.Foreign Ministry Press Secretary Vilmars Henins told LETA on 3 September that Russian nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovskii's application for a visa to visit Latvia has been turned down. The chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia and Duma deputy speaker applied on 30 August for a visa for 4-10 September to attend the celebrations for the fifth anniversary of the television show "Balzams dveselei" (Balsam to the Soul). According to the daily "Diena," Zhirinovskii sent a letter to Latvian Ambassador to Russia Normans Penke declaring that he would demand Penke's expulsion from Russia if his visa was not granted. Latvia declared Zhirinovskii persona non grata in 1993. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 4 September)

PRO-PPCD RALLY CALLS ON AUTHORITIES TO FREE MEMBERS OF 'ILASCU GROUP'.A resolution approved at a rally organized in Chisinau by the Popular Party Christian Democratic (PPCD) on 1 September called on Moldovan authorities to "take all necessary measures" leading to the liberation of the three members of the Ilie Ilascu group still being detained in Tiraspol, RFE/RL's bureau in the Moldovan capital reported. The resolution asserts that the "tragic situation" of the three members of the group, who have been imprisoned for 10 years, "once again attests to the inhuman and illegal character of the separatist group headed by [Igor Smirnov], a citizen of the Russian Federation." The rally also approved a resolution demanding the unconditional and full withdrawal of Russian forces from the separatist region and the disarming and dissolution of the paramilitary forces subordinated to the regime in Tiraspol. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 3 September)

.DEMANDS COUNTRY LEAVE CIS.The 1 September rally participants also approved a resolution saying it is "vitally necessary" for Moldova to break away from the CIS in order to attain integration in Europe, RFE/RL's Chisinau bureau reported. The resolution says the 11 years' experience garnered since independence shows that Moldova's foreign policy was "duplicitous." It adds that while the Baltic states and other former communist countries had a consistent policy of integration into the EU, Moldova has remained a hostage of the Russian Federation within the CIS and does nothing more than have its leaders deliver occasional pro-Western speeches that are backed by neither concrete diplomatic, legislative, nor economic action. In a separate resolution, the rally's participants called for Moldova to join NATO. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 3 September)

.AND POLICIES OF COUNTRY'S RUSSIFICATION BE STOPPED.Participants at the 1 September rally also approved a resolution calling on the ruling Party of Moldovan Communists to put an end to the policies of Russification of both the Romanian majority and of non-Russian national minorities, RFE/RL's Chisinau un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk reported. The resolution also denounced the destruction of the country's democratic institutions, infringements on the independence of the judiciary and on local autonomy, censorship at national radio and television broadcasters, the alleged persecution of the opposition, and the attempt to impose the communist ideology on society as a whole. Estimates of participation in the rally ranged from 4,000-15,000. PPCD Chairman Iurie Rosca accused authorities of having prevented people from reaching Chisinau to participate in the rally. Rosca also un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk another rally of PPCD supporters will take place on 6 October. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 3 September)

YET ANOTHER RNE REGIONAL BRANCH FACING CLOSURE.Omsk Oblast Prosecutor Sergei Kazakov has filed an appeal to an oblast court asking it to rescind the registration of the local branch of the nationalist political party Russian National Unity (RNE), lenta.ru and RIA-Novosti reported on 4 September. According to Kazakov's press service, the prosecutor believes that RNE's charter and its emblem -- a stylized swastika -- are in violation of federal law. The party is also charged with inflaming racial, ethnic, and religious hatred, as well as slandering the authorities. The local RNE branch in Tomsk is also being challenged in court and branches in Khabarovsk Krai, Primore, and the Republic of Karelia have already been liquidated (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 14 June and 30 July 2002). ("RFE/RL Newsline," 4 September)

LOCAL DEPUTIES BAN THEMSELVES FROM SEEKING RE-ELECTION.Deputies of the Novgorod Oblast legislature have amended the oblast charter to forbid municipal heads from serving as legislative deputies as of 2006, izvestia.ru reported on 3 September. In doing so, the legislature brought the charter into accord with federal legislation. The move, however, was unprecedented because municipal heads currently compose more than half of the legislature meaning that, in effect, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk, they banned themselves from seeking re-election. The changes must now be approved by Novgorod Oblast Governor Mikhail Prusak. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 3 September)

STREET FIGHTING MARS CITY DAY.One person was killed and one injured during a massive street brawl during the celebration of Moscow's City Day on 31 August, Russian news agencies reported on 1 September. Sixteen-year-old Valerii Panikhin was killed by a knife wound to the neck in the fight, which involved several hundred people, according to polit.ru. Fifteen people were arrested during the incident, according to polit.ru, although Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov was quoted by Interfax as saying that 30 people were detained. Interfax reported that the fight broke out between skinheads and fans of rap music. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 3 September)

U.S. EMBASSY EMPLOYEE VICTIM OF ASSAULT.A 23-year-old employee of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow was attacked in the Moscow metro on the evening of 31 August, "The Moscow Times" and polit.ru reported. Murdoch Lucas, an African-American who access system resource exceeded error as an embassy librarian, was reportedly attacked by two unidentified men while riding a train. The men allegedly struck Lucas in the face several times and fled when the train stopped. Lucas was treated at a local clinic. The embassy has declined to comment. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 3 September)

BISHOPS STILL DON'T HAVE A PRAYER OF ENTRY.More than a month after Russian President Vladimir Putin wrote to Pope John Paul II to explain why one of Russia's four Catholic bishops is being denied entry to the country, the exact reasons he gave remain unclear. "The letter is in the hands of the Holy Father. Not many in the Vatican have seen it," a Vatican official was quoted as saying by Keston News Service on 5 September. He noted that Catholic leaders had decided it would be better not to make Putin's letter public. The pope had sought an explanation from Putin in the wake of the stripping of the visa from Bishop Jerzy Mazur of Irkutsk, a Polish citizen, at Moscow's Sheremetevo Airport in April and a similar move against the Italian Catholic priest Stefano Caprio. The pope had also asked for these moves to be revoked. A Vatican official close to Russian affairs told Keston that Putin's letter has not led to any progress in resolving the visa denials. "I don't know of any moves forward. But our hope is great. Prayer is very important," said the official. (Keston News Service, 5 September)

GOVERNMENT ADOPTS ENVIRONMENTAL DOCTRINE.The government's Information Department announced on 3 September that Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov has signed a national environmental doctrine, RIA-Novosti and other Russian news agencies reported. The document formulates state policy concerning environmental protection and lays out priorities for implementing that policy. The doctrine includes such measures as incorporating into economic indicators the full cost of environmental impact, plus costs associated with protecting the environment. It also calls for the creation of a mechanism for collecting payments from natural-resources developers and the distribution of these funds for environmental preservation. The government also directed all relevant organizations to submit plans for implementing the doctrine by 15 November. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 4 September)

PACE DELEGATION VISITS GROZNY.A delegation from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) headed by Lord Frank Judd traveled to Grozny on 3 September and met the following day with Chechen administration head Akhmed-hadji Kadyrov, Prime Minister Stanislav Ilyasov, and Chechen displaced persons who recently returned from Ingushetia to Grozny, Interfax and "The Moscow Times" reported. Judd described the conditions in hostels for displaced persons as "grim," noting the absence of running water, disruptions in power supplies, and shortages of food. He expressed concern over widespread reports that displaced persons are being pressured to leave Ingushetia and that during searches for Chechen fighters Russian soldiers indiscriminately target civilians or abduct them and hold them for ransom. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 5 September)

PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR CHECHNYA OPERATION DECLINING.The number of Russian citizens who approve of Russia's military operation in Chechnya has fallen to 30 percent, RosBalt reported on 8 September, citing a study by the All-Russia Center for the Study of Public Opinion (VTsIOM). Forty-eight percent of those polled expressed a negative opinion of the conflict. The survey polled 1,500 respondents in 44 regions. In July 2000, VTsIOM recorded 64 percent support for the campaign. In July 2001, 59 percent of Russians approved of the military action, while that figure had declined to 37 un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk in February of this year. However, VTsIOM also found that 48 percent of Russians think that President Putin's performance has been "excellent," and 38 percent describe it as "satisfactory." ("RFE/RL Newsline," 9 September)

ROMANY ORGANIZATION SUES SMER, PSNS.In a complaint filed with the Prosecutor-General's Office on 3 September, the Romany Initiative of Slovakia (RIS) accused Smer (Direction) and the Real Slovak National Party (PSNS) of inciting racial and ethnic hatred, TASR reported. The RIS also asked the Central Election Commission to ban Smer and the PSNS from running in the elections scheduled for 20-21 September. RIS Chairman Alexander Patkolo said that the electoral campaigns of both formations are primarily targeting the Romany minority, with racial hatred and intolerance being spread at electoral rallies and roundtables. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 4 September)

.WHILE EXTREME NATIONALISTS COMPETE ON POPULIST RHETORIC.Slovak National Party (SNS) Chairwoman Anna Malikova said on 1 September on Slovak television that in the September ballot Slovaks will have to opt between NATO membership and "normal life," TASR reported. Malikova said that if Slovakia remains out of NATO, the money saved could be used for increasing pensions and reviving the economy. She also said the SNS supports free university education and raising teachers' salaries. Jan Slota, Malikova's predecessor as SNS chairman who is now heading the PSNS, said his formation's priority is to "solve the problem of the Hungarians and the Gypsies" in Slovakia. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 4 September)

CONFLICTING POLLS PREDICT CLOSE RACE IN ELECTIONS.Contrary to trends shown by the latest opinion polls, the prestigious Institute for Research of Public Opinion (UVVM) on 4 September released a survey showing the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) ahead of Smer, TASR and CTK reported, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk. According to the UVVM, the HZDS has the support of 18.7 percent of voters, while Smer is backed by 15.2 percent. The UVVM poll was conducted un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk late August and early September. The MVK polling institute on the same day released a survey showing Smer ahead of the HZDS. This poll was also conducted in late August-early September and shows Smer backed by 18.5 percent, with the HZDS garnering 17.6 percent, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk. Sociologist Pavel Haulik of the MVK was quoted by CTK as saying the outcome of the elections will be "a lottery" and is less predictable than ever before. Since Slovak law forbids publication of opinion-poll results in the final two weeks before the ballot and in view of the close race between the HZDS and Smer, it will not be possible for pollsters to do more than measure the mood of the public two weeks ahead of the vote, and that mood may change, Haulik said. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 5 Un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk HEARS APPEAL AGAINST LEXA'S RELEASE FROM DETENTION.A district court in Bratislava on 3 September began examining the prosecution's appeal against the Supreme Court's August decision to free Ivan Lexa from detention, TASR and CTK reported. The former chief of the Slovak Information Service was extradited to Slovakia from South Africa in July but was freed from detention by the Supreme Court on procedural grounds. Lexa told the court that he has no reason to flee the country because he is innocent and does not fear the court proceedings. Lexa fled the country in 1999 while awaiting trial. Upon leaving the court on 3 September, Lexa accused Prosecutor Michal Serbin of acting on the political orders of Justice Minister Jan Carnogursky and Premier Mikulas Dzurinda. The judge has yet to rule on the case. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 4 September)

OPPOSITION LEADERS MUSTER REGIONAL SUPPORT FOR PLANNED PROTEST.Some 10,000 people attended a meeting with Yuliya Tymoshenko, Oleksandr Moroz, and Petro Symonenko in Zhytomyr on 4 September, UNIAN reported. According to what the agency was told by the Socialist Error 017 undefined symbol data press service, participants in the rally voiced "whole-hearted support" for the opposition protest campaign that is scheduled to start on 16 September. Later the same day, the three opposition leaders met with some 9,000 people at a similar rally in Rivne. "[The rally in Rivne] took place under slogans demanding that President Leonid Kuchma be ousted, early presidential elections be held, and honest politicians come to power," the Fatherland Party press service told UNIAN. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 5 September)

PARLIAMENTARY COMMISSION WANTS PRESIDENT TO BE INDICTED IN GONGADZE CASE.The Verkhovna Rada's ad hoc un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk for investigating the disappearance of Heorhiy Gongadze has decided to address a request to the Prosecutor-General's Office to instigate criminal proceedings against President Kuchma and other current and former top officials over the kidnapping of the journalist, UNIAN reported on 3 September, quoting lawmaker Hryhoriy Omelchenko, the chairman of the commission. "There is sufficient evidence indicating that Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, Verkhovna Rada head Volodymyr Lytvyn, former Un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk Minister Yuriy Kravchenko, and lawmaker Leonid Derkach were collaborators in crime as organizers of the kidnapping of journalist Heorhiy Gongadze," Omelchenko said. Meanwhile, police have un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk Serhiy Obozov, the prosecutor of Tarashcha Raion where Gongadze's decapitated body was found nearly two years ago. "Obozov is not the last official to be arrested in the [Gongadze] case," Prosecutor-General Svyatoslav Piskun told journalists on 3 September. He did not comment on the charges against Obozov. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 4 September)

BELGRADE FIRM IN DEFENSE OF SERBIAN EXTREMIST.Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Nebojsa Covic said on 5 September in Prishtina that it is possible that ethnic Serb members of Kosova's legislature will boycott that body unless the authorities withdraw an arrest warrant for Serbian extremist politician Milan Ivanovic, RFE/RL's South Slavic and Albanian Languages Service reported. Ivanovic is wanted for murder by the UN civilian authority in Kosova (UNMIK), which has asked the Serbian authorities to extradite him. He is living openly in Belgrade. Elsewhere, Michael Steiner, who heads the UNMIK, turned down a demand by Covic that Steiner withdraw the arrest warrant. Steiner stressed that only the courts have the power to do that. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 6 September)

