Workshop on counter-terrorism underway in Windhoek

29 Mar 2017 13:20pm
WINDHOEK, 29 MAR (NAMPA) – A workshop aimed at helping Namibia's law enforcement and security agencies prevent and counter challenges in radicalism, violent acts of extremism and religious tension started here on Wednesday.
The two-day workshop will serve to promote proactive engagement amongst national security agencies and development stakeholders in a bid to foster peaceful co-existence and reconciliation.
In his opening remarks, Director-General of the Namibia Central Intelligence Service (NCIS), Phillemon Malima said it has been proven that isolated law enforcement, military actions and intelligence operations, though necessary, do not suffice to counter the rise of the social-political phenomena of radicalisation and acts of violent extremism.
He said counter-terrorism extends beyond the disruption of terrorist activities, bringing terror suspects to justice or having national counter-terrorism strategies.
Malima said the complexity of terrorism and violent acts of extremism demand a holistic approach which would compel countries to adopt upstream prevention measures and downstream rehabilitation programmes.
He added that countries must aggressively focus on cutting ideological support of terrorist groups; proactively counter-radicalising these groups' sympathiser base.
“Countries should also focus on the promotion of fair development of all the communities, religious tolerance, understanding of radicalisation and violent acts of extremism, as well as their respective, commensurate counter measures,” the NCIS director-general said.
The workshop will provide the invited foreign experts and local participants with a platform to define and analyse religious and other forms of extremism and fundamentalism.
It will also explore links between extremism and terrorism and will be used to share the experiences of each stakeholder in an effort to effectively combat these.
In addition, it is hoped that it will strengthen the collective resolve of the involved stakeholders to understand radicalisation, fundamentalism and violent extremism.
Over 160 people drawn from various government departments, State-owned enterprises, political parties, youth groups, religious communities and academia are attending the workshop, which ends Thursday.
Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila officially opened the workshop on Wednesday on behalf of President Hage Geingob.