Category Archives: Yona Fares Maro

A Stronger Role of the Private Sector in Achieving Inclusive and Sustainable Growth in Developing Countries

From: Yona Maro

Having a decent job is widely recognised as the best way out of poverty. The private sector provides some 90 per cent of jobs in developing countries, and is thus an essential partner in the fight against poverty. It is also needed as an investor in sustainable agricultural production if the world is to meet the challenge of feeding 9 billion people by 2050. And through innovation and investment in low-carbon and resource-efficient solutions, it will have a major role to play in the transformation towards an inclusive green economy. Given the private sector’s potential for generating inclusive and sustainable growth in developing countries, private stakeholders including businesses, financial intermediaries, associations and workers and employers organisations are emerging as ever more active in the development field, both as a source of finance and as partners for governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and donors.

Yona Fares Maro

Institut d’études de sécurité – SA

Malawi’s 2014 Elections: Amid Concerns About Fairness, Outcome is Too Close to Call

From: Yona Maro

An analysis of responses to an Afrobarometer poll conducted among adult Malawians six to eight weeks ahead of the country’s May 20 elections.

Yona Fares Maro
Institut d’études de sécurité – SA


From: Yona Maro


Africa is a rich continent. Some of those riches – especially oil, gas and minerals – have driven rapid economic growth over the past decade. The ultimate measure of progress, however, is the wellbeing of people – and Africa’s recent growth has not done nearly as much as it should to reduce poverty and hunger, or improve health and education.

To sustain growth that improves the lives of all Africans, the continent needs an economic transformation that taps into Africa’s other riches: its fertile land, its extensive fisheries and forests, and the energy and ingenuity of its people. The Africa Progress Report 2014 describes what such a transformation would look like, and how Africa can get there.

Agriculture must be at the heart that transformation. Most Africans, including the vast majority of Africa’s poor, continue to live and work in rural areas, principally as smallholder farmers. In the absence of a flourishing agricultural sector, the majority of Africans will be cut adrift from the rising tide of prosperity.

To achieve such a transformation, Africa will need to overcome three major obstacles: a lack of access to formal financial services, the weakness of the continent’s infrastructure and the lack of funds for public investment.?The Africa Progress Report 2014 describes how African governments and their international partners can cooperate to remove those obstacles – and enable all Africans to benefit from their continent’s extraordinary wealth.

Yona Fares Maro
Institut d’études de sécurité – SA

Yona Fares Maro
Institut d’études de sécurité – SA

Country Reports on Terrorism 2013

From: Yona Maro

Executive Summary
Bureau of Counterterrorism
Country Reports on Terrorism 2013
April 30, 2014

Definitions used in Country Reports on Terrorism 2013:

Section 2656f(d) of Title 22 of the United States Code defines certain key terms used in Section 2656f(a) as follows:

(1) the term “international terrorism” means terrorism involving citizens or the territory of more than one country;

(2) the term “terrorism” means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents; and

(3) the term “terrorist group” means any group practicing, or which has significant subgroups which practice, international terrorism.

Interpretation and Application of Key Terms. For purposes of this report, the terms “international terrorism,” “terrorism,” and “terrorist group” have the definitions assigned to them in 22 USC 2656f(d) (see above). The term “non-combatant,” which is referred to but not defined in 22 USC 2656f(d)(2), is interpreted to mean, in addition to civilians, military personnel (whether or not armed or on duty) who are not deployed in a war zone or a war-like setting.

It should be noted that 22 USC 2656f(d) is one of many U.S. statutes and international legal instruments that concern terrorism and acts of violence, many of which use definitions for terrorism and related terms that are different from those used in this report. The interpretation and application of defined and related terms concerning terrorism in this report is therefore specific to the statutory and other requirements of the report, and is not intended to express the views of the U.S. government on how these terms should be interpreted or applied for any other purpose. Accordingly, there is not necessarily any correlation between the interpretation of terms such as “non-combatant” for purposes of this report and the meanings ascribed to similar terms pursuant to the law of war (which encapsulates the obligations of states and individuals with respect to their activities in situations of armed conflict).

Contextual Reporting. Adverse mention in this report of individual members of any political, social, ethnic, religious, or national population is not meant to imply that all members of that population are terrorists. Indeed, terrorists rarely represent anything other than a tiny fraction of such larger populations. It is terrorist groups–and their actions–that are the focus of this report.