SOLANA APPLIES FRESH PRESSURE TO SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO.EU foreign and security policy chief Javier Solana began talks with leading political figures in Belgrade on 6 September aimed at urging the conclusion of un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk Constitutional Charter for the new state of Serbia and Montenegro, AP reported. The governments of the two republics have already reached a deal, but Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica and several other leading politicians have objected that the new state is too weak. Serbian Justice Minister Vladan Batic takes a very different view, arguing that Serbia must become fully independent of its much smaller neighbor. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 6 September)

SPS LEADER CAUGHT CONSPIRING WITH BELARUSIAN OPPOSITION.Duma Deputy and Union of Rightist Forces (SPS) leader Boris Nemtsov said on 5 September that he will sue the newspaper "Sovetskaya Rossiya" for publishing on 4 September a transcript of a late-August telephone conversation between Nemtsov and a leader of the Belarusian opposition, polit.ru reported on 5 September. According to the report, Nemtsov has acknowledged that the conversation took place. In the transcript, Nemtsov discussed with Anatol Lyabedzka possible models for uniting Russia and Belarus that would be amenable to the opposition lined up against Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka. Nemtsov said that he supports President Putin's line toward Lukashenka and un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk developing a joint strategy against the Belarusian president. "Sovetskaya Rossiya" reported that it acquired the tape from the nationalist weekly newspaper "Zavtra," which in turn purchased it from a man who offered an entire collection of taped telephone conversations featuring leading Duma members. "Zavtra" claimed that it only had enough money to purchase one of the tapes. Nemtsov also said that he will ask the Prosecutor-General's Office to explain how the telephone conversations of Duma members could have been illegally recorded. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 5 September)

MOSCOW EXTRADITES TURKMEN DISSIDENT.The Russian authorities sent Turkmen dissident Gulgeldy Annaniyazov back to Kazakhstan on 2 September after he arrived at Domodedovo Airport on a flight from Aqtau earlier that day with false travel documents, Yevgeniy Zhovtis, who heads the Kazakh Bureau of Human Rights, told RFE/RL's Kazakh Service on 4 September. Annaniyazov, who is 42, has been forbidden to leave Turkmenistan because of his political activities; he reportedly crossed the Turkmen-Kazakh border in late August. In a 3 September press release, Amnesty International noted that as a signatory to the United Nations Convention Against Torture, Kazakhstan is legally obliged not to return Annaniyazov to Turkmenistan, where he might be subject to torture in detention. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 5 September)

Ambassador Liu Guchang Hosts Press Conference on Premier Wen Jiabao's Visit to Russia

On September 16, 2004, at the invitation of the Interfax of Russia, Chinese Ambassador to Russia Liu Guchang hosted a press conference in the news agency to take questions on Premier Wen Jiabao's upcoming official visit to Russia and holding the 9th Regular Meeting between Chinese and Russian Prime Ministers as well as on China-Russia relations and international issues. More than 50 journalists from a number of Russian correspondents such as Interfax, ITAR-TASS, Novosti Press Agency,"Lighthouse" Radio, Russian First National Channel, thirty party news agencies such as Reuters, AFP and Kyodo News as well as resident Chinese correspondents in Russia attended the press conference.

The following is the full text of the Q&A of the press conference.

Liu Guchang: It is a great pleasure for me to meet our friends from the media, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk. The Chinese side has announced that Chinese Premier of the State Council Wen Jiabao will pay an official visit to Russia and will hold the 9th Regular Meeting between Chinese and Russian Prime Ministers from September 23 to 25. This will be the first time for Premier Wen to visit Russia since he took office and also the first time for him to meet with Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov. Therefore, it represents a great event in bilateral relations. During the visit, Premier Wen will hold small-range and large-range talks with his Russian counterpart and meet with President Vladimir Putin, the Speaker of the Upper House of the Russian Parliament Sergei Mironov as well as the Duma Chairman Boris Gryzlov. Moreover, he will also hold talks with representatives from the scientific and educational circles and meet with a delegation of 100 Chinese youths as well as Russian youth representatives together with Prime Minister Fradkov. Premier Wen will deliver important speeches to various communities in Russia.

China-Russia relations are in a critical stage of development. During this visit, Premier Wen will hold in-depth discussions from a strategic perspective with Russian leaders on how to comprehensively deepen China-Russian strategic and coordinative partnership and promote pragmatic cooperation in various fields. Important achievements will be yielded. Premier Wen's visit un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk also the last important preparation for the meeting between the heads of state of the two countries in Beijing in October. He will exchange in-depth views and reach consensus on important contents of the meeting between the two heads of state in Beijing with Russian leaders.

Premier Wen's visit coincides with Russia's move on adopting every measure to counter terrorism and safeguard national solidarity, sovereignty and security. Premier Wen will bring with him the sincere sympathy and firm support of the Chinese leaders, government and people to the Russian leaders, government and people.

Both China and Russia give high priority to this visit. State Councilor Chen Zhili and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov co-hosted the 5th Meeting of China-Russia Cooperation Committee on Education, Science, Culture, Health and Sports days ago to prepare for bilateral cooperation in humanities. Vice Premier Wu Yi and Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov will also co-host the 8th Conference of the Committee on the Regular Meeting between Chinese and Russian Prime Ministers to make further preparations in the economic and trade field. We have every reason to believe that Premier Wen's visit will be a productive one and will help consolidate China-Russia good-neighborly friendship, enhance political mutual trust, deepen reciprocal cooperation and comprehensively push forward China-Russia strategic and coordinative partnership.

Thank you for your interest in Premier Wen's visit and I believe you will cast full coverage on it, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk. Now I would like to take your questions.

Q (Interfax): It is reported that the agreement on the conclusion of negotiations on Russia's accession to the WTO will un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk signed before or during the meeting of the two Prime Ministers. I am wondering whether it will be discussed during the Regular Meeting of Prime Ministers of the two countries, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk.

Chinese Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai held in-depth discussions with Russian Minister of Economy and Trade German Gref on Russia's accession to the WTO in August this year and important progress was made. Recently the new round of negotiations between the two sides, that is the 8th round, was held in Beijing and further progress was achieved. There are still some issues left. I am convinced that as long as we strive for the same goal, it is very possible for the two sides to reach consensus during Premier Wen's visit to Russia. We have set it as an objective to realize during the preparations for his visit.

Q (Interfax): I have two questions. First, how will China and Russia cooperate in the field of counter-terrorism? Second, how did China support Russia after the latter was hit by a series of terrorist attacks and what is China's stance?

China and Russia have been cooperating closely in the field of counter-terrorism. First, the stances of China and Russia are almost entirely identical. Fore instance, both of us are un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk to terrorism in any form, to double standards on the issue of counter-terrorism and to fighting against terrorism with hegemony. Second, after the 911 Incident, China and Russia immediately established a working group for counter-terrorism consultations. Up to now, four rounds of consultations have been held to discuss all kinds of issues related to counter-terrorism and to coordinate stances. Third, the special departments of the two countries have conducted close and fruitful cooperation. Fourth, the two sides have also collaborated closely within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to fight against "three forces" jointly.

After Russia was hit by terrorist attacks recently, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk, the Chinese leaders, government and people have expressed the stance of the Chinese side in various forms, strongly condemning terrorist acts. They also expressed their sincere feelings to side with the Russian people and to support all measures adopted by Russia to fight against terrorism and safeguard national sovereignty, solidarity and security. What I would like to stress is that the sympathy and support to Russia offered by China are genuinely sincere without any conditions affiliated. After the hostage incident, the Chinese government offered medical instruments and pharmaceutical assistance worth 10 million RMB yuan to Russia and the Red Cross Organization of China offered 100-thousand-dollar cash to the Russian side, both of which have been put into place. The Chinese government was also planning to accept some injured children to China for treatment but learned that some parents were reluctant to send their children abroad for treatment. Therefore, the Chinese side immediately decided to send off a medical team consisting of experienced doctors and nurses to Russia to help treat un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk injured children. All in all, China will continue to firmly support Russia's efforts in fighting against the separatist forces in Chechnya and all kinds of terrorist forces.

QI would like to ask a follow-up question on the issue of Russia's accession to the WTO by the correspondent with Un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk. You said just now that some issues have not yet been agreed upon by the two sides. Could you share with us what are the issues that have not been agreed upon? And what economic cooperation projects will be discussed during Premier Wen's visit to Russia?

First, I am not fully clear about what issues have not been agreed upon by China and Russia on Russia's accession to the WTO. Second, even if I were clear, it would not be convenient for me to disclose them here. Premier Wen will start his visit in a few days and judging from the efforts made by the two sides you probably will not be interested in the question any more in a few days.

Premier Wen will hold in-depth discussions with Russian leaders on bilateral cooperation in various fields including how to expand economic and trade relations, how to realize diversification of bilateral economic and trade cooperation, how to promote cooperation in energy as well as scientific and technological fields.

Q (People's Daily): Will the two countries expand consular institutions in each other? What is the prospect for China to open a consulate general in Ekaterinburg and for Russia to open a consulate general in Guangzhou?

China-Russia relations have developed to un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk very high level. Bilateral personnel exchanges and cooperation in various areas are developing in an all-round way. Each un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk us has only two consulates in the other country. Russia's consulates general un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk located in Shanghai and Shenyang while China's consulates general are located in St. Petersburg and Khabarovsk. The arrangement of consular institutions has already not been able to meet the requirement of the development of bilateral relations. After assuming office, I have visited some areas in Russia's Far East and Siberia. Local leaders strongly called on the two sides to expand consular institutions in each other. For instance, leaders in Irkutsk once clearly indicated to Chinese national leaders that they hoped to see a consular institution in their state. It is the same with the Chinese side. People in many places hope Russia can open a consular institution there. In as early as 1994, the two heads of state have reached an agreement in principle on establishing two consulates general in Ekaterinburg and Guangzhou respectively. However, due to technical reasons, the two sides failed to agree upon relevant documents. Currently the two sides are busy negotiating on the draft document on the establishment of consulates which we hope can be signed as early as possible.

The two sides are also discussing the possibility on the technical level to upgrade Vladivostok Office of Khabarovsk Consulate General and Harbin Office of Shenyang Consulate General to two consulates general. In a word, China and Russia share the same view that to expand consular institutions in each other is a necessity and represents an urgent requirement of un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk development of bilateral relations.

Q (AFP): Will Premier Wen discuss the issue of Russia supplying oil to China with the Russian leaders? And what about Russia, China and Korea's cooperation on natural gas pipeline construction? Will the two leaders touch upon the KoreanPeninsula nuclear issue?

It has been tens years since Russia proposed in the first place to build the crude oil pipeline to China. Both countries have contributed considerable work and investments to that end. Construction of oil pipeline to China has been the consensus reached by both leaderships and governments on a number of occasions, which was confirmed by a series of documents between the two sides. As for the route of the pipeline, there were originally two plans, namely the southern route and northern route. But both have been vetoed due to internal reasons in Russia, especially environmental protection issues. So far as I know, there is a new plan proposed by the Russian side currently, namely the route from Taishet to Nakhodka, including a branch route to China. Russia has made an explicit decision to build pipeline to China in its Energy Strategy up to 2020. Recently, Russian leaders, in particular Khristenko, the minister in charge of the industry, indicated firmly on a number of occasions the determination to construct a pipeline to China. During our recent meeting, he said to me that Russia boasts the largest reserves and the strongest exploration capacity in oil and natural gas and China is the largest and most stable market in demand for oil and natural gas, which constitutes the most reliable foundation for China-Russia cooperation in the area energy. It is believed that Premier Wen's visit to Russia will push forward the implementation of pipeline project at an early date.

As for the natural gas pipeline project, Energy Cooperation Agreement signed between the Chinese and Russian governments in 2000 contains such content as Russia will supply natural gas to China, including the pipeline from Kovykta to China and the ROK and the exploration of Kovykta gas field. The feasibility research of natural un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk pipeline project has been completed and is waiting for government approval. It is our hope that this plan may be approved and implemented as soon as possible.

The supply of oil by Russia to China via railway is going smoothly. In accordance with agreement between both parties, the volume will reach 5.5 million tons this year. In the Meeting of China-Russia Energy Cooperation Sub-Committee held in Beijing recently, Minister Khristenko indicated clearly that Russia will make all efforts to promote the expansion of oil supply from Russia to China via railway to 10 million tons by 2005 and 12 million tons by 2006. In the 8th Regular Meeting between Chinese and Russian Prime Ministers, Russia solemnly announced to China that Russia will build a crude oil pipeline to China and before the completion of the pipeline Russia promises to provide China with oil via railway.

As for the third question, I think Premier Wen will exchange in-depth views with Russian leaders on critical international and regional issues, including the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula. Every time we exchange views on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, we find almost no difference in the positions and views of China and Russia, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk. In most cases, our stances are basically identical. For example, both parties insist to ensure the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, to ensure the un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk and stability of the peninsula and to ensure the solution of the problem by all parties involved through peaceful and diplomatic means and negotiations.

