Hailemariam says increasing suicide bombing marks end of terrorism

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Addis Ababa, 26 June 2014 (WIC) - The Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn‎ said on Wednesday that the alarming rate of suicide bombing was a desperate response by terrorist group against an unpleasant reality that they were facing extinction.

The war against terrorism was succeeding, he noted, even as he suggested that since it had been established that funding sources for terrorist activities were coming from outside, there was need for leaders of volatile countries worldwide to initiate joint actions to freeze accounts tansacting the funds.

Hailemariam stated this at a joint press conference with President Goodluck Jonathan‎ as part at the end of his two-day visit to Nigeria.
Bilateral talks and exchange of views on issues bordering on Nigeria-Ethiopia relations of mutual interest resulted in Nigeria and Ethiopia agreeing to champion the war against terrorism and extremist tendencies in Africa.

The Prime Minister said terrorism was a bankrupt ideology which the fight against terrorism was having an edge over, with the various sects becoming weak and getting desperate, which explains why they have resorted to suicide bombing.

Noting that the East African region had been fighting terrorism for the past 10 years, he observed that what leaders of worst-hit countries at the forefront of terror needed to do to ended the global menace on the continent was to cooperate with one another.

Hailemariam said, ‎”you know ‎terrorism is not African agenda only, there has been terror attack in Boston and many parts of the globe so is not something that is new to Nigeria, Ethiopia and other African countries. It is a global phenomenon and you see that there is terror attack in Iraq recently and is expanding. We have to see it as a global phenomenon that has to be tackled together in unison.

“It shouldn’t be left to this or that region or this or that country. We have to bear in mind the genesis of this terrorism. Apart from the fact that we in East Africa region, especially, have been fighting terror in the last 10 years continuously. So, we have to continue to fight until we ensure this ideological bankruptcy stops.

“This is an ideological bankrupt process and it is also indiscriminate killing of humanity and so, it has nothing to do with religion or political ambition where some might use as disguise. It is a bankrupt ideology and so we need to cooperate. There is a funding source. The funding sources are out there outside the African continent. So, we have to find an African way to solidify action to ensure the funding sources dry up.‎ This needs cooperation.

“So we in the continent who understand and are the worst hit by terrorists should be the ones leading the process. That is what we agreed that if Nigeria and Ethiopia ‎and other African nations who have been hit time and again by terrorism will take the forefront in fighting this process, we can get others to come on board.

“You know that Al-shabab has weakened very much. That is why they take desperate actions like suicide bombing because they are declining and are in the process of being extinguished. So, we have to fight hard and work very closely in this regard and Nigeria and Ethiopia will be at the forefront of fighting terrorism and extremism.”

He noted that industrialisation and increase in investment on the continent was paramount; henece the need for cooperation to ensure the continent does not become a dumping ground for foreign goods to the detriment of economic growth.
“But as African nations, we should be very careful on how to help our ‎industrialisation. Local content of this industralisation has to take place, otherwise we will become a dumping site for foreign producers and that has to be taken care of while building this process,” he stated.
President Jonathan said there was much for Nigeria to learn from Ethiopia in the fight against terrorism, saying African investors must invest in the continent and create more jobs for youths.

He, however, regretted that volume of trade between Nigeria and Ethiopia was too low, adding that there was need for the two countries to cooperate in agriculture and power.

He said, “These two countries are agrarian ‎countries. Nigeria started well in agriculture but abandoned it in the 70s for oil and now we are back to agriculture because we were almost in a mono economy where everything begins and ends with oil and now we cannot rely on oil completely because of the global fluctuation in prices.

“So, Nigeria and Ethiopia need to cooperate in agriculture ‎and commerce as emphasised because we must trade. The greatest problem we have in Africa is infrastructure in terms of movement of goods and services. It is easier to move goods from Africa to European or Asian countries ‎than within our continent. So, over the period, we have not encouraged trade within our countries so the businessmen and women prefer to link outside.
“But now we are encouraging internal investment within the continent. Before this time, we had not really had robust trade within Africa; few were among the richest men, but now we have a lot of them. Our banks have been doing very well and have been empowering the businessmen and women within and outside the country. So we are now encouraging that investment across Africa.

“We want Ethiopian businessmen to ‎come to Nigeria and invest, we have a lot of green field ‎and brown field, even the oil sector is still very open. Before now, most of our services like power, ports, airports, roads were monopolised by federal government, but now all these have been thrown open to private sector investment. We are also encouraging Nigerian businessmen and women to invest in Ethiopia in the areas of agriculture and mining. The Dangote Group has investment in cement and sugar farms production in Ethiopia.

In the communique read by the Minister of Foreign Affairs II, Nurudeen Mohammed, both leaders resolved to foster closer ties in the critical areas of trade, investments, agriculture and air transportation through the establishment of an enabling environment, as well as the re-activation of the appropriate regulatory frameworks.

The two leaders expressed their resolve and commitment to the promotion of international peace and security.

Both leaders condemned the growing incidence of terrorism and the menace it constitutes for many countries, particularly in Africa, where it has manifested itself in the Horn of Africa as El-Shabab, in Mali and the Sahel as AlQaeda-in-the Maghreb (AQIM) and Boko Haram in Nigeria.

They also expressed concern at the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, which constitutes significantly to instability and insecurity in different parts of the world, especially in Africa.

They urged all countries to ratify the United Nations Global Arms Trade Treaty. (leadership.ng)