Furthermore, terrorist acts are part of a larger phenomenon of violence inspired by a cause, and at times the line between the two can become difficult to draw. This report includes some discretionary information in an effort to relate terrorist events to the larger context in which they occur, and to give a feel for the conflicts that spawn violence.

Thus, this report will discuss terrorist acts as well as other violent incidents that are not necessarily “international terrorism” and therefore are not subject to the statutory reporting requirement.



Strategic Assessment

Africa Overview

East Asia and Pacific Overview

Europe Overview

The Middle East and North Africa Overview

South and Central Asia Overview

Western Hemisphere Overview

State Sponsors of Terrorism

Terrorist Safe Havens

Programs and Initiatives Designed to Counter Terrorist Safe Havens

Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations

Please note that the complete Country Reports on Terrorism 2013 can be found at:


Al-Qa’ida (AQ) and its affiliates and adherents worldwide continue to present a serious threat to the United States, our allies, and our interests. While the international community has severely degraded AQ’s core leadership, the terrorist threat has evolved. Leadership losses in Pakistan, coupled with weak governance and instability in the Middle East and Northwest Africa, have accelerated the decentralization of the movement and led to the affiliates in the AQ network becoming more operationally autonomous from core AQ and increasingly focused on local and regional objectives. The past several years have seen the emergence of a more aggressive set of AQ affiliates and like-minded groups, most notably in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Northwest Africa, and Somalia.

AQ leadership experienced difficulty in maintaining cohesion within the AQ network and in communicating guidance to its affiliated groups. AQ leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was rebuffed in his attempts to mediate a dispute among AQ affiliates operating in Syria – al-Nusrah Front and al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI), now calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) – which resulted in the expulsion of ISIL from the AQ network in February 2014. In addition, guidance issued by Zawahiri in 2013 for AQ affiliates to avoid collateral damage was routinely disobeyed, notably in attacks by AQ affiliates against civilian religious pilgrims in Iraq, hospital staff and convalescing patients in Yemen, and families at a shopping mall in Kenya.

Terrorist violence in 2013 was fueled by sectarian motivations, marking a worrisome trend, in particular in Syria, Lebanon, and Pakistan, where victims of violence were primarily among the civilian populations. Thousands of extremist fighters entered Syria during the year, among those a large percentage reportedly motivated by a sectarian view of the conflict and a desire to protect the Sunni Muslim community from the Alawite-dominant Asad regime. On the other side of the conflict, Iran, Hizballah, and other Shia militia continued to provide critical support to the Asad regime, dramatically bolstering its capabilities and exacerbating the situation. Many of these fighters are also motivated by a sectarian view of the conflict and a desire to protect the Shia Muslim community from Sunni extremists.

The relationship between the AQ core and its affiliates plays out in the financial arena as well. As was the case for the last few years, the affiliates have increased their financial independence through kidnapping for ransom operations and other criminal activities such as extortion and credit card fraud. Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) are particularly effective with kidnapping for ransom and are using ransom money to fund the range of their activities. Kidnapping targets are usually Western citizens from governments or third parties that have established a pattern of paying ransom for the release of individuals in custody.

Private donations from the Gulf also remained a major source of funding for Sunni terrorist groups, particularly for those operating in Syria.

In 2013, violent extremists increased their use of new media platforms and social media, with mixed results. Social media platforms allowed violent extremist groups to circulate messages more quickly, but confusion and contradictions among the various voices within the movement are growing more common. Increasingly, current and former violent extremists are engaging online with a variety of views on tactics and strategy, including admitting wrongdoing or recanting former beliefs and actions.

Key Terrorism Trends in 2013

–The terrorist threat continued to evolve rapidly in 2013, with an increasing number of groups around the world – including both AQ affiliates and other terrorist organizations – posing a threat to the United States, our allies, and our interests.

–As a result of both ongoing worldwide efforts against the organization and senior leadership losses, AQ core’s leadership has been degraded, limiting its ability to conduct attacks and direct its followers. Subsequently, 2013 saw the rise of increasingly aggressive and autonomous AQ affiliates and like-minded groups in the Middle East and Africa who took advantage of the weak governance and instability in the region to broaden and deepen their operations.