Q (Oil Information Agency, Interfax):"Yukos", the current oil supplier to China, has encountered some problems at the moment. Will it affect oil supply to China? If the Russian government decides to auction "Yuganskneftegaz", a subsidiary of "Yukos", will China participate in the auction? If yes, what will be the terms?

The issue of "Yukos" is purely an internal affair of Russia. China has never interfered and will never interfere by any means. Despite the changes in Yukos, there has been no problem with oil supply to China via railway. I think no matter what changes take place in Russia's oil and natural gas companies, the Russian government is competent to ensure oil supply to China via railway.

As for whether China intends to purchase "Yuganskneftegaz oil and natural gas", I can definitely claim that no Chinese company has ever indicated the intention to participate in the bidding.

Q (Xinhua News Agency): Could you share with us your views on the prospect of China-Russia economic and trade cooperation? What's your prediction for bilateral trade in this year?

The bilateral trade volume exceeded USD 15.7 billion last year. The total volume for the first seven months is USD 11.14 billion, a year-on-year increase of 37.4 percent. It is expected to hit USD 20 billion this year. Since 1999, the annual growth rate for bilateral trade has averaged 25 percent. If we take the USD 20 billion as the base and provided that bilateral trade grows at 20 percent annually, China-Russia trade volume will reach USD 60 billion by 2010. If the annual growth rate reaches 25 percent, the volume will hit USD 80 billion.

During Premier Wen's visit, the two sides may set an even higher objective for bilateral economic and trade cooperation. As neighbors, China and Russia enjoy sound political relations and robust economic development. It is very likely that our trade will witness further development with higher level. In the first 8 months, China's trade with the European Union, the United States and Japan have all exceeded USD 100 billion. It is hoped that China-Russia trade volume can also exceed USD 100 billion at an early un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk. This requires the efforts of both sides, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk.

Q(Reuters):Is there any hope for Russia to participate in the second phase construction of Tianwan Nuclear Power Station? Will the two sides reach an agreement on this issue during Premier Wen's visit to Russia?

It is possible for the two sides to talk about this issue. As for how the second phase project will be determined and who will undertake the project, it will large depend on the progress of the ongoing first phase project, especially the quality of the project.

Q (Guangming Daily): You mentioned just now that Premier Wen will meet with more than 100 Chinese and Russian youth representatives. Would you please share with us the situation of exchanges between the youths in the two countries?

The original plan was that Premier Wen and Prime Minister Fradkov will meet with a delegation of 100 Chinese youth who will be visiting Russia. Now Russia proposes to include some Russian youth representatives. So the two prime ministers will meet youths from both countries, which I believe is a wonderful arrangement.

Both sides have highly prioritized exchanges between youths over the years. In 2001, China and Russia signed the Good-Neighborly Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation, which defines that the two countries and peoples will be friends forever and will never become enemies. The two sides have placed higher priority over exchanges between the youths since then. To this end, President Hu Jintao and President Putin agreed at the end of last year to define this year as the Year for Friendly Exchanges between Chinese and Russian Youths. The two sides have arranged dozens of activities. For instance, a delegation of 100 Chinese youths will visit Russia during Premier Wen's visit. When President Putin visited China, a delegation of 100 Russian youths visited China as well. The exchanges of youths between the two countries cover a wide range of people such as young scientists, artists, journalists, entrepreneurs, primary and middle school students as well as college students and take a variety of forms such as summer and winter youth camps.

Q (Interfax): Whether the fourth round of six-party talks will be able to un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk place as scheduled is dismaying many people. What is your comment on that? It is reported that Chinese, Russian and Indian Foreign Ministers will meet with each other by the end of this year to coordinate their stances in the international arena. What is your comment?

The new round of six-party talks is planned to be held by the end of September. It is still hard to say whether it will be able to take place as scheduled. I hope the talks can be held as scheduled in line with the consensus reached by the parties involved during the third round of talks. I think the major issue at the moment is the mutual distrust between the DPRK and the US, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk. We wish all parties can show patience, calmness, restraint and pragmatism in a bid to hold the fourth round of six-party talks by the end of September in accordance with the original plan.

Chinese, Russian and Indian Foreign Ministers have met with each other twice, which has become a common practice. The three parties planned to meet during the upcoming UN General Assembly. However, each foreign minister has his own schedule. It is possible that they cannot be in New York at the same time. If that is the case, the three parties will probably consult to hold the meeting at other times within this year.

Chapters

Foreword

The United States and our international partners made major strides to defeat and degrade international terrorist organizations in 2017. We succeeded in liberating nearly all of the territory ISIS once held in Iraq and Syria. We increased pressure on al-Qa’ida to prevent its resurgence. We amplified efforts to expose and curtail Hizballah’s malign activities inside Lebanon, in the Middle East, and across the globe. We worked with allies and partners around the world to expand information sharing, improve aviation security, enhance law enforcement and rule of law capacities, and prevent terrorist recruitment and recidivism.

Despite our successes, the terrorist landscape grew more complex in 2017. ISIS, al-Qa’ida, and their affiliates have proven to be resilient, determined, and adaptable, and they have adjusted to un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk counterterrorism pressure in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, and elsewhere. They have become more dispersed and clandestine, turning to the internet to inspire attacks by distant followers, and, as a result, have made themselves less susceptible to conventional military action, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk. Further, the return or relocation of foreign terrorist fighters from the battlefield has contributed to a growing cadre of experienced, sophisticated, and connected terrorist networks, which can plan and execute terrorist attacks.

As ISIS lost territory, it continued to shift away from a centralized command and control structure toward a more diffuse model. It has experimented with and employed small unmanned aerial systems and has used rudimentary chemical weapons. The group encouraged sympathizers to use whatever weapons were at hand – such as large vehicles – against soft targets and public spaces. Increasingly, the responsibility for deciding where, when, and how to attack has devolved to homegrown terrorists inspired or enabled by ISIS to conduct operations far from the war zone. In 2017, we saw such attacks in Manchester, UK; Barcelona, Spain; Sinai, Egypt; Marawi, Philippines; New York City; and elsewhere.

Al-Qa’ida quietly expanded its membership and operations in 2017. Its global network includes the remnants of its core in Afghanistan and Pakistan, al-Nusrah Front (in Syria), al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula, al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb, al-Shabaab (in Somalia), and al-Qa’ida in the Indian Subcontinent. Nusrah’s formation of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, drawing in other hardline Syrian opposition groups, exemplified its effort to rebrand itself to appeal to a wider segment of the Syrian population. Al-Qa’ida affiliates also conducted major attacks, such as in October 2017, when al-Shabaab detonated a truck bomb in the heart of Mogadishu, killing over 300 people, the deadliest terrorist attack in Somali history. Al-Qa’ida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri continued to publicly call for supporters to attack award bios cmos checksum error U.S. government and citizens globally.

Iran remained the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism and continued to support attacks against Israel. It maintained its terrorist-related and destabilizing activities through the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Qods Force and the Lebanon-based terrorist group Hizballah. Iran is responsible for intensifying multiple conflicts and undermining the legitimate governments of, and Un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk. interests in, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen. In particular, Iran and Hizballah are emerging from the Syria conflict emboldened and with valuable battlefield experience that they seek to leverage across the globe. IRGC leader Qasem Soleimani recruited and deployed Shia militias from diverse ethnic groups across the Middle East and South Asia to fight in defense of the Assad dictatorship in Syria. Beyond the Middle East, Iran and its terrorist affiliates and proxies posed a significant threat and demonstrated a near-global terrorist reach. Notably, in June 2017, the FBI arrested two suspected Hizballah operatives in Michigan and New York who allegedly were conducting surveillance and intelligence gathering on behalf of the organization, including in the United States.

Regionally focused terrorists groups remained a threat in 2017. For example, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk, Hamas continued to rebuild its military infrastructure and capabilities to support terrorist attacks against Israel. Additionally, Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar e-Tayyiba continued to pose a regional threat in the subcontinent. Some regional and local terrorist groups have avoided greater international attention by remaining independent from ISIS and al-Qa’ida while others may have concluded that the benefits of greater expertise, resources, and prominence outweighed the risks of a formal connection with a notorious transnational terrorist network.

In short, the nature of the terrorist threat confronting the United States and our allies around the world evolved in 2017. While the immediate dynamics that led terrorists to flock to Iraq and Syria since 2014 have diminished, other factors that terrorists exploit to recruit new followers remained a challenge, such as sectarianism, failing states, and conflict zones. More than ever, it remains a critical priority for the United States and our allies to defeat our terrorist adversaries.

*****

In 2017, the United States led efforts to enhance the international community’s law enforcement and other civilian capabilities that are increasingly essential in the next phase of global counterterrorism. In December, with U.S. leadership, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2396, with 66 co-sponsors. UN Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 2396 requires member states to collect airline reservation data to block terrorist travel, to develop watchlists of known and suspected terrorists, and to use biometrics to spot terrorists who might be trying to cross their borders. The resolution also calls on UN members to enact serious criminal offenses that will enable them to prosecute and penalize terrorists who have returned from the battlefield.

In addition, throughout 2017, the State Department led bilateral diplomatic efforts with key countries to improve border and aviation security and information sharing. We increased the number of Homeland Security Presidential Directive 6 (HSPD-6) arrangements to share information about known and suspected terrorists by almost 15 percent in 2017. Our total number of HSPD-6 partners now stands at 69, including all 38 members of the Visa Waiver Program. The United States also deployed the latest border security systems to key counterterrorism partners, provided screening technology and training, and worked to expand global engagement on transportation-related threats. Border security support through the Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation Systems (PISCES) expanded to 260 ports of entry in 23 countries.

We also used foreign assistance resources to enable our partners to better identify, deter, disrupt, apprehend, prosecute, and convict terrorists and their supporters. Our goal is for partners to be able to confront the terrorist threats they face themselves without turning to the United States for assistance. We placed special emphasis on helping partner countries enact appropriate legal frameworks to bring criminal charges against terrorist offenders. At the end of 2017, 70 countries had laws in place to prosecute and penalize foreign terrorist fighters, and 69 had prosecuted or arrested foreign terrorist fighters or their facilitators.

The United States also worked to stanch the flow of money to terrorist networks by designating 30 organizations and individuals as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) and/or Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs). This included top ISIS and al-Qa’ida leaders and operatives. The State Department also continued to expose and sanction states that back terrorism. We designated the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 2017, and also designated key Hizballah figures as SDGTs as we pushed back on Iranian support for terrorism across the globe.

These efforts are only a snapshot of our ongoing work to protect the United States, our allies, and interests from terrorism. Country Reports on Terrorism 2017 provides a more detailed review of last year’s successes and challenges so we can consider how to strengthen our counterterrorism efforts going forward. As we look to the rest of 2018 and beyond, the United States remains committed to working with our allies and partners to confront the shared threat of global terrorism. I hope this report will serve as a useful resource for those seeking to better understand this threat and our efforts to defeat it.

Ambassador Nathan A. Sales
Coordinator for Counterterrorism

Chapter 1. Country Reports: Africa

AFRICA

OVERVIEW

African countries expanded their efforts to develop regional counterterrorism solutions while they struggled to contain the expansion of terrorist groups, affiliates, and aspirants involved in attacks or other activities in 2017. In East Africa, the Somalia-based terrorist group al-Shabaab continued to threaten regional security. It retained safe haven, access to recruits and resources, and de facto control over large parts of Somalia through which it moves freely. Similar to 2015 and 2016, however, al-Shabaab did not claim any attacks outside of Somalia and northeastern Kenya in 2017. In October, the group was blamed but did not claim responsibility for the deadliest terrorist attack in Somalia’s history, despite having lost a number un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk operatives to counterterrorism operations in the months prior. Northeastern Kenya experienced a significant increase in activity attributed to al-Shabaab, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk, primarily in the form of improvised explosive device attacks targeting Kenyan security forces and vehicles transporting civilians. Al-Shabaab maintained its allegiance to al-Qa’ida, remaining intent on limiting the influence and reach of the northern Somalia-based group of ISIS-linked fighters responsible for local suicide bombings and other attacks against Somali security forces.

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali security forces increased cooperation with the United States to exert un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk on al-Shabaab, primarily through coordinated counterterrorism operations in southern Somalia. The United States continued to support East African partners in their efforts to build counterterrorism capacity, including in the areas of aviation and border security, advisory assistance for regional security forces, training and mentoring of law un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk to conduct investigations and manage crisis response, and advancing criminal justice sector reforms. East African partners undertook efforts to develop and expand regional cooperation mechanisms to interdict terrorist travel and other illicit activities.

In the Un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk Chad region, Boko Haram and its offshoot ISIS-West Africa (ISIS-WA) increased asymmetric attacks against civilians, government, and security forces, which resulted in deaths, injuries, abductions, and destruction of property. Nigeria, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk, along with its neighbors Cameroon, Chad, and Niger – often through the Multinational Joint Task Force – worked to counter these threats. These countries also responded to the ongoing and devastating humanitarian crisis, protected civilians, and restored governance and rule of law in the affected areas. The United States continued to provide advisors, intelligence, training, logistical support, and equipment to Lake Chad region countries and supported a wide range of stabilization efforts. Continued attacks by Boko Haram and ISIS-WA have caused nearly 2.5 million displaced people in Nigeria. Approximately 8.5 million people in Nigeria alone require humanitarian assistance.

