Register SIM cards to prevent terrorism

30 Mar 2017 19:20pm
WINDHOEK, 30 MAR (NAMPA) – Namibian authorities need to register cellular Subscriber Identify Module (SIM) cards to prevent and counter the use of electronic or social media in terrorism.
This is one of the recommendations from a workshop aimed at helping the country’s law enforcement and security agencies prevent radicalism, violent acts of extremism and religious tension.
Namibia Central Intelligence Service (NCIS) Director-General, Phillemon Malima on Thursday said the community should be engaged through educational programmes and awareness, while communication strategies to prevent terrorists should be crafted.
Malima said the two-day workshop identified the need to focus on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (PVE/CVE).
It concluded that the empowering of women and youth on security issues should be prioritised.
“These recommendations and our future collaborative efforts will help us to formulate a comprehensive National Plan of Action to Prevent and Counter Violent Extremism,” said Malima.
Namibia’s neighbour, South Africa, in 2011 enforced the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act, RICA, that requires all SIM cards operating on the local mobile networks to be registered at the mobile service providers with the identify of a person or company. This means providing an identity document, physical address and or postal address for a SIM card to be active.
It was enforced in response to an increase in organised criminal activities that utilise such communication technology.
The gathering in Windhoek served to promote proactive engagement amongst national security agencies and development stakeholders in a bid to foster peaceful co-existence and reconciliation.
It provided the invited foreign experts and local participants with a platform to define and analyse religious and other forms of extremism and fundamentalism.
It also explored links between extremism and terrorism and was used to share the experiences of each stakeholder in an effort to effectively combat them.
Over 160 people drawn from various government departments, State-owned enterprises, political parties, youth groups, religious communities and academia attended the workshop that ended on Thursday.