Editorial: Terror close to home

The revelations of connection between drug traffickers in the West Coast of Africa and the terrorist network of al-Qaeda in the Maghreb are clear evidence that terror is close to our Senegambia home. What a worrying development! Yes, we have every reason to be worried about the United States’ expose, considering the magnitude of deadly attacks and destruction terror networks are inflicting on innocent people and nations on a daily basis. Terrorists are like a thorn in the flesh of even the highly sophisticated western nations. This must undoubtedly be a wakeup call for our countries that concerted efforts are needed to root out all forms of organized crimes in the region before they escalate into something different. Of late, terror networks have been using proceeds of drug trafficking to sponsor their activities. It’s happening in Afghanistan, and it’s now becoming a reality in our region simply because of the failure to defeat illegal drug business. Guinea-Bissau’s record poverty level has only succeeded in fuelling organized crimes in the past few years. What do you expect unpaid civil servants of a country to survive other than being vulnerable to any form of survival? This only complicates the poverty-stricken West African country’s fight against crimes.We welcome the Washington administration’s resolve to partner with Bissau to confront the problem. We believe this partnership should be extended to all the sub-regional countries. Besides, the fight against organized crimes in the region will be fruitless if the international community does not support the Bissau regime to address its key economic challenges. We have every reason to be concerned, and must not sleep in peace until this new marriage between drug smugglers and terror network is broken.

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