In the Sahel, terrorist groups – including affiliates and adherents of al-Qa’ida and ISIS – have expanded their operations in central Mali and the Tri-Border Region of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger. In response, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk, the African Union Peace and Security Council authorized a new G-5 Sahel Joint Force in April 2017, comprising military and police forces from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. The Joint Force began operations in late 2017 along the shared border to interdict the flow of terrorist groups and criminal trafficking.


TRANS-SAHARA COUNTERTERRORISM PARTNERSHIP

Established in 2005, the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP) is a U.S.-funded and -implemented, multi-faceted, multi-year effort designed to build the counterterrorism capacity and cooperation of military, law enforcement, and civilian actors across North and West Africa. TSCTP partners include Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tunisia. TSCTP has built capacity and cooperation despite setbacks caused by a restive political climate, terrorism, ethnic rebellions, and extra-constitutional actions that interrupted work and progress with select partner countries.

Regional cooperation, a strategic objective of U.S. assistance programming globally, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk, continues to improve in West and Central Africa among most of the partners of the TSCTP. Lake Chad region governments in Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria remained actively engaged in countering Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa, including coordinating forces with Benin to form the Multinational Joint Task Force. In the Sahel, regional partners Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger formed the G-5 Sahel Joint Force to combat al Qa’ida and ISIS elements operating primarily in northern Mali and in the Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger Tri-Border Region, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk. The United States added four Sahel states to the Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund in 2016 – Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Senegal – which provided comprehensive assistance to targeted partners. This funding is also complementary to the efforts of TSCTP and seeks to produce tangible results in a range of counterterrorism-related fields.


PARTNERSHIP FOR REGIONAL EAST AFRICA COUNTERTERRORISM

First established in 2009, the Partnership for Regional East Africa Counterterrorism (PREACT) is a U.S.-funded and -implemented framework designed to build counterterrorism capacity and cooperation between military, law enforcement, and civilian actors across East Africa. PREACT serves as a coordination mechanism for the U.S government’s regional counterterrorism programming to help partners enhance criminal justice, defense, and financial sector reform. PREACT programming complements the U.S. government’s assistance by promoting collaborative training environments and mentorship initiatives that emphasize respect for human rights, the rule of law, and good governance.

Through PREACT, the United States supports joint training exercises for Kenyan, Tanzanian, and Ugandan first responders and law enforcement professionals as part of a broader effort to encourage regional coordination and cooperation, protect shared borders, and respond to terrorist incidents responsibly and effectively. Active PREACT partners include Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania, and Uganda. Inactive members of PREACT are Burundi, Comoros, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Sudan, and Sudan; they did not receive PREACT assistance in 2017.


BURKINA FASO

OverviewBurkina Faso experienced a slow but steady increase in terrorist activity in 2017, including numerous cross-border attacks in its northernmost region bordering Mali. The Government of Burkina Faso has made numerous arrests of terrorist suspects, augmented the size of un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk special terrorism detachment Groupement des Forces Anti-Terroristes (GFAT) in the country’s north, and joined the newly-created G-5 Sahel Joint Force to fight terrorism and criminal trafficking groups with regional neighbors Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger.

In 2017, the Sahara Branch of al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk, al-Murabitoun, Ansar al-Dine, and the Macina Liberation Front came together to form Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM), un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk. JNIM and other groups like Ansarul Islam and ISIS in the Greater Sahara are all known to operate in Burkina Faso.

The French military’s Operation Barkhane continued its integrated counterterrorism mission un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk the Sahel region, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk. Cooperating with Malian forces, Barkhane sought to degrade terrorist elements in northern and central Mali, particularly JNIM.

Terrorist organizations successfully recruited marginalized, poor, and historically disadvantaged Fulani inhabitants. Burkinabe security forces have been accused of torture, extrajudicial killings, burning of property, and arbitrary detention in their response to terrorism in the north. The Government of Burkina Faso has opened an investigation into these allegations, which was ongoing at year’s end. We refer you to the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices and Report on International Religious Freedom for un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk information.

The United States was in the process of implementing USAFRICOM’s US $5.6 million program to build upon a previously Trans Sahara Counter Terrorism Partnership (TSCTP)-funded Gendarmerie border security program in the northern region of Burkina Faso. In 2017, the United States pledged US $30 million for the Burkinabe military to equip its security components of the G-5 Sahel Joint Force and another US $30 million for the other G-5 countries for a total of US $60 million.

Additionally, TSCTP funded US $6 million in other security assistance programs to reinforce security at the airbase in Ouagadougou un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk equip the Gendarme Special Intervention Unit with radios, body armor, and ballistic shields. It will also make improvements to the peacekeeping training center in Loumbila.

2017 Terrorist Incidents: Approximately 50 attacks that took place mainly in Burkina Faso’s northernmost region along the border with Mali were believed to be terrorist-related. Attacks have included targeted killings, kidnappings, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and attacks on security outposts, police stations, and barracks. Attacks using IEDs were witnessed for the first time in 2017 and targeted Burkinabe security forces and civilians. The deadliest attack occurred on August 17, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk, when an IED detonated under a military vehicle patrolling the Djibo area, causing three deaths and seriously injuring two. Attacks have also targeted Burkinabe government officials, schools, and markets. On November 17, in the village of Taouremba, six heavily armed individuals on motorcycles conducted a targeted attack on a municipal councilor in the town market that resulted in the death of 10 individuals.

The largest attack in Burkina Faso took place on August 13 in Ouagadougou at the Aziz Istanbul Café, a Turkish-owned restaurant frequented by expatriates. Two armed gunmen wounded 25 and killed approximately 19 people, including 10 Burkinabe and nine foreigners. Two of the foreigners were Kuwaiti – one of whom was imam of the Kuwaiti Great Mosque, Dr. Waleed Al‑Ali. Both were in Burkina Faso for a charitable mission.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: In 2017, Burkina Faso began making changes to its legal framework. In January, lawmakers created a Special Judicial Interagency working group based on best practices across the region that will have jurisdiction over terrorism-related legal cases. However, it was not fully operational by the end of 2017.

Approximately 22 judicial investigations linked to attacks committed against civilians and security forces were ongoing at the end of 2017. Some of the cases started on the basis of citizen claims that someone was a terrorist or suspected of belonging to terrorist groups. Many cases stagnated while awaiting information from neighboring countries. Burkina Faso has not yet brought to trial any of the approximately 150 alleged terrorists detained in Burkina Faso’s High Security Prison, opened in 2014.

Burkinabe security and law enforcement officials continued to cite border security as a major area of concern. Burkina Faso’s Counterterrorism Strategy, Mission de Securitization du Nord, strives to address terrorist activities along its northern border. To accomplish this, Burkina Faso operationalized and deployed a joint Army-Gendarmerie-Police counterterrorism task force known as the Un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk des Forces Anti-Terroristes (GFAT) in January 2013. This force’s level has increased from 500 troops in 2016 to 1,600 troops in 2017 in an effort to counter the growing terrorist threat.

Burkina Faso relies on the Terrorist Interdiction Program’s Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System (PISCES), and uses International Organization for Migration-provided screening equipment and software to conduct traveler screening and watchlisting.

The Department un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program provided workshops on cross-border security, crisis management, criminal justice procedures, and prosecution of terrorists. This included an Advanced Rural Border Patrol course and Border Unit mentorship to assist Burkina Faso in securing its borders. The United States partnered with the UN Office for Drugs and Crime for a program on Burkina Faso’s legal framework to counter terrorism.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Burkina Faso is a member of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA), a Financial Action Task Force-style body. Burkina Faso’s financial intelligence unit (Cellule Nationale de Traitement des Informations Financières – CENTIF) tracks terrorist financing, but had not tried any cases by year’s end. In 2017, the Minister of Territory Office of Public Freedoms and Associations took responsibility for terrorism financing from the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 2017, CENTIF required non-profit organizations to declare their funding sources. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2018 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume II, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.

Countering Violent Extremism (CVE): The Burkinabe government launched the Sahel Emergency Plan in 2017 to strengthen the role of government, enhance community law enforcement, and generate economic opportunities in its Sahel region. Burkina Faso did not have programs to rehabilitate or reintegrate terrorists into mainstream society.

The U.S. Agency for International Development’s CVE programming included a regional messaging project, called Voices for Peace, which counters terrorist narratives through radio programs and social media. It also includes an effort called Partnerships for Peace to strengthen the capacity of the national government, civil society organizations, and regional organizations – G-5 Sahel and the Economic Community of West African States – to counter violent extremism and a research initiative to identify the conditions terrorists exploit for recruitment in local communities.

Regional and International Cooperation: Burkina Faso participates in the G-5 Sahel Joint Force and provides forces to improve security along shared borders to interdict the flow of terrorist groups and criminal trafficking. Burkina Faso maintains two peacekeeping battalions in Mali as part of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali.


CAMEROON

Overview: In 2017, Cameroon experienced significant terrorist activity in the Far North Region. The Government of Cameroon attributed the violence to Boko Haram as opposed to ISIS-West Africa (ISIS-WA). Lake Chad region governments and media rarely make a distinction between Boko Haram and ISIS-WA and instead generally refer to both groups as Boko Haram. Boko Haram continued to regularly carry out attacks in Cameroon, primarily through the use of suicide bombers, while ISIS-WA attacked less frequently, targeting military outposts and generally refraining from killing civilians.

Countering terrorist threats remained a top security priority for the Government of Cameroon. It continued its cooperation with the international community, remained a member of the Trans‑Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk, contributed significantly to operations of the Multinational Joint Task Force, and continued to work with the United States to improve the capacity of its security forces.

The Cameroonian government began formulating a reintegration plan for former Boko Haram fighters for the first time in 2017. On October 20, four ex-terrorists who claimed to have defected from Boko Haram were allowed to return to their village in Tolkomari. Although local residents expressed skepticism, the government declared it was the state’s duty to protect them and treat them with respect. Although efforts to institutionalize formal defections and reintegration policies were nascent, the government announced that a permanent location for ex‑combatants in Zamai would serve as a de-radicalization and re-socialization center.

Cameroon joined the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS in 2017.

2017 Terrorist Incidents: Boko Haram continued to take advantage of weaknesses in Cameroon’s border security to conduct terrorist attacks in the country’s Far North Region, including suicide bombings, targeted killings, kidnappings, and raids in search of supplies. Boko Haram perpetrated multiple and indiscriminate killings against civilians – Muslim and Christian alike – but also against government officials and military forces. Although Cameroonian forces have become more effective at combatting Boko Haram, dozens of attacks, often suicide un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk, occurred in 2017. These included an attack in February that killed three soldiers, one in Un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk that killed four vigilance committee members (vigilance committees are groups of ordinary residents who help protect the area from Boko Haram attacks), one in July that killed 14 people and wounded 32 others, and one in August that left 15 dead and eight abducted. In the very far northern area of the country, ISIS-WA conducted a few attacks, targeting military outposts, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk, and generally refrained from killing civilians.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: There were no significant changes since the 2016 report. In 2017, the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program delivered two Explosive Incident Countermeasures trainings, an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Commanders Workshop, and a mentorship program with Cameroonian EOD personnel to build Cameroon’s counter-improvised explosive device capacity.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Cameroon is a member of the Task Force on Money Laundering in Central Africa (GABAC), a Financial Task Force-style regional body, and its financial intelligence unit, the National Agency for Financial Investigation, is a member of the Egmont Group. There were no significant changes since the 2016 report. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2018 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume II, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.

Countering Violent Extremism (CVE): The Government of Cameroon does not have a national CVE action plan, but officials at all levels acknowledged radicalization to violence as a significant concern and said they integrate it into their work and planning. The government partnered with faith-based organizations, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk, such as the Council of Imams and Religious Dignitaries of Cameroon (CIDIMUC), to educate citizens on the dangers of radicalization to violence, to promote religious tolerance, and to present religion as a factor for peace. Programs furthered these objectives through targeted messaging in mosques, special prayer sessions, press releases, and through roundtable discussions and conferences bringing together people from various religious backgrounds. One of CIDIMUC’s strategies has been to improve the living conditions of imams.

In 2017, the U.S. Agency for International Development expanded the scope of a community resilience and peace-building program it launched in December 2015. Using a network of community radio stations, the program focused on strengthening the resilience of communities through radio programs focused on peace building, which were transmitted in 26 languages in the north and far north regions.

Cameroonian cities Yaounde II, Kolofata, Kousseri, Meri/Diamare, and Mokolo are members of the Strong Cities Network.

International and Regional Cooperation: There were no significant changes since the 2016 report.


CHAD

OverviewThe Government of Chad continued to focus on counterterrorism efforts at the highest level, however, the worsening financial crisis affected its ability to meet even basic financial commitments, such as paying police and military salaries. Although financial hardships have limited the country’s ability to provide external counterterrorism assistance, Chad engaged in external military operations in neighboring countries. Chad provided approximately 2,000 combat forces to the Lake Chad Region’s Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), which also includes Benin, Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria, but drew down some of those troops in mid-2017 to focus on other issues such as insecurity along Chad’s northern border with Libya. Chad continued to host the French government’s Operation Barkhane, France’s integrated counterterrorism mission for the Sahel region that has partnered with forces in the Sahel to launch numerous operations to degrade terrorist groups in the region. Chad had 1,450 soldiers supporting the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali at year’s end.