–AQ leader Ayman al-Zawahiri experienced difficulty in maintaining influence throughout the AQ organization and was rebuffed in his attempts to mediate a dispute among AQ affiliates operating in Syria, with ISIL publicly dissociating its group from AQ. Guidance issued by Zawahiri in 2013 for AQ affiliates to avoid collateral damage was routinely disobeyed, notably in increasingly violent attacks by these affiliates against civilian populations.

–Syria continued to be a major battleground for terrorism on both sides of the conflict and remains a key area of longer-term concern. Thousands of foreign fighters traveled to Syria to join the fight against the Asad regime – with some joining violent extremist groups – while Iran, Hizballah, and other Shia militias provided a broad range of critical support to the regime. The Syrian conflict also empowered ISIL to expand its cross-border operations in Syria, and dramatically increase attacks against Iraqi civilians and government targets in 2013.

–Terrorist violence in 2013 was increasingly fueled by sectarian motives, marking a worrisome trend, particularly in Syria, but also in Lebanon and Pakistan.

–Terrorist groups engaged in a range of criminal activity to raise needed funds, with kidnapping for ransom remaining the most frequent and profitable source of illicit financing. Private donations from the Gulf also remained a major source of funding for Sunni terrorist groups, particularly for those operating in Syria.

–“Lone offender” violent extremists also continued to pose a serious threat, as illustrated by the April 15, 2013, attacks near the Boston Marathon finish line, which killed three and injured approximately 264 others.

–Many other terrorist groups not tied to AQ were responsible for attacks in 2013, including the People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C), which carried out a number of high-profile attacks last year, including a February 1 suicide plot targeting the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey.

* * *

While AQ core leadership in Pakistan is much diminished, Ayman al-Zawahiri remains the recognized ideological leader of a jihadist movement that includes AQ-affiliated and allied groups worldwide. Along with AQ, the Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani Network, Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), and other like-minded groups continue to conduct operations against U.S., Coalition, Afghan, and Pakistani interests from safe havens on both sides of the Afghanistan/Pakistan border, and in Pakistan, terrorist groups and AQ allies, such as TTP, have executed armed assaults not only on police stations, judicial centers, border posts, and military convoys, but also on polio vaccination teams and aid workers. Other South Asian terrorist organizations, including Lashkar e-Tayyiba (LeT), cite U.S. interests as legitimate targets for attacks. LeT, the group responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attacks, continues to pose a threat to regional stability.

AQAP carried out approximately one hundred attacks throughout Yemen in 2013, including suicide bombings, car bombings, ambushes, kidnappings, and targeted assassinations, regaining the initiative it had lost through 2012 as a result of sustained Yemeni government counterterrorism efforts. Of the AQ affiliates, AQAP continues to pose the most significant threat to the United States and U.S. citizens and interests in Yemen. AQAP has demonstrated a persistent intent to strike the United States, beginning in December 2009 when it attempted to destroy an airliner bound for Detroit, and again the following year with a plot to destroy several U.S.-bound airplanes using bombs timed to detonate in the cargo holds. In 2013, AQAP’s leader, Nasir Wahishi, was designated by AQ leader Zawahiri as his deputy, and the group continued to maintain a focus on Western targets.

Some of the thousands of fighters from around the world who are traveling to Syria to do battle against the Asad regime – particularly from the Middle East and North Africa, Central Asia, and Eastern and Western Europe – are joining violent extremist groups, including al-Nusrah Front and ISIL. A number of key partner governments are becoming increasingly concerned that individuals with violent extremist ties and battlefield experience will return to their home countries or elsewhere to commit terrorist acts. The scale of this problem has raised a concern about the creation of a new generation of globally-committed terrorists, similar to what resulted from the influx of violent extremists to Afghanistan in the 1980s.

The violence and disorder in Syria extended to the various violent extremist groups operating amongst the Syrian opposition. In late 2013 and early 2014, violent infighting occurred between al-Nusrah Front and ISIL, resulting in the February death of Ayman al-Zawahiri’s envoy to Syria Abu Khalid

al-Soury, who was a member of Ahrar al Sham. Despite this infighting, ISIL is the strongest it has been since its peak in 2006; it has exploited political grievance among Iraq’s Sunni population, a weak security environment in Iraq, and the conflict in Syria to significantly increase the pace and complexity of its attacks. ISIL continues to routinely and indiscriminately target defenseless innocents, including religious pilgrims, and engages in violent repression of local inhabitants.

