A new era of counter-terrorism in Africa

Initial widespread support for the US-lead ‘War on Terror’ in response to the 9/11 attacks has diminished markedly. What does this mean for Africa?

In fact, counter-terrorism today has a less-than-honourable reputation, conjuring images of extra-judicial renditions, unlawful and indefinite detention, and torture.

However recent developments indicate that change is coming to the way the world – and Africa – combats terrorism. President Obama has already ordered an end to several unlawful US-lead practices; in Europe and other regions courts are reminding governments about the importance of human rights and due process. Rather than falling primarily within the domain of spies and the military, criminal justices responses will become increasingly important.

Is Africa ready for this change? The ICJ and the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) are organizing an evening reception to explore these questions and launch the recent report of the ICJ’s Eminent Jurists Panel on Terrorism, Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights.

Africa-terrorism-news-2009 (full text, PDF)