Chad joined the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS in 2017.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: The Government of Chad updated its Penal Code in April 2017. Penalties for lesser terrorist offenses were increased to life imprisonment. Some civil society organizations expressed concern that the law was overly restrictive, required little evidence to prosecute individuals, and could be used to curtail freedoms of expression and association. We refer you to the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for further information.

While Chadian law enforcement units displayed basic command and control capacity, the Director General of the Chadian National Police requested training in investigations, crisis response, and border security capacity. Law enforcement leadership publicly acknowledged the requirement for all law enforcement officers to respect human rights. In practice, however, there were reports the government or its agents committed arbitrary and unlawful killings, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk, including by torture, and impunity was an issue. The Director General of the Police has improved the Chadian National Police’s performance by fostering more efficient and effective communication across bureau lines. Its forensics unit has opened its files to the Regional Security Office for passage of photo and fingerprint records of suspected Boko Haram terrorists imprisoned in Chad.

The Chadian government operated at a heightened level of security and has instituted screenings at border-crossings to prevent infiltration by members of Boko Haram, ISIS-West Africa (ISIS-WA), and Central African militias, as well as transit of illegal arms, drugs, and other contraband, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk. Border patrols were provided by a combination of border security officials, gendarmes, police, and military. Chad screened travelers using the U.S.-provided Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System (PISCES) at major ports of entry.

Chad participated in the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program in 2017. It received ATA training in support of its Crisis Response Team and received deliveries in support of its participation in the multilateral Flintlock 2017 exercise.

The U.S. Embassy’s Special Programs for Embassy Augmentation and Response (SPEAR) team continued its training and development. This team is composed of Chadian National Police and Groupe Mobile d’Intervention Police and is expected to be on call to respond to emergencies at the embassy and affiliated facilities.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Chad is a member of the Task Force on Money Laundering in Central Africa, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. Chad’s financial intelligence unit, the National Agency for Financial Investigation (ANIF), is a member of the Egmont Group.

Chad criminalized terrorist financing through the 2003 adoption of an anti‑money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) law drafted by the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa. The law allows immediate freezing and confiscation of terrorist assets and requires a variety of organizations involved in financial transactions to monitor money/value transfers and report any anomalies. The law does not appear to list non-profit organizations specifically within the list of organizations required to comply. The government also requires know-your-customer standards enforcement for both foreign and domestic transactions.

ANIF, which falls under the authority of the Ministry of Finance and Budget, is tasked with ensuring public and private financial institutions in Chad implement the AML/CFT law. It investigates suspicious transactions brought to its attention by financial institutions and refers cases to the Attorney General’s office in the Ministry of Justice for further action and prosecution.

For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2018 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume II, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.

Countering Violent Extremism (CVE): The Government of Chad adopted a national strategy and action plan to “Counter Violent Extremism and Radicalization” in December 2017. Prior to the strategy and action plan, the government used its five-year development strategy as its primary tool to prevent and counter radicalization to violence.

The number of Chadians joining terrorist organizations remained low in 2017. Chadians who joined Boko Haram or ISIS-WA came primarily from the Buduma ethnic group who reside on Lake Chad islands. Separately, there was evidence that a few individuals had un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk radicalized to violence through propaganda accessed on social media platforms.

Efforts to encourage defections and returnees among the Buduma people around Lake Chad were informal. Moderate messaging was broadcast over 12 community radio stations and one state-operated radio station under a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) project. Additionally, USAID committed to a multi-year CVE program.

International and Regional Cooperation: Chad remained active in the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership. Chad is a member of the G-5 Sahel Joint Force, which also includes Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. As a member of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, Chad participated in efforts to develop the MNJTF. Chad cooperated actively with Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria in operations to counter the threat of Boko Haram and ISIS-WA on its borders.


DJIBOUTI

Overview: Djibouti offered a vital platform for regional counterterrorism and countering violent extremism (CVE) efforts in 2017. Since 2002, Djibouti has hosted Camp Lemonnier, the headquarters of AFRICOM’s Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa and the only enduring U.S. military installation in Africa. Djibouti’s Armed Forces also participated in the U.S.-funded Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance program and deployed soldiers to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) campaign. Djibouti hosts the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Center of Excellence for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism, which serves as a regional CVE hub and resource for CVE research, development, and training. IGAD positions Djibouti as a regional leader on counterterrorism and CVE.

In 2017, the Government of Djibouti hosted several conferences:

  • A Ministry of Islamic Affairs-led conference with Muslim religious leaders from the Horn of Africa on strategies to address “extremist” messaging directed at youth;
  • A Ministry of Justice-led conference with the international organization of La Francophonie and the Association of Francophone Prosecutors on counterterrorism prosecutions; and
  • A Central Bank-led conference with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.

As in previous years, Djiboutian government officials, particularly law enforcement and members of the High Islamic Council, worked closely to identify and address terrorist activity.

Djibouti joined the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS in 2017.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Djibouti has a legal framework for prosecuting terrorism-related crimes and can try terrorists in criminal courts using its penal code. As such, there were no significant changes on terrorism-related legislation in 2017. The Djiboutian government continued to use counterterrorism legislation to suppress criticism by detaining and prosecuting opposition figures and other activists. We refer you to the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for further information.

In 2017, the Djiboutian government made structural and judicial counterterrorism-related changes. The Minister of Justice appointed a new State Prosecutor, who reorganized the Prosecutor’s office to allow deputy prosecutors to specialize in terrorism-related cases. Djibouti also passed a comprehensive refugee law and two implementing decrees to ensure refugees have freedom of movement, education, work, and access to public services, including those related to criminal justice, which were not de jure rights for refugees prior to their passage. Recognizing that refugees account for more than three percent of the population, the government’s decision to provide them access to the criminal justice system serves as an effective long-term response to address the risk of any vulnerable population, including this one, to recruitment, radicalization to violence, and other terrorist-related activity.

Djiboutian law enforcement entities continued to prioritize counterterrorism due to Djibouti’s geographic location and an al-Shabaab attack in Djibouti City in May 2014. Djibouti maintained a system of checkpoints and conducted cordon-and-search un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk within the capital, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk, Djibouti City, and concentrated security forces at border control points to screen for potential security threats. Government officials enhanced the protection of soft targets, including hotels and grocery stores, measures first un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk after the May 2014 attack. Djiboutian law enforcement also extended vehicle searches throughout the capital in an effort coordinated through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Djibouti’s law enforcement organizations include the Djiboutian National Police (DNP), the Djiboutian National Gendarmerie, the National Security Judiciary Police (NSJP), and the Djiboutian Coast Guard. In 2017, the DNP, National Gendarmerie, and NSJP received training from both the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program and the International Law Enforcement Academy in Gaborone. ATA assistance focused on building technical capacity for improved crisis response and border security capabilities. The DNP, National Gendarmerie, and the NSJP also received training through the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Legal Attaché office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Djibouti’s law enforcement organizations routinely interacted with U.S. government counterparts and frequently sought U.S. input to identify potential terrorist suspects.

Djiboutian law enforcement personnel acknowledged the difficulty of securing their land and sea borders. The DNP controls border checkpoints and Djibouti’s armed forces are responsible for patrolling land borders in remote locations, with support from the Gendarme patrolling between border posts, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk. Djibouti continued to process travelers on entry and departure at its international airport and seaport with the Personal Identification Secure Comparison Evaluation System (PISCES). While the airport and seaport remain important entry points, the vast majority of travelers cross into Djibouti by land at one of three land border points, one of which is the Loyada crossing at the Somali border, which was refurbished with U.S. funding.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism: In 2017, Djibouti applied for membership to the Middle East and Northern Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF)), a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. Its application is under consideration by MENAFATF members. The Central Bank of Djibouti houses a financial intelligence unit known as the Financial Information Service (SRF). Due to limited financial and human resources, the SRF has been unable to perform the core functions of a financial intelligence unit and has focused instead on banking supervision. The SRF referred no cases to law enforcement involving suspected terrorist financing in 2017.

Djibouti’s Central Bank places the responsibility for staying updated on sanctions lists with the financial institutions themselves. Many of the financial institutions operating in Djibouti have software packages that include links to UN sanctions lists, lists of designated terrorists, or terrorist entities provided by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control and the European Union. The Central Bank monitors compliance with these lists through routine supervision and audits of the financial institutions.

For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2018 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume II, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.

Countering Violent Extremism (CVE): Law enforcement agencies worked with the High Islamic Council to identify and monitor activity that promoted terrorist ideology. Djibouti continued to host and provide oversight for the operation of the IGAD Center of Excellence for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism and has also prioritized economic growth to address the high unemployment among youth.

International and Regional Cooperation: Djibouti hosts the IGAD’s headquarters offices and Secretary General. The Djiboutian military continued its participation in AMISOM, which includes military forces from Burundi, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Uganda.


ERITREA

Overview: The Government of Eritrea continued to make regular public statements about its commitment to fighting terrorism. Eritrea also continued and broadened its support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, and it allowed military elements of the coalition to base in Eritrea.

In May 2017, the United States recertified Eritrea as “not cooperating fully” with U.S. antiterrorism efforts under Section 40A of the Arms Export and Control Act, as amended. In considering this annual determination, the Department of State reviewed Eritrea’s overall level of cooperation with U.S. efforts to counter terrorism, taking into account U.S. counterterrorism objectives and a realistic assessment of Eritrean capabilities.

Eritrea has been subject to UN Security Council (UNSC) sanctions since December 2009 due to past evidence of support for al-Shabaab and other activities that have contributed to regional instability. UN Security Council resolutions (UNSCR) 1907 (2009) and 2011 (2013) established and consolidated a two-way arms embargo on Eritrea, most recently renewed in UNSCR 2385 (2017). The sanctions regime on Eritrea also includes provisions for a travel ban and asset freeze measures with regard to individuals or entities designated by the UN Sanctions Committee for Somalia and Eritrea. At present, there are no UN listings for the sanctions regime as it relates to Eritrea. While the Somalia and Un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk Monitoring Group’s (SEMG) 2017 report did not find conclusive evidence that Eritrea is supporting al-Shabaab, the Government of Eritrea continued to refuse to allow the SEMG inspectors to visit Eritrea, limiting the scope of its investigations. The SEMG did not find evidence of continued Eritrean support to armed groups intent on destabilizing Ethiopia and Djibouti.

Due to the Government of Eritrea’s lack of transparency, there was un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk clear picture of the methods it used to track terrorists or safeguard its citizens. For a number of years, members of the police have refused to meet with security officials from western nations to discuss policy matters, although the United States had informal contact with some law enforcement counterparts in 2017.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: There were no significant changes since 2016.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Eritrea is not a member or observer of a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body or a member of the Egmont Group. Eritrea is a member of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, which has a maritime security program that focuses on building the capacity of law enforcement agencies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2018 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume II, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.

Countering Violent Extremism (CVE): There were no significant changes since 2016.

International and Regional Cooperation: In December, Eritrea co-sponsored UNSCR 2396 on returning and relocating foreign terrorist ‎fighters.


ETHIOPIA

Overview: The continuing al-Shabaab threat emanating from Somalia dominated the Government of Ethiopia’s security posture and the Ethiopian National Defense Force’s (ENDF) 2017 counterterrorism efforts. Ethiopia also focused its counterterrorism strategy on pursuing potential threats from armed opposition groups often based in neighboring countries. The Ethiopian Federal Police (EFP) and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) shared information on counterterrorism matters pursuant to a memorandum of understanding. The Ethiopian government contributed to FBI cases related to al-Shabaab and other U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations by providing information, evidence, and access to witnesses.

Ethiopia joined the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS in 2017.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk Government of Ethiopia uses the 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (ATP) to prosecute crimes associated with terrorist activity. Ethiopia convicted 23 individuals in 2017 for planning to conduct terrorist attacks in Ethiopia after making contact with al-Shabaab and al-Qa’ida.

Ethiopia also continued to use the ATP to suppress criticism by detaining and prosecuting journalists, opposition figures – including members of religious groups protesting government interference in religious affairs – and other activists. The Ethiopian government released some, but arrested several others during the year. These arrests peaked under the State of Emergency the Ethiopian government imposed in October 2016 in the wake of anti-government protests and violence that resulted in tens of thousands of arrests and several hundred deaths. We refer you to the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices and Report on International Religious Freedom for further information.

In late August, the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law conducted a workshop in Addis Ababa for judges handling ATP cases. Ethiopian judges are often overwhelmed with hundreds of ATP-related cases because Ethiopian prosecutors often seek to bring the highest charges for cases that they cannot resolve with plea agreements. With U.S. support, the Attorney General’s Office is working on revising Ethiopia’s Criminal Procedure Code to include plea agreements.

The ENDF, the EFP, Ethiopian intelligence, and regional special police worked to detect and deter al-Shabaab attacks in Ethiopia. The National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), which has broad authority for intelligence, border security, and criminal investigation, is responsible for overall counterterrorism management in coordination with the ENDF and EFP. The three security organizations comprise the Ethiopian Task Force for Counterterrorism, a federal-level committee to coordinate counterterrorism efforts. The NISS facilitated some coordination with the United States to include several domestic counterterrorism cases.

Border security was a persistent concern for Ethiopia, which worked to tighten border controls with Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, and South Sudan. Ethiopia employed the Terrorist Interdiction Program’s Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System (PISCES) to conduct traveler screening and watchlisting at airports and other ports of entry.

