Terrorism Threat

Topics: Terrorism, Africa, Counter-terrorism Pages: 10 (3684 words) Published: August 20, 2013
The African continent has suffered from various forms of threats to its peace and stability. These involve environmental degradation, poverty, diseases, hunger, drought and wars. Terrorism however, is emerging as a serious threat to African peace. Salvatore Freni (2010) points out that terrorism has undergone a number of changes and mutations. Salvatore went on to explain that “new” terrorism elements are rooted in globalization and are characterized by structure of terrorist groups which has evolved from hierarchies to networks, are transnational and not only national and are now using new methods causing increasing lethality. The nature of many African countries as noted by Ted Dagne (2011) exhibit, poverty official corruption, weak and failing states are attractive destinations for terrorist organisations. Robert L. Feldman (2009) posited a view that, some parts of Africa may never be at peace. Africa’s Maladies however, has been observed as its own making while others are rooted in the colonial legacy. Democratization which is conceived as a tool in the fight against terrorism has yielded negative results. Democratizing states have somersaulted to authoritarianism with emerging threats of terrorism. Dr. Jack Calliers (2006) noted that terrorism in Africa is widespread and it is overwhelmingly domestic, sub-state in nature that maims ,kills , and affect millions of people. This paper shall discuss terrorist threat to African peace in the context of ethno-political, economic, human security and personality factors. The paper shall define terms, terrorism and peace. Theoretical framework within which terrorism is understood shall be mentioned and background to the phenomenon stated. The word terrorism has posed competing views by scholars, academies and legal practitioners. However, different regions and organisations have coined words to it relevant to their operations. Boas Ganor (2008:18) noted that terrorism is a violent struggle in which violence is deliberately used against civilians in order to achieve a political goal. At the Convention on the Prevention and Combating of terrorism, the organization of African unity (OAU) defined an act of terrorism as “any act which is a violation of the criminal laws of a state, party and which may endanger the life, physical integrity or freedom of or cause serious injury or death to any number or group of persons or causes damage to public or private property, natural resources, environmental or cultural heritage”. It can therefore be summarized that, an act of terrorism involve the following, intimidation, disruption, the creation of general insurrection among the public, cause or spread feelings of fear and panic. Peace as a concept is primarily concerned with the creation of a just order in society as noted by Howard (1987). Negative peace is the absence of violence; it is the presence of social justice through equal opportunity, a fair distribution of power and resources, equal protection and impractical enforcement of the law. Peace therefore implies just order and absence of violence. Various theories have been postulated to explain terrorism. The Political Theory is rooted in governance as a cause of terrorism, lack of rule of law, human rights, free judicial system. Sociological theory focuses on the interplay between social movements and societal response. The Political Theory of fascism which is about consolidation of ultra nationalist ideology. These include Italian, sonany and Islam fascism. There is a theory of religion as a theory of terrorism which Haffman (1993) said,” It is also fact that, about halve of the most dangerous ones on earth are primarily motivated by religious concerns”. The economic theory of rational choice as a theory of Terrorism holds that people will engage in crime after weighing the cost and benefits of their actions, and the Globalization theory of terrorism which Wascar (2004) points on that globalization contributes to dreams,...
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