In 2013, AQIM remained focused on local and regional attack planning, and concentrates its efforts largely on kidnapping-for-ransom operations. While a successful French and African intervention countered efforts to overrun northern Mali by AQIM and several associate groups, these factions continued to pursue attacks against regional security forces, local government targets, and westerners in northern Mali, Niger, and the broader Sahel region in 2013.

Originally part of AQIM, the al-Mulathamun Battalion (AMB), also known as al-Murabitoun, became a separate organization in late 2012 after its leader, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, announced a split from AQIM. AMB claimed responsibility for the January 2013 attack against the Tiguentourine gas facility near In Amenas, in southeastern Algeria. Over 800 people were taken hostage during the four-day siege, which led to the deaths of 39 civilians, including three U.S. citizens. AMB was also involved in terrorist attacks committed in Niger in May 2013, targeting a Nigerien military base and a French uranium mine.

Groups calling themselves Ansar al-Shari’a in Tunisia and the Libyan cities of Benghazi and Darnah also operated in the North Africa space. The three share some aspects of AQ ideology, but are not formal affiliates and generally maintain a local focus. In Libya, the terrorist threat to Western and Libyan government interests remains strong, especially in the eastern part of the country. Libya’s porous borders, the weakness of Libya’s nascent security institutions, and large amounts of loose small arms create opportunities for violent extremists. In Tunisia, Ansar al-Shari’a in Tunisia attempted suicide attacks against two tourist sites in late October 2013 and killed a political oppositionist in July that same year, suggesting the group remains intent on attacking Western and Tunisian interests.

In East Africa, al-Shabaab continued to pose a significant regional threat despite coming under continued pressure by African forces operating under the African Union’s AMISOM command and steady progress in the establishment of Somali government capability. Perhaps because of these positive steps, al-Shabaab targeted its attacks on those participating in the effort to bring stability to Somalia. In September 2013, al-Shabaab struck outside of Somalia (its first external attack was in July 2010 in Kampala, Uganda), attacking the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya. The assault resulted in the death of at least 65 civilians, including foreign nationals from 13 countries outside of Kenya and six soldiers and police officers; hundreds more were injured. Al-Shabaab’s attacks within Somalia continued in 2013, and resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people, including innocent women and children.

Boko Haram (BH) maintained a high operational tempo in 2013 and carried out kidnappings, killings, bombings, and attacks on civilian and military targets in northern Nigeria, resulting in numerous deaths, injuries, and destruction of property in 2013. The number and sophistication of BH’s attacks are concerning, and while the group focuses principally on local Nigerian issues and actors, there continue to be reports that it has financial and training links with other violent extremists in the Sahel region. Boko Haram, along with a splinter group commonly known as Ansaru, has also increasingly crossed Nigerian borders to neighboring Cameroon, Chad, and Niger to evade pressure and conduct operations.

Palestinian terrorist organizations in the Hamas-controlled Gaza continued rocket and mortar attacks into Israeli territory. The number of rocket and mortar launchings on Israel from Gaza and the Sinai was the lowest in 2013 in more than a decade, with 74 launchings compared to 2,557 in 2012. According to Israeli authorities, 36 rocket hits were identified in Israeli territory in 2013, compared to 1,632 in 2012. Of the 74 launchings on southern Israel, 69 were launched from the Gaza and five from the Sinai Peninsula.

Sinai-based groups, such as Ansar-Beit al Maqdis, also continued to pose a serious threat, conducting attacks against both Israeli and Egyptian targets in 2013.

Since 2012, the United States has also seen a resurgence of activity by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Qods Force (IRGC-QF), the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), and Tehran’s ally Hizballah. On January 23, 2013, the Yemeni Coast Guard interdicted an Iranian dhow carrying weapons and explosives likely destined for Houthi rebels. On February 5, 2013, the Bulgarian government publicly implicated Hizballah in the July 2012 Burgas bombing that killed five Israelis and one Bulgarian citizen, and injured 32 others. On March 21, 2013, a Cyprus court found a Hizballah operative guilty of charges stemming from his surveillance activities of Israeli tourist targets in 2012. On September 18, 2013, Thailand convicted Atris Hussein, a Hizballah operative detained by Thai authorities in January 2012. On December 30, 2013, the Bahraini Coast Guard interdicted a speedboat attempting to smuggle arms and Iranian explosives likely destined for armed Shia opposition groups in Bahrain. During an interrogation, the suspects admitted to receiving paramilitary training in Iran.