Ethiopia is East Africa’s only last point of departure to the United States, one of only a few on the African continent. The U.S. Transportation Security Administration continued to conduct semi-annual inspections of Ethiopia’s national carrier and of Bole International Airport, including one that occurred in early December. Inspectors reported implementation of all recent enhanced security measures and that cooperation with Ethiopian aviation security officials remains strong.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Ethiopia is a member of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group, a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body. In October, the FATF and the European Commission listed Ethiopia as one of 11 high-risk and non-cooperative jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies in its anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regimes and recommended that any financial flows from the country be subject to additional counter checks and know-your-customer rules. Ethiopia is one of eight countries named on both the FATF and European Commission lists.

Following the completion of the National Risk Assessment for money laundering and terrorism finance in early 2017, Ethiopia approved and began implementing a National Risk Mitigation Action Plan.

Ethiopian law enforcement handles low-end money laundering investigations but is ill equipped to expand to larger AML/CFT investigations. Law enforcement lacks the forensic tools, human resources, and training to focus on these types of cases. In addition, the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) and law enforcement did not appear to coordinate their efforts fully. The FIC processes and submits suspicious transaction reports to the police for money laundering and to the NISS for terrorist financing cases. However, there appeared to be a lack of follow-up on AML/CFT investigations.

Ethiopia has made no apparent attempt to investigate and prosecute cases on suspicious or fraudulent mobile money transactions. This is especially significant since it appears that a large number of mobile money transactions occur within the Somali region of Ethiopia, an area where the Ethiopian government has concentrated much of its counterterrorism efforts. The two mobile money platforms in Ethiopia reported growth in its revenues, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk from transactions originating in rural areas, and have expressed interest in cooperating with law enforcement on investigations under certain conditions.

For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2018 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume II, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.

Countering Violent Extremism (CVE): Ethiopia has not yet developed a CVE strategy. In 2017, the U.S. Agency for International Development provided assistance through a local Ethiopian civil society organization to undertake research on the existing potential vulnerabilities to extremism in Ethiopia. This research was conducted in communities across eight of the nine regional states as well as in Dire Dawa and Addis Ababa, cities deemed at risk of radicalization to violence and terrorist recruitment. The findings of this research were presented and validated un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk Ethiopian government (federal and regional state) officials and non-government interlocutors (religious leaders) in November.

The government’s continued restrictions on funding to civil society and non-governmental organizations under the Charities and Societies Proclamation limited the activity of non-governmental organizations, including CVE programming targeting at-risk youth and engaging communities and credible leaders.

International and Regional Cooperation: There have been no significant changes since the 2016 report. The ENDF continued its participation in the African Union Mission in Somalia, which includes military forces from Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya, and Uganda. Ethiopia joined the UN Security Council (UNSC) as an elected member in January 2017 and served as a vice chair of the UNSC 1373 Committee on Counterterrorism. In December, Ethiopia co-sponsored UNSC Security Council resolution 2396 on returning and relocating foreign terrorist ‎fighters.


KENYA

Overview: Kenya saw a significant increase in al-Shabaab terrorist attacks in the region bordering Somalia during 2017, particularly through improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and ambushes. Kenya is a strong U.S. partner in counterterrorism investigation, prosecution, and incident response, and continued to play an important role in regional counterterrorism cooperation. The Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) continued to participate in the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and supported border security and counter-IED efforts within Kenya. Kenyan security services responded to numerous terrorist incidents, while also disrupting al-Shabaab and ISIS attack planning, recruitment, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk, and travel. Reports of human rights violations by security forces during counterterrorism operations continued, including allegations of extra-judicial killings, disappearances, and torture. We refer you to the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk and Report on International Religious Freedom for further information.

2017 Terrorist Incidents: Al-Shabaab increased its attacks against Kenyan security forces inside the country, primarily along the border with Somalia. Terrorist incidents included:

  • On January 27, al-Shabaab fighters – including Somalis and Kenyans – attacked a KDF camp at Kolbio, on the Somali border, using vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs), mortars, and small arms. The KDF claimed nine Kenyan service members and 70 al-Shabaab terrorists died, while media reported at least 20 KDF soldiers had been killed. Al-Shabaab employed numerous IEDs and ambushes targeting police patrols in Kenya’s northeastern counties and Lamu County.
  • In four attacks from May 16 to 25, police reported approximately 30 security officials and civilians died, including five police officers in an attack on the Mandera County Governor.
  • On July 8 and September 6 in attacks in Lamu County, al-Shabaab militants killed at least 13 civilians, beheading the victims.
  • On July 13, al-Shabaab militants in Lamu County attacked the vehicle of, and attempted to abduct, the Principal Secretary of the national Ministry of Public Works, who later died. According to police and media, at least six police officers died in the ambush and subsequent rescue operation.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Kenya’s government used the Prevention of Terrorism Act (amended in 2014) to aggressively investigate and prosecute terrorism, but it has fallen short in implementing initiatives to improve access to justice among un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk suspects in 2017. In August, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk, the government launched a National Legal Aid Action Plan but has not funded a public defender service envisioned by law. The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions worked to finalize national plea-bargaining rules, which awaited publication in the Kenya Gazette at year’s end. The judiciary supported a rule of law-based approach to prosecutions, applying equal legal and evidentiary standards to terrorism cases as in other criminal cases. In a January ruling, the High Court overturned five convictions for attempted terrorist travel to Somalia, as un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk Kenyan government had not followed legal procedures designating Somalia as a prohibited destination.

Counterterrorism functions were divided among the three branches of the National Police Service – the Kenya Police’s paramilitary General Service Unit, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (including the investigative Anti-Terrorism Police Unit, the Bomb Disposal Unit, and the Cyber Forensics Investigative Unit), and the Administration Police (including the Rural Border Patrol Unit). The National Intelligence Service and elements of the KDF. Interagency also shared responsibility. Coordination was uneven, with improved information sharing in some cases and failure to appropriately pass threat information in others. Overall, resource constraints, insufficient training, corruption, and unclear command and control hindered effectiveness. Kenya’s National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) expanded outreach to private security companies and key sectors on soft target attacks. Kenya’s security agencies focused on soft target threats in major cities and tourist areas, primarily universities, shopping malls, hotels, and resorts.

Terrorists exploited Kenya’s sparsely populated border regions and largely uncontrolled land borders to conduct attacks and move operatives in and out of un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk country. The Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program trained and equipped rural Border Patrol Unit personnel in tactical ground sensor operations and border security operations. Other ATA programs included law enforcement training to respond to active shooter threats.

Kenyan officials continued efforts to draft a coordinated interagency border control strategy, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk. In April, Kenya signed an agreement with the United States to implement the Automated Targeting System-Global to facilitate sharing of Advance Passenger Information for air travelers. Kenya worked to improve aviation safety and security at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Kenya established an interagency Joint Operations Centers at several ports of entry and border crossings to promote information sharing and maintained its traveler screening partnership with the United States using the Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System (PISCES) at major ports of entry. Immigration officers un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk government watchlists. Watchlist screening and basic equipment at smaller ports of entry was generally lacking.

The Kenyan government worked to prevent the transit of foreign terrorist fighters, including Kenyans attempting to join al-Shabaab or ISIS, and those returning from abroad. In March, police arrested three alleged ISIS travel facilitators in Malindi. In May, South Sudanese and Kenyan police cooperated in the repatriation of three Kenyans and a Somali, who were arrested in South Sudan after the Malindi group allegedly recruited them to travel to join ISIS-Libya. Kenyan security services also detected and deterred terrorist plots and responded to dozens of terrorism-related incidents. The Kenyan government or its agents continued to face allegations that they committed arbitrary and unlawful killings, particularly of known or suspected criminals, including terrorists.

Court trials in terrorism cases often proceeded slowly. At the end of 2017, trials continued in the cases of four Kenyans accused of providing support for the 2013 Westgate Un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk attack and of four Kenyans and one Tanzanian in connection with the 2015 Garissa University College attack. The Tanzanian defendant was found competent to stand trial in January after previously being found unfit in late 2016. The trial on explosives charges against British terrorism suspect Jermaine Grant, who was serving a nine-year sentence from a separate conviction in 2015, was pending a verdict at year’s end.

The Kenyan government cooperated with the United States regarding threat information and security at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, including through a dedicated General Service Unit counterterrorism response team funded by U.S. assistance. Kenya’s national elections required additional resources and personnel to conduct security operations, compelling the Kenyan government to limit certain counterterrorism-related training and redeployments.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Kenya is a member of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. In July, the Kenyan government appointed the first permanent Director General of its financial intelligence unit, the Financial Reporting Center (FRC), since its establishment in 2012. The FRC remained hampered by a lack of essential resources and faced challenges meeting minimum staffing, physical security, and information technology requirements. The FRC also lacked an electronic reporting system for analyzing suspicious transactions. The use of unregulated informal financial mechanisms, including hawalas, continued. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2018 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume II, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.

Countering Violent Extremism (CVE): Kenya’s government worked in 2017 to implement its 2016 National Strategy to Counter Violent Extremism, primarily through county-level action plans. Kenya’s NCTC worked with county governments, security actors, and civil society to launch action plans in Kwale, Mombasa, Lamu, and Kilifi Counties. The NCTC also led Kenya’s Country Support Mechanism for the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF), which began awarding grants for community initiatives to counter violent extremism. Kenya is also a GCERF beneficiary country. Police in Nairobi, coastal, and northeastern counties participated in community policing, dialogues on post-traumatic stress, and early warning and early response programs. Prison officials improved their handling of terrorist offenders. Other small-scale efforts to rehabilitate and reintegrate former terrorists, facilitators, and sympathizers continued, but these lacked a clear legal framework and supportive public messaging. Kenya’s second-largest city, Mombasa, is an active member of the Strong Cities Network.

International and Regional Cooperation: Kenya continues to host the United Nations (UN) Office in Nairobi, serving as a hub for regional coordination against transnational threats. The KDF continued its participation in the African Union Mission in Somalia, which includes military forces from Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Uganda. In December, Kenya cosponsored UN Security Council resolution 2396 on returning and relocating foreign terrorist ‎fighters.


MALI

Overview: The Government of Mali remained a willing U.S. counterterrorism partner in 2017, despite serious challenges. Widespread terrorist activity continued in Mali’s largely ungoverned northern regions and in the country’s center and Tri-Border Region with Burkina Faso and Niger. Slow implementation of the June 2015 peace accord between the Malian government and two coalitions of armed groups hampered the return of public services and security to the north and parts of the center. Mali continued to rely heavily on the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and French forces to help stabilize and secure the northern regions. Terrorist groups increased their attacks on all accord signatories, including former rebel groups with whom they had briefly allied. Terrorist activities also increased in number and severity in the central and southern regions.

The French military’s Operation Barkhane continued its integrated counterterrorism mission for the Sahel region. Cooperating with Malian forces, Operation Barkhane sought to degrade terrorist elements in northern and central Mali, particularly Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM), the umbrella group that formed after the Sahara Branch of al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), al-Murabitoun, Ansar al-Dine, and the Macina Liberation Front merged to form the group.

MINUSMA maintained its northern presence in 2017, particularly in the Gao, Kidal, and Timbuktu regions. It continued its work with the Malian government and various militia groups to facilitate the redeployment of government administrators and security forces to the north as part of implementing the 2016 Peace Accord.

2017 Terrorist Incidents: AQIM and JNIM continued to conduct terrorist attacks, primarily targeting Malian and international military forces. Un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk terrorist groups launched attacks against civilians, security forces, peacekeepers, and others they reportedly perceived as not adhering to their interpretation of Islam. Attacks by terrorist groups expanded beyond the traditional conflict zone in the north to Mali’s center and south. Malian Security Forces continued to suffer the largest number of casualties resulting from terrorist attacks. An estimated 138 Malian soldiers were killed in numerous incidents. Terrorist incidents included:

  • On June 18, an attack at Le Campement Kangaba resort northeast of Bamako left nine dead including four guests, a Malian Counterterrorist Force member, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk four terrorists. Three people were wounded. JNIM claimed responsibility.
  • On October 31, an attack between Dia and Diafarabé, against a convoy of Member of Parliament and President of the High Court of Justice Abdramane Niang, caused at least six deaths, including five Malian soldiers and one civilian. JNIM claimed responsibility.
  • On November 24, an attack against a MINUSMA convoy in Indelimane, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk, Menaka region killed three Nigerien United Nations (UN) peacekeepers and wounded many others. JNIM claimed responsibility.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: In June, the Malian Gendarmerie Crisis Response Team, trained by the Un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program, responded to the Campement Kangaba terrorist attack and aided Malian forces in killing four assailants. At least 50 people were at the hotel at the time, and the fact that more patrons were not killed is evidence of the improvement of Malian first responders at the tactical level since the November 2015 Radisson Blu Hotel attack, which killed 20 people. In 2017, ATA provided additional advanced training and mentoring to the Malian Gendarmerie Crisis Response Team.

The Malian Armed Forces under the Ministry of Defense (MOD) remained the primary entities responsible for securing Mali against terrorist threats. The General Directorate of State Security under the Ministry of Security and Civil Protection (MOS) had the authority to investigate and detain persons for terrorism offenses. Combined counterterrorism missions involving law enforcement and military units lacked delineation and coordination.

