Dakar, Senegal - The governments of Senegal and France have decided to give priority to the interventions from their Action Plan Against Terrorism (PACT) as security for the 15th Francophonie summit to be held in November in the Senegalese capital, Dakar.
'Senegal hosts the Francophone summit and seeing the many delegations expected in our country, there is need to better secure the country and it’s in that sense that most of our action in 2014 will be devoted to the organization of the summit,” Senegalese Interior minister, Abdoulaye Daouda Diallo, said on Tuesday in Dakar.
In the presence of Jean Félix-Paganon, the French ambassador to Senegal, Mr Diallo presided over the second meeting of the monitoring board of the project on the the priority solidarity fund for PACT. The bilateral project started in 2013 is financed with about 460 million CFAF by France.
It is about strengthening the capacities of actors in the fight against terrorism and trans-national criminality, including Senegalese police, the gendarmerie and courts, through a series of exchanges and training, but also the youth regarded as 'particular target for terrorist organizations'.
'We intend to develop a plan towards development actions in a bid to enable youths to liberate themselves from terrorist threat, so that they can work and avoid falling easily into the arms of terrorists. This is what we are considering doing through the project this year,” said the minister, who stressed the urgency to eradicate terrorism in African countries.
In that respect, he said that there were many preventive measures. “We live in an environment in which most of our neighbours are facing that phenomenon and we must do our best so that this never happens in our country,' he said.
Mr Paganon stressed the need to be vigilant against terrorism even though it did not threaten Senegal directly. “It can be a target for terrorist groups on the occasion of the next Francophone summit.”
'This (the Francophone summit) is an issue on which we decided to cooperate in an extremely strict way and our cooperation programmes are established and I think they are ambitious and I’m convinced they are efficient,' he added.
'Senegal is located in a complicated regional environment, therefore, terrorist threat which is obvious in neighbouring countries can have effect on Senegal, a country which is not directly targeted by that phenomenon,' said the French ambassador.