On June 22, 2013, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) declared it would treat Hizballah as a terrorist organization. On July 22, 2013, the EU designated the “military wing” of Hizballah as a terrorist organization, sending a strong message to Hizballah that it cannot operate with impunity. Both Hizballah and Iran issued public statements to denounce the EU, demonstrating the impact of the designation. The EU designation will constrain Hizballah’s ability to operate freely in Europe by enabling European law enforcement agencies to crack down on Hizballah’s fundraising, logistical activity, and terrorist plotting on European soil.

Iran remained one of the chief external supporters of the Asad regime in Syria and continued to help ensure the regime’s survival. The IRGC-QF, Hizballah, and Iraqi Shia terrorist groups have all increased the number of their personnel in Syria since the start of the conflict. Iran also continued to send arms to Syria, often through Iraqi airspace, in violation of the UN Security Council prohibition against Iran selling or transferring arms and related materials.

While terrorism by non-state actors related to AQ and state-sponsored terrorism originating in Iran remained the predominant concern of the United States, other forms of terrorism undermined peace and security around the world. In Turkey, the DHKP/C was responsible for a number of high-profile attacks in 2013, including exploding a suicide vest inside the employee entrance to the U.S. Embassy in Ankara on February 1. Anarchists in Greece launched periodic attacks, targeting private businesses, foreign missions, and symbols of the state. In Colombia, there were still hundreds of terrorist incidents around the country. In Northern Ireland, dissident Republican groups continued their campaigns of violence. “Lone offender” violent extremists also remain a concern, as we saw on April 15, 2013, in the United States, when two violent extremists exploded two pressure cooker bombs near the Boston Marathon’s finish line, killing three people and injuring an estimated 264 others.

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To meet the challenges described herein, our response to terrorism cannot depend on military or law enforcement alone. We are committed to a whole of government counterterrorism effort that focuses on countering violent extremism; building the capacity of partner nation security forces to address threats within their own borders and participate in regional counterterrorism operations; and strengthening relationships with U.S. partners around the world to make the rule of law a critical part of a broader, more comprehensive counterterrorism enterprise. See Chapter 5, Terrorist Safe Havens (7120 Report) in this report for further information on these initiatives, which also include designating foreign terrorist organizations and individuals, countering violent extremist narratives, strengthening efforts to counter the financing of terrorism, and furthering multilateral initiatives such as the Global Counterterrorism Forum.


The Africa region experienced significant levels of terrorist activity in 2013. In East Africa, the Somalia-based terrorist group al-Shabaab remained the primary terrorist threat. Somali security forces and the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) continued to make gains against al-Shabaab in 2013, but an inability to undertake consistent offensive operations against the group allowed al-Shabaab to develop and carry out asymmetric attacks, including outside of Somalia. Most notably, al-Shabaab launched an attack against the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya on September 21 that left at least 65 people dead. The attack, which targeted innocent civilians, was claimed by al-Shabaab as a response to the involvement of Kenyan armed forces units in Somalia, who in late 2012 expelled al-Shabaab from the port city of Kismayo, a major revenue source for al-Shabaab. Al-Shabaab issued persistent threats to other countries contributing troops to AMISOM. Driven out of major urban areas, al-Shabaab has returned to a strategy focused on asymmetric attacks intended to discredit and destabilize the nascent Federal Government of Somalia. In 2013, the United States continued to support AMISOM and the establishment of a stable Somali government, and worked to enhance counterterrorism capacity in Somalia and throughout the broader region.

Various East African countries continued to detect, deter, disrupt, investigate, and prosecute terrorist incidents; enhance domestic and regional efforts to bolster border security; and create integrated and dedicated counterterrorism strategies. Counterterrorism cooperation across the region picked up following the Westgate attack and nations began to examine their procedures for responding to attacks on soft targets.

In West Africa, conflict in Nigeria continued throughout the northern part of the country, with Boko Haram and related actors committing hundreds of attacks, reportedly resulting in over a thousand casualties in 2013 alone. This violence reportedly spilled over into neighboring Cameroon, Chad, and Niger.

French and allied African forces successfully disrupted and pushed back efforts by al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and other violent extremist groups to control northern Mali. In August, successful elections took place in Mali and a regional African peacekeeping force was installed with Western support to restore stability and governance to the country. France and other international partners continue to contribute forces to the region to assist the Malian government to rebuild and to deter terrorist threats. Western efforts to increase counterterrorism capacity in the region were focused in 2013 on enhanced border security, regional information sharing and cooperation, and countering violent extremism.


Overall, countries in the East Asia and Pacific region continued to weaken the ability of terrorist groups to operate and constrain the activities of large terrorist organizations such as Jemaah Islamiya (JI), Jemaah Anshorut Tauhid (JAT), and the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). Ongoing concerns remained, however, notably in Indonesia, where terrorist attacks on police continued, and in the southern Philippines, where improvised explosive device (IED) attacks occurred on several occasions in Mindanao and rogue elements of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) conducted a violent three-week siege of Zamboanga City that killed dozens of Philippine Security Force members and displaced thousands. The tri-border region of the Sulu Sea remained an area of concern for cross-border weapons smuggling and kidnapping for ransom.

The Philippine government moved closer to a peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) by signing three of the four annexes to the 2012 Peace Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB), but terrorist incidents such as bombings and raids were more frequent in 2013 than in the years preceding the signing.

The trend of violent extremists focusing on domestic targets continued in Indonesia, with numerous attacks on police, including a series of separate high-profile attacks in which four Indonesia law enforcement officials were killed and seven were wounded. Indonesia also experienced its first suicide bombing in two years when a motorcycle-riding bomber targeted a police facility in Poso, Central Sulawesi. Challenges presented by overcrowded prisons and weaknesses in correctional facility management and security were highlighted when inmates, including convicted terrorists, escaped in a series of prison breaks.

Malaysia continued its legal reform efforts in 2013, bringing charges under the new Security Offenses (Special Measures) Act of 2012 (SOSMA). Malaysia arrested former al-Qa’ida operative Yazid Sufaat, who was the first to be charged under SOSMA. In Thailand, two Iranians behind a failed 2012 plot, in which explosives were accidentally set off that allegedly were targeting Israeli diplomats in Bangkok, were convicted.

Australia maintained its position as a regional leader in the fight against terrorism and worked to strengthen the Asia-Pacific region’s counterterrorism capacity through a range of bilateral and regional initiatives in organizations such as ASEAN, the ASEAN Regional Forum, and the Pacific Island Forum. The Japanese government continued to participate in international counterterrorism efforts at multilateral, regional, and bilateral levels through the ASEAN-Japan Counterterrorism meeting and the Japan-China Counterterrorism Consultations.


Terrorist incidents, including deadly attacks, continued to plague Europe in 2013. Some attacks were apparently perpetrated by “lone offender” assailants while others were organized by groups claiming a range of extremist ideological motivations, from nationalism to right-wing and left-wing political theories to various religious beliefs, including violent Islamist extremism. In some cases the boundaries between ideologies were blurred.

A major challenge to Europe was the increasing travel of European citizens – mostly young men – to and from Syria seeking to join forces opposing the Asad regime. Many of them ended up in the ranks of violent extremist groups such as al-Nusrah Front or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). These “foreign fighters” sparked increasing concerns, and actions to address them, by European countries worried about the growing number of their citizens traveling to the battlefield and possibly returning radicalized. European governments, in particular the EU and several member states affected by this phenomenon, took action to assess the problem and to devise an array of responses to discourage their citizens from going to Syria to take part in the conflict. These efforts ranged from new administrative procedures to prevent travel to Syria, to steps to counter recruitment and facilitation efforts, and programs to investigate and/or reintegrate persons returning from conflict zones. In the western Balkans, governments in EU candidate states and aspirants were also committed to responding effectively to the foreign fighter problem, and sought assistance to fill gaps in their capacity to do so from the United States, the EU, and others. European governments also worked with the United States and other international partners in various fora, including the Global Counterterrorism Forum, to respond to the foreign fighter problem and strengthen general counterterrorism cooperation.

The Bulgarian government continued its investigation of the July 2012 attack in Burgas which left five Israelis and one Bulgarian citizen dead. In February 2013, the government publicly implicated Hizballah in the bombing. A court in Cyprus convicted a Lebanese Hizballah operative of various criminal offenses after he was apprehended surveilling potential Israeli targets on the island. Recognizing the threat posed by Hizballah, the EU in July 2013 agreed to designate what it termed the “military wing” of Hizballah as a terrorist group, a notable step forward.