Although Mali has basic border security, law enforcement units lacked the capacity, training, and necessary equipment to secure Mali’s porous borders, which extend approximately 4,500 miles and touch seven countries. The United States worked with Malian security forces at Bamako’s Senou International Airport to expand the U.S.-funded Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System program (PISCES). The gendarmerie, which reports to both the MOD and the MOS – and the national border police, which reports to the MOS – both provide paramilitary support to prevent and deter criminal activity at borders. Customs officials under the Ministry of Economy and Finance monitor the flow of goods and enforce customs laws at borders and ports of entry. Mali receives INTERPOL notices, but the INTERPOL database is unavailable at some of Mali’s points of entry. The UN International Organization for Migration is managing a project with the Malian Border Patrol to provide portable biometrics systems for scanning at primary border crossing areas to counter trafficking of persons, but this system lacks connection to a central database. The information is not centralized or searchable and is largely inaccessible and unusable. Exit and entry stamps used by border officials have inconsistent size and shape, which undermines efforts to authenticate travel documents.

Malian passports, including diplomatic and official versions, incorporate security measures including ultraviolet features and a full-color digital photo. Unfortunately, imposters can obtain fraudulent documents, such as birth and marriage certificates, with relative ease.

In 2017, the government opened 69 terrorism-related cases and detained 30 people for terrorism-related crimes. Resource constraints, a lack of training in investigative techniques, and inexperience with trying terrorism cases plagued a weak judicial system. The Malian government has never investigated, prosecuted, and sentenced any terrorists from start to finish. Mali has taken steps to un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk its institutional capacity to fight terrorism, passing laws that create new terrorism-related offenses and allow for the use of special investigative techniques. This includes setting up a Special Judicial Interagency Work Group against terrorism and its equivalent for law enforcement – the specialized judicial brigade – and working with international partners to build the capacity of these units, including the UN Office of Drugs and Crime.

Mali worked cooperatively with the United States to prevent acts of terrorism against U.S. citizens. The Malian judicial system continued its cooperation with U.S. law enforcement agencies in the investigation into un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk November 2015 Radisson Blu Hotel attack, which killed one U.S. citizen.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Mali is a member of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. Mali’s financial intelligence unit, the Cellule Nationale de Traitement des Informations Financières (CENTIF-Mali), is a member of the Egmont Group. There were no significant changes since 2016. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2018 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume II, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.

Countering Violent Extremism (CVE): In June, the Government of Mali adopted a national strategy for the prevention of radicalization to violence and terrorism. The Ministry of Religious Affairs is responsible for developing and monitoring the national strategy and for working with the High Islamic Council and other religious associations to promote moderate Islam and maintain a secular state. Considerations to counter violent extremism were integrated into Mali’s “Program for Accelerated Development in the Northern Regions,” as was a draft decentralization policy.

Mali is a Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund beneficiary country.

The government launched the Integrated Central Region Security Plan in August, which aims first to secure and then re-establish government services across the Mopti region and the un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk Segou region, which also experienced increasing insecurity.

International and Regional Cooperation: Mali remained active in regional organizations and international bodies, including the Economic Community of West African States, the UN, the African Union, and the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership. Mali also participated in Global Counterterrorism Forum events.

The Malian military participated in multinational border security operations under the G-5 Sahel mandate. Following a December U.S.-led Joint Combined Exchange Training event, Malian units deployed to the center sector of the G-5 Sahel Joint Force.


MAURITANIA

Overview: Mauritania was an excellent U.S. security and regional counterterrorism partner in 2017. Since 2011, when U.S. engagement with Mauritanian security forces greatly increased and Mauritanian forces defeated al-Qa’ida elements in three separate battles, Mauritania has not suffered a terrorist attack, despite continuing terrorist violence in neighboring Mali.

The Government of Mauritania continued to oppose terrorism effectively, building on an approach that hinges on community outreach, improving the capacity of security forces, and securing the country’s borders. The government has continued its counterterrorism cooperation with the United States and seized opportunities to participate in U.S.-sponsored training on counterterrorism tactics and techniques.

Mauritania Armed Forces and Law Enforcement Services worked with the United States to track, monitor, and counter terrorist groups, which include al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), ISIS, and Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM) – the group that formed after the Sahara Branch of al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb, al-Murabitoun, Ansar al-Dine, and the Macina Liberation Front came together in 2017.

Through the support of the United States and other partners such as France, Mauritania deployed 20,000 soldiers, divided between seven military regions around the country. Despite these efforts, regions in the interior of Mauritania remained imperfectly monitored, owing to their geographic isolation from population centers and inhospitable desert conditions. AQIM elements and like-minded terrorist groups were present in the region, particularly along the southeastern border with Mali, which remained the leading terrorist threat to Mauritania in 2017.

On November 6, Mauritanian press reported that AQIM released a new video in which it warned Mauritania of consequences for its cooperation with the so-called “crusaders’ forces.”

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Border security remained inadequate due to a standing policy that accords responsibility for different sections of the country’s land borders to different formations of the security forces. Owing to their geographic isolation from population centers, hard-to-access areas of the Sahara Desert further complicated efforts to monitor and secure borders.

On November 12, Mauritania declared its border with Algeria a military “Red Zone,” forbidden to civilians. This decision was motivated by the increased and diverse trafficking of prohibited goods through this region.

In collaboration with Mauritanian authorities, the Senegalese security forces arrested two suspected Algerian terrorists from ISIS on October 6 at the Mauritanian border crossing of Rosso. The two suspects were wanted by the Government of Algeria.

The Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program, in cooperation with host nation partner forces, provided training for 160 police officers and gendarmerie in topics including facilities protection, border security, interviewing terrorist suspects, crisis incident management, weapons of mass destruction, and border security and interdiction.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Mauritania is a member of the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. In 2017, Mauritania applied for membership within the Egmont Group. There were no other significant changes since 2016. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2018 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume II, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.

Countering Violent Extremism (CVE): The Mauritanian government continued to support CVE programs and offer alternatives to at-risk individuals. During 2017, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs and Traditional Education (MIATE) hosted a two-day regional workshop in Nouakchott to share the Mauritanian CVE experiences with representatives from the Maghreb countries and the G-5 Sahel countries. The workshop was organized in cooperation with the American Friendship Project.

The MIATE collaborated with independent Islamic religious groups to counter radicalization to violence in a series of workshops in all 15 provinces. The MIATE organized an international conference on “Violence and Extremism from Sharia’s Perspective,” error code 1118 on March 19, 2017.

In coordination with two University of Nouakchott professors, a think tank, and some society leaders, the U.S. Embassy organized a two-day awareness training workshop for university students on violent extremism, how to recognize possible huawei e1550 error imei activities, and strategies to counter them.

The southern Mauritanian city of Kiffa is a member of the Strong Cities Network.

Mauritanian political and religious personalities periodically condemned ISIS’s aims, methods, and activities in public statements.

International and Regional Cooperation: Nouakchott serves as host to the headquarters of the G-5 Sahel, which includes Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. Mauritania will be responsible for the western sector of the G-5 Sahel Joint Force located along the border between Mauritania and Mali.

Under the auspices of the G-5 Sahel, Mauritania, the European Union, and the German Agency of International Cooperation, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime organized a meeting of experts on mechanisms and standards for information exchange within the Security Cooperation Platform of the G-5 Sahel in Nouakchott on October 24-25, 2017.


NIGER

Overview: Terrorist groups active in Niger included the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), ISIS in the Greater Sahara (ISIS-GS), Boko Haram, ISIS-West Africa (ISIS-WA), and Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM), the group that formed after the Sahara Branch of al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb, al-Murabitoun, Ansar al-Dine, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk, and the Macina Liberation Front came together in 2017.

Terrorists freely crossed many of Niger’s borders. In the southeast, Boko Haram and ISIS-WA profited from porous borders with Chad and Nigeria to attack civilian and security targets in Niger’s Diffa region. Al-Qa’ida (AQ) and ISIS affiliates transited the Mali and Burkina Faso borders in the west to attack security targets in the Tillabery region and crossed the Libyan and, to a lesser extent, the Algerian borders in the Agadez region in the north. Terrorists, weapons, and contraband transited freely through the vast northern part of Niger.

Niger remained a strong opponent of terrorism in the region, continued to cooperate with international partners, and received substantial international counterterrorism assistance. From 2012 to the end of 2017, the Departments of Defense and State executed approximately US $240 million in security assistance, counterterrorism, and countering violent extremism (CVE) programming. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is programming an additional US $30.9 million, including US $16 million for USAID/Office of Transition Initiatives for CVE programs. Foreign assistance has helped the Nigerien military increase its capability to patrol, collect information, and interdict terrorists.

Niger is standing up the Central Sector Command Post in Niamey for the G-5 Sahel Joint Force. Niger conducted joint patrols with Chad and Nigeria as part of its increased cooperation with Lake Chad Basin Commission member countries in the fight against Boko Haram and ISIS‑WA. Niger has increased its number of border control facilities and is working with the international community to construct and equip these facilities.

Niger joined the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS in 2017.

2017 Terrorist Incidents: Numerous terrorist attacks occurred in the Diffa and Tillabery regions, leading to dozens of deaths and injuries. Terrorist organizations frequently stole military vehicles and equipment that they then used in later attacks. Terrorist attacks in western Niger focused almost exclusively on security forces, while Boko Haram and ISIS-WA attacked both civilian and military targets in the southeast. Attacks included:

  • On June 28, two suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers attacked a refugee camp in Kabelewa, Diffa, killing three refugees and wounding 11 others. This was the first suicide attack in Diffa in more than one year.
  • On July 2, Boko Haram terrorists kidnapped 39 women and killed nine civilians in N’Galewa village in Diffa region.
  • On October 4, suspected ISIS-GS terrorists attacked U.S. and Nigerien Special Operations Forces in Tongo Tongo, Tillabery, killing four U.S. soldiers and five Nigerien soldiers and wounding two U.S. soldiers and four Nigerien soldiers.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Niger’s laws criminalize acts of terrorism consistent with international instruments. Nigerien law enforcement and security services were actively engaged in detecting, deterring, and un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk acts of terrorism on Nigerien territory, but they suffered from insufficient manpower, funding, and equipment. Counterterrorism investigations in Niger are primarily the responsibility of the Central Service for the Fight against Terrorism (SCLCT), an interagency body comprising representatives from Niger’s National Police, National Guard, and Gendarmerie. Information sharing occurred among the law enforcement agencies of SCLCT.

Niger’s long borders and vast areas of harsh terrain made effective border security a challenge. Through the U.S. Global Security Contingency Fund, a joint interagency program between the U.S. Departments of Defense, Justice, and State, Niger developed a Draft National Border Security Strategy and corresponding Implementation Plan. Niger continued to use rudimentary terrorism watchlists that it shared with the security services and at border checkpoints. The Government of Niger continued to screen travelers using the U.S.-provided Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System (PISCES). Niger is one of six African countries participating in the Security Governance Initiative to strengthen coordination among Niger’s military and law enforcement services.

In 2017, the SCLCT arrested 250 terrorist suspects on charges that included planning acts of terrorism, association with a terrorist organization, recruitment, and terrorist financing. Courts tried or dismissed approximately 550 terrorism cases. Approximately 1,100 terrorism suspects remained in detention awaiting trial at year’s end. While the law prohibits torture and degrading treatment, there were indications that security officials were sometimes involved in abusing or harming detainees suspected of terrorist activity.

The United States provided counterterrorism assistance to Nigerien law enforcement – including through the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program and a Resident Legal Advisor from the Department of Justice. ATA training included improvised explosive device awareness and command and control in support of Niger’s participation in the multilateral Flintlock exercise.

As part of a broader counterterrorism strategy, the United States is working with the Government of Niger to improve its capacity to employ forensic investigative tools. From April to May, the U.S, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk. Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Defense collected the biometric information of more than 1,300 terrorism detainees and digitized more than 600 terrorism-linked paper fingerprint records. Niger is the only country in the region where terrorist suspects are identified systematically in a biometric enrollment initiative.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Niger is a member of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. There were no significant changes since 2016. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2018 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume II, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.

Countering Violent Extremism (CVE): The Government of Niger, through the High Authority for the Consolidation of Peace and the Ministry of Interior, increased its focus on CVE programs, although international partners and non-governmental organizations drove most of Niger’s programming. In May, the University of Diffa hosted an international Symposium on De-radicalization and Reintegration. The Ministry of Interior organized a high-level national conference, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk, “Violent Extremism and Youth in Niger.”

In late December 2016, the Minister of Interior announced an amnesty policy for Boko Haram and ISIS-WA fighters who wished to defect. In 2017, 172 former fighters and affiliated non‑combatants officially un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk, with 167 housed in a government-run camp in the Diffa region. The Government of Niger had not put forth a formal reintegration plan for former combatants by the end of 2017.

International and Regional Cooperation: In early 2017, Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali signed an accord creating the Liptako-Gourma authority to direct security operations in the Tri-Border Region where ISIS-GS and AQ are active. In mid-2017, the Liptako-Gourma authority was folded into the G-5 Sahel Joint Force, a military effort fielded by Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger, to address security threats un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk the region. Niger was standing up the Central Sector Command, based in Niamey.

On a rotational basis, Niger deploys an infantry battalion to the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali.

