- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 9, 2001

Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, a dedicated advocate of international peacekeeping, has started a campaign to recruit all of Africa in the cause of combating international terrorism.
"Our continent and our people were bled in the terrorist attacks against U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania three years ago," Mr. Wade said in a telephone interview from Dakar, the Senegalese capital.
"And Africa even now is not out of danger from such attacks," the president declared.
If successful, the initiative would be the first to organize an entire continent as an anti-terrorism coalition.
The United States has placed great emphasis on cobbling together support for a multinational drive against terrorism following the Sept. 11 attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center.
"The terrorist attacks now point to an urgent need to heed a long-standing call by African countries for an international conference against terrorism, Mr. Wade said last week. He announced his proposal at a news conference in Paris.
The reference was to a Convention on the Prevention and the Fight against Terrorism adopted by the now-defunct Organization of African Unity in 1999 at a meeting in Algiers.
Mr. Wade urged that an international conference be called, perhaps under the auspices of the new African Union, to push for full ratification of the convention.
He was back in Dakar yesterday after a short visit to Washington to discuss his ideas with U.S. officials.
"They seemed pleased with what we Africans are trying to do," Mr. Wade said. He disclosed that U.S. officials would soon visit Senegal to explore the idea further.
Under Mr. Wade's proposal, a seven-member committee would be set up to coordinate Africa's anti-terrorism efforts with other coalitions being formed worldwide.
African nations would undertake not to extend any financial or logistical support to terrorist groups.
They would also agree to accept any African or international inspection if there are signs of terrorist-related activity within their borders.
Mr. Wade was careful not to apply the terrorism label to all internal conflicts.
Senegal, for example, has had to deal with a long insurrection by armed groups from Casamance, the substantial portion of the country south of the Gambia River, which has sought a separate identity.
"Within this struggle, there were some subgroups that staged terrorist acts, but this not what I have in mind when I talk about combating terrorism," he said.
Another instance of bloody internal conflict is the fight against the government of Abdelaziz Bouteflika in Algeria, waged by the centrist Islamic Salvation Front and the more militant Armed Islamic Group.
"Here we have an internal conflict with two anti-government wings, one definitely more radical than the other and waging a terrorist campaign," he said.

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