Europe was the scene of several significant terrorist attacks in 2013. In Turkey, the most significant such incident in the country’s modern history took place in May when 52 people died in a bombing in Reyhanli, on the border with Syria. In the Russian city of Volgograd, an attack on a city bus in October and two more attacks at the end of December claimed a total of 41 lives. The U.S. Embassy in Ankara was the target of a suicide bomb attack by a member of the Revolutionary Liberation People’s Party/Front in February, in which a Turkish citizen on the Embassy guard force was killed. In January, three Kurdish women activists were murdered in Paris, allegedly by a Turkish Kurd now in French police custody, in a crime linked to terrorism although the motive of the killer remains unclear.

Disclosures about alleged U.S. “spying” on European partners sparked concern but did not have a major effect on long-standing and close transatlantic cooperation in combating terrorist threats.


The Near East region experienced significant levels of terrorist activity in 2013, with instability and weak governance in North Africa, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen continuing to have ramifications for the broader region. Al-Qa’ida and its affiliates exploited opportunities to conduct operations amid this fragile political and security climate.

In Libya, lack of countrywide security coverage contributed to a high threat environment. Libya’s weak security institutions, coupled with ready access to loose weapons and porous borders, provided violent extremists significant opportunities to act and plan operations.

Reflecting its greater regional ambitions, al-Qa’ida in Iraq changed its name in 2013 to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and stepped up its attacks across Iraq. Iraqi security forces demonstrated some ability to confront this challenge in terms of protecting larger installations and events, and finding and arresting terrorist suspects. ISIL also took advantage of the permissive security environment in Syria. The Syrian government historically had an important role in the growth of terrorist networks in Syria through the permissive attitude the Asad regime took towards al-Qa’ida’s foreign fighter facilitation efforts during the Iraq conflict. Syrian government awareness and encouragement of violent extremists’ transit through Syria to enter Iraq for many years, for the purpose of fighting Coalition Troops, is well documented – Syria was a key hub for foreign fighters en route to Iraq. Those very networks were the seedbed for the violent extremist elements that terrorized the Syrian population in 2013.

Shia militants continued to threaten Iraqi security in 2013, and were alleged to have been responsible for numerous attacks against Mujahadin-e Khalq members that continued to reside at Camp Hurriya near Baghdad. Hizballah provided a wide range of critical support to the Asad regime – including clearing regions of opposition forces, and providing training, advice, and logistical assistance to the Syrian Army – as the regime continued its brutal crackdown against the Syrian people.

Al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has also taken advantage of the instability in the region, particularly in Libya and Mali. In January, an AQIM offshoot led by Mokhtar Belmokhtar attacked an oil facility near In Amenas, Algeria, resulting in the deaths of 39 foreign hostages including three Americans. Kidnapping for ransom operations continued to yield significant sums for AQIM, and it conducted attacks against members of state security services within the Trans-Sahara region.

In Tunisia, the terrorist group Ansar al-Shari’a in Tunisia (AAS-T) precipitated a government crisis by assassinating, among others, two secular politicians in February and July 2013. Ansar al-Shari’a was designated a Terrorist Organization by the Tunisian government in August.

The Government of Yemen continued its fight against al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), although struggling somewhat in this effort due to an ongoing political and security restructuring within the government itself. AQAP continued to exhibit its capability by targeting government installations and security and intelligence officials, but also struck at soft targets, such as hospitals. President Hadi continued to support U.S. counterterrorism objectives in Yemen, and encouraged greater cooperation between U.S. and Yemeni counterterrorism forces.

Despite these persistent threats, governments across the region continued to build and exhibit their counterterrorism capabilities, disrupting the activities of a number of terrorists. Although AQ affiliate presence and activity in the Sahel and parts of the Maghreb remains worrisome, the group’s isolation in Algeria and smaller pockets of North Africa grew as partner efforts in Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia increased.

In Egypt, significant political instability presented various security challenges for the government, leading to an increase in violent extremist activity in the Sinai and parts of lower Egypt, including Cairo. Government security forces aggressively targeted violent extremist activity in these areas.

In Gaza, sporadic rocket attacks launched by Hamas and other Gaza-based terrorist groups continued, as well as ongoing and related smuggling activity by these groups along the Gaza-Sinai border region. Israeli officials expressed concerns about the smuggling of long-range rockets from the Sinai Peninsula through tunnels into Gaza, but also recognized the positive impact of increased Egyptian government efforts to fight smuggling through such tunnels in preventing weapons and dual-use materials from reaching Gaza.

In 2013, Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism worldwide remained undiminished through the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), its Ministry of Intelligence and Security, and Tehran’s ally Hizballah, which remained a significant threat to the stability of Lebanon and the broader region. The U.S. government continued efforts to counter Iranian and proxy support for terrorist operations via sanctions and other legal tools. The United States also welcomed the EU’s July 2013 designation of Hizballah’s military wing as a terrorist organization.


South Asia remained a front line in the battle against terrorism. Although al-Qa’ida’s (AQ) core in Afghanistan and Pakistan has been seriously degraded, AQ’s global leadership continued to operate from its safe haven in the region and struggled to communicate effectively with affiliate groups outside of South Asia. AQ maintained ties with other terrorist organizations in the region, such as Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Haqqani Network (HQN). These alliances continued to provide the group with additional resources and capabilities. In 2013, terrorists in South Asia carried out operations in heavily populated areas and continued to target regional governmental representatives and U.S. persons. On numerous occasions, civilians throughout South Asia were wounded or killed in terrorist events.

Afghanistan, in particular, continued to experience aggressive and coordinated attacks by the Afghan Taliban, HQN, and other insurgent and terrorist groups. A number of these attacks were planned and launched from safe havens in Pakistan. Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) are now providing security across all of Afghanistan as the transition to full Afghan leadership on security continues in anticipation of the 2014 drawdown of U.S. and Coalition Forces (CF). The ANSF and CF, in partnership, took aggressive action against terrorist elements in Afghanistan, especially in Kabul, and many of the eastern and northern provinces.

Pakistan continued to experience significant terrorist violence, including sectarian attacks. The Pakistani military undertook operations against groups that conducted attacks within Pakistan such as TTP, but did not take action against other groups such as Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT), which continued to operate, train, rally, and fundraise in Pakistan during the past year. Afghan Taliban and HQN leadership and facilitation networks continued to find safe haven in Pakistan, and Pakistani authorities did not take significant military or law enforcement action against these groups.

Levels of terrorist violence were similar to previous years. India remained severely affected by and vulnerable to terrorism, including from Pakistan-based groups and their affiliates as well as left-wing violent extremists. The Government of India, in response, continued to undertake efforts to coordinate its counterterrorism capabilities more effectively and expanded its cooperation and coordination with the international community and regional partners.

Bangladesh, an influential counterterrorism partner in the region, continued to make strides against international terrorism. The government’s ongoing counterterrorism efforts have made it more difficult for transnational terrorists to operate in or use Bangladeshi territory, and there were no major terrorist incidents in Bangladesh in 2013. The United States and Bangladesh signed a Counterterrorism Cooperation Initiative on October 22, 2013, to enhance bilateral cooperation.

The potential challenges to stability that could accompany the changes of the international force presence in Afghanistan in 2014 remained a significant concern for the Central Asian leaders. Additionally, terrorist groups with ties to Central Asia – notably the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and the Islamic Jihad Union – continued to be an issue even as they operated outside of the Central Asian states. The effectiveness of some Central Asian countries’ efforts to reduce their vulnerability to perceived terrorist threats was difficult to discern in some cases, however, due to failure to distinguish clearly between terrorism and violent extremism on one hand and political opposition, or non-traditional religious practices, on the other.


In 2013, governments in Latin America made modest improvements to their counterterrorism capabilities and their border security. Corruption, weak government institutions, insufficient interagency cooperation, weak or non-existent legislation, and a lack of resources remained the primary causes for the lack of significant progress in some of the countries. Transnational criminal organizations continued to pose a more significant threat to the region than transnational terrorism, and most countries made efforts to investigate possible connections with terrorist organizations.

Iran’s influence in the Western Hemisphere remained a concern. However, due to strong sanctions imposed on the country by both the United States and the EU, Iran has been unable to expand its economic and political ties in Latin America.

The United States continued to work with partner nations to build capacity to detect and address any potential terrorist threat.

There were no known operational cells of either al-Qa’ida or Hizballah in the hemisphere, although ideological sympathizers in South America and the Caribbean continued to provide financial and ideological support to those and other terrorist groups in the Middle East and South Asia. The Tri-Border area of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay continued to be an important regional nexus of arms, narcotics, and human trafficking; counterfeiting; pirated goods; and money laundering – all potential funding sources for terrorist organizations.

Despite the peace negotiations throughout the year, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia committed the majority of terrