Namibia not exempt from violent extremism: Kuugongelwa-Amadhila

29 Mar 2017 17:40pm
WINDHOEK, 29 MAR (NAMPA) – Although Namibia has enjoyed a peaceful history free from violent extremism, the threat to the Namibian community remains, Prime Minister (PM), Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has said.
Opening a two-day National Multi-Stakeholder Workshop on the Prevention and Combating of Violent Extremism and Radicalisation here on Wednesday, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said succeeding in the prevention of violent extremism and radicalisation must be a high priority for the country.
“Our efforts should thus be multifaceted, addressing the multiple forms in which this ill may occur.”
She said Namibia maintains cordial relations in the area of counter-terrorism cooperation with the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa and the Southern Africa Development Community Regional Early Warning Centre.
“It is necessary for us as a country to aggressively raise awareness against violent extremism and radicalisation in order to deny terrorist groups from advancing their activities and objectives in or from Namibia.”
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila noted that violent extremism tends to thrive in an environment characterised by poor governance and democracy deficits; while poverty, unemployment, exclusion, corruption and conflicts amongst communities make them prone to the social ill.
The PM said Namibia addresses these causes through the Harambee Prosperity Plan and National Development Plan 5 that aim to promote good governance and sharing the prosperity from the benefits of the country’s resources.
She said the United Nations General Assembly Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism stresses the importance of proactive and preventative action which takes a broader view of counter-violent extremism than traditional security measures employed in the past.
This plan calls for a coherent and concerted effort by the international community to systematically address the drivers of radicalisation to prevent the further spread of violent extremist ideologies.
The plan proposes over 70 recommendations and identifies seven priority areas for action such as dialogue and conflict; strengthening good governance, human rights and the rule of law; engaging communities and empowering the youth.
Namibia’s legislation such as the Promulgation of Prevention and Combating of Terrorist and Proliferation Activities Act; Prevention of Organised Crime Act; and the Financial Intelligence Act are formulated to strengthen deterrence, detection, response and recovery from political threats of terrorism and to enhance compliance with international, continental and regional instruments.
Over 160 representatives from various government departments, State-owned enterprises, political parties, youth groups, religious communities and the academia are attending the workshop that ends on Thursday.