Niger conducted joint patrols with Chad and Nigeria and increased its cooperation with Lake Chad Basin Commission member countries to fight Boko Haram and ISIS-WA. Nigerien officials hosted and attended multiple international meetings on countering the two groups. Niger is a member of and contributes troops to the Multinational Joint Task Force along with Benin, Cameroon, Chad, and Nigeria.

Niger is a member of the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership. Nigerien officials continued to participate actively in regional programs organized by the Global Counterterrorism Forum’s Sahel Region Capacity-Building and Criminal Justice/Rule of Law working groups. Niger participates in a judicial cooperation organization, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk Sahel Judicial Platform, with other countries in the region.


NIGERIA

Overview: Boko Haram and its offshoot, ISIS-West Africa (ISIS-WA), carried out killings, bombings, and attacks on civilian and military targets in northern Nigeria, resulting in thousands of deaths, injuries, and significant destruction of property.

Nigeria continued to work with other terrorism-affected neighbors in the Multinational Joint Task Force, including Benin, Cameroon, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk, Chad, and Niger to counter-Boko Haram and ISIS-WA, regain control over territory previously held by these groups, and launch efforts to rebuild civilian structures and institutions in cleared areas.

Terrorist activity accounted for the internal displacement of nearly two million persons in the states of Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe, and the external displacement of more than 200,000 Nigerian refugees to neighboring countries, principally Cameroon, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk, Chad, and Niger. The Nigerian government negotiated with Boko Haram for the May 6 release of 82 of the 276 female students abducted by Boko Haram in Chibok in 2014. According to the Bring Back Our Girls campaign, 113 students remained missing at the end of 2017.

Nigeria is a member of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.

An interdisciplinary assistance team composed of personnel from the Department of State, the Department of Defense, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Agency for International Development continued to coordinate efforts with the Nigerian military at the Defense Intelligence Agency, with daily military-to-military engagement at the Joint Combined Fusion Cell and the Joint Coordination Planning Committee.

In its response to Boko Haram and ISIS-WA attacks, and at times in response to crime and insecurity in general, Nigerian security service personnel perpetrated extrajudicial killings and engaged in torture, sexual exploitation and abuse, arbitrary detention, mistreatment of detainees, use of children by some security elements, looting, and destruction of property. We refer you to the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices and Report on International Religious Freedom for further information

2017 Terrorist Incidents: Boko Haram and ISIS-WA carried out hundreds of attacks in Nigeria using suicide bombers, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), vehicle-borne IEDs, raids, ambushes, and kidnappings. The following list details only a fraction of the incidents that occurred:

  • On June 7, suspected Boko Haram militants launched an attack on Maiduguri, Borno State, and engaged Nigerian forces in a gunfight. In coordination, three suicide bombers detonated explosives on civilian targets in the Muna Garage neighborhood of Maiduguri. The attack killed at least 17 civilians and injured 34 others.
  • On July 25, an ISIS-WA attack on the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) surveying project resulted in the deaths of at least 69 people. Victims included 19 soldiers, 33 civilian militia, and 17 NNPC and University of Maiduguri staff, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk. Three university faculty were also abducted.
  • On November 21, a Boko Haram suicide bomber detonated explosives at a mosque in the town of Mubi, in Adamawa State, killing at least 50 people.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Nigeria’s 2011 counterterrorism law was amended in 2013 and was strengthened by the 2014 National Security Strategy and the 2016 National Counter Terrorism Strategy.

The Nigerian Office of the National Security Advisor is responsible on paper for coordinating all security and enforcement agencies. The Nigerian military has primary responsibility for combating terrorism in the Northeast. Several government agencies also perform counterterrorism functions, including the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), and the Ministry of Justice. The NPF has a Counterterrorism Unit and a Terrorist Investigation Branch. Both units are responsible for investigating acts of terrorism and conducting proactive measures to prevent terrorist attacks. Interagency cooperation and information sharing was limited. Due to their knowledge of the local context, community-based un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk groups, often collectively referred to as the Civilian Joint Task Force, provided critical and necessary responses to the terrorism threat in the Northeast.

In October, the Government of Nigeria began closed-door hearings in front of civilian judges for more than 1,600 suspected supporters of Boko Haram and ISIS-WA. According to a government statement, 600 suspects were arraigned in the initial proceedings. Of these, 45 pled guilty to various charges and were sentenced to between three and 31 years in prison, 468 persons un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk ordered to undergo a de-radicalization and rehabilitation program before being released, 34 cases were dismissed, and 28 cases were remanded for trial in civilian courts elsewhere in the country. Some human rights groups alleged terrorist suspects detained by the military were denied their rights to legal representation, due process, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk, and to be heard by a judicial authority.

On December 8, the government said it adopted a new strategy for the screening of suspected Boko Haram members and other terrorists. This involved developing a national terrorism database and providing training in investigative interviewing techniques and evidence collection.

Border security responsibilities are shared between NPF, NSCDC, Customs, Immigration, and the military. Coordination among agencies was limited.

The Nigerian government continued to participate in U.S. capacity-building programs, worked with the FBI to investigate specific terrorism matters, and provided IED components to the FBI for analysis at the Terrorist Device Analysis Center. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and NPF also received crime scene training relevant to counterterrorism investigations.

In 2017, the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program continued to mentor Nigeria’s explosive ordnance disposal personnel. ATA also delivered a Crisis Intervention Seminar, Senior Leadership Seminar, and an IED awareness seminar in support of Nigeria’s participation in the Flintlock multilateral exercise.

The Nigerian government actively cooperated with the United States and other international partners to assist with counterterrorism investigations. On April 12, Nigeria’s state security agency said it had thwarted plans by terrorists they believed affiliated with Boko Haram to attack the British and U.S. embassies.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Nigeria is a member of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. On July 5, the Egmont Group suspended Nigeria for its failure to restructure its financial intelligence unit to make it operationally autonomous and isolated from possible political control, a requirement the Egmont Group places on all of its members. To rectify this deficiency, the Nigerian Senate, in November, passed the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Agency Bill. At the end of 2017, this legislation was awaiting passage by the Nigerian House. Additionally, the Money Laundering Prevention and Prohibition Bill of 2017, amending and strengthening the 2011 Money Laundering Act, was under active review in the Nigerian Senate and House. Other active, but not yet passed, legislation with a nexus to terrorist financing includes the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill and the Proceeds of Crime Bill. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2018 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume II, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.

Countering Violent Extremism (CVE): In August, Nigeria, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk, with un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk support from the British Department for International Development, adopted a Policy Framework and National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk. The framework was in accordance with relevant UN policy and developed in coordination with various ministries and civil society organizations. In December, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk, under this framework, the government launched an Action Plan for Demobilization, Disassociation, Reintegration, and Reconciliation in Nigeria. Nigeria is a Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund beneficiary country. Kaduna state and Kano state are members of the Strong Cities Network.

International and Regional Cooperation: Nigeria continued its high-level participation in regional security and counterterrorism conferences. This included President Buhari’s participation in the Aqaba Conference on countering terrorism and radicalization in West Africa (sponsored by Jordan in December) and the AU-EU Summit held in Cote d’Ivoire in November. Nigeria is a member of the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership, a founding member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum, and part of the Security Governance Initiative between the United States and six African partners.


SENEGAL

Overview: Senegal experienced no terrorist attacks in 2017, however, security forces arrested three individuals suspected of having ties to ISIS. In light of its deep concerns about terrorist activity in the region, the Government of Senegal worked closely with U.S. military and law enforcement officials to strengthen its counterterrorism capabilities.

The risk of terrorist activity in Senegal arises from external and internal factors. Externally, transnational threats arose due to the Senegalese military presence in several theaters of operation in the region and the activities of terrorist groups in neighboring countries. Internally, the promotion of fundamentalist ideologies by a small number of religious leaders constituted the chief concern, however, these ideologies are outside the Islamic norms that predominate in Senegal.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: The Government of Senegal enacted no important changes to its counterterrorism laws in 2017. However, Senegal did make fully operational its specialized Inter-Ministerial Framework for Intervention and Coordination of Counterterrorism Operations (CICO) during the year. The CICO, which is intended to fully coordinate the government’s response to terrorism, was initially formed in 2016.

Senegal’s gendarmerie and national police have specialized units to detect, deter, and prevent acts of terrorism. Effective interagency cooperation and information sharing challenged the various governmental bodies that have counterterrorism functions in Senegal, but the advent of the CICO is leading to steady improvement in these areas. Senegal works to develop specific plans and capabilities to prevent and respond to terrorist attacks against soft targets and held a major exercise un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk 2017 in Dakar to test the ability of security forces to respond effectively.

Senegalese officials identified a continued lack of border resources and regional cooperation as security vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities were exacerbated by the un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk of systems to ensure travel document security, the effective use of terrorist screening watch lists, and the collection of biographic and biometric screening capabilities beyond those deployed at major ports of entry. The southern and eastern portions of the country have far fewer resources to detect and deter terrorists who might travel through those areas.

Senegal is working to improve its law enforcement capacity by participating in multilateral efforts, such as the Border Security Initiative of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), programs of the African Union (AU), and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Additionally, Senegal has been working with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to promote cooperation and coordination between border agencies, including creating three new joint points of entry, funded by the European Union (EU) and the Government of Japan, on the border with Mauritania. With U.S. funding, the IOM implemented a complementary program to enhance institutional capacities in securing and managing national borders. This included developing and emphasizing stronger community engagement and more coherent approaches to border management; interagency cooperation and coordination; cross-border interoperability; and trust between border communities and security officials that contributes to establishing open, but well-controlled and secure borders that guarantee the full respect of human rights of persons on the move. Senegal also participated in the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program, which provided courses and consultations directly focused on soft target identification and protection.

Significant law enforcement actions in 2017 included the February arrest of two Malian nationals suspected of involvement in terrorism and the September arrest of two Algerian un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk on similar charges. The trial of Imam Alioune Badara Ndao and 31 other individuals charged in 2015 with criminal conspiracy in connection with terrorist groups, money laundering for terrorist activities, and terrorist financing, continued through the end of 2017. Imam Ndao has been associated with the Diokhane terrorist network and its links to Boko Haram and ISIS.

In November, when reporting indicated a possible terrorist plot to attack certain soft targets, the Senegalese government responded professionally and appropriately by increasing its security posture in Dakar.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Senegal is a member of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. Its financial intelligence unit, the National Financial Intelligence Processing Unit, is a member of the Egmont Group. While Senegal criminalizes the offense of terrorist financing, it does not criminalize the provision of funds to terrorist organizations or to individual terrorists in the absence of a link to a specific terrorist act. Senegal also lacks specific measures to criminalize the provision of support to foreign terrorist fighters. Additionally, while Senegal has a framework in place to carry out its obligations under the UN Security Council (UNSC) ISIL (Da’esh) and al-Qa’ida sanctions regime, the procedures for accessing and freezing assets of listed individuals is not clarified in existing regulations. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2018 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume II, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.

Countering Violent Extremism (CVE): There have been no significant changes since 2016. The Senegalese government did not have a national Un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk strategy or plan of action, although Senegalese civil society groups were active in this field. The government was reportedly working on a strategy document built around the pillars of prevention, protection, intervention, and resilience, but it had not been completed at the end of 2017 and the draft had not been made public.

1. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in cooperation with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), will hold the Inter-Regional Conference on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalization that Lead to Terrorism in Seoul (Chosun Hotel) from April 19 to 20.

 

※ The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is an organization for security cooperation between European and Atlantic countries based on the comprehensive security concept which takes into account political and military security, economic and environmental security, and human security in a comprehensive manner (57 member states).

- The Republic of Korea has participated in the OSCE as an Asian Partner for Co-operation since 1994.

 

o The upcoming conference will cover a range of topics concerning violent extremism, including challenges and solutions; top priorities for devising national strategies; strengthening the capacity of youth; and ways to respond to terrorists’ activities to spread propaganda online. It will be attended by about 150 people, including government officials from European and Asian countries, and academics from home and abroad.

 

※ Key speakers at the conference include Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mongolia Batmunkh Battsetseg; Assistant Secretary of Australia’s Countering Violent Extremism Centre Samuel Grunhard; Co-ordinator of Activities to Address Transnational Threats at the OSCE Rasa Ostrauskaite; Michi Ebata, handling promotion in external relations at the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT); and Facebook's Asia-Pacific and South Asia head of counterterrorism policy Gullnaz Baig.

 

2, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk. The forthcoming conference, which marks the first between the OSCE and Asia in the area of counter-terrorism, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk expected to serve as an opportunity to share experiences of preventing and countering violent extremism, being discussed actively in the international community, and to establish networks among relevant experts in the public and private sectors.

 

o Furthermore, as the OSCE is playing a leading role in facilitating dialogues and exchanges in Europe to prevent and counter violent extremism, the ROK government, by hosting the conference, will actively play a bridging role to deepen counterterrorism cooperation between the OSCE and Asia.

 

3, un anti-terrorism conference in irkutsk. In his opening address on April 19, Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun will talk about the need for cooperation between Europe and Asia to respond to the transnational threat of violent extremism, and especially stress the importance of building the capacity of the youth.

 

o He will also explain the ROK government’s efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism, including preparing a national action plan in January 2018 in accordance with the UN General Assembly resolution adopted in July 2016, as well as carrying out cooperation projects with the OSCE, the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), and the UN Counterterrorism Executive Directorate (UNCTED).

 

 

* unofficial translation


0 Comments

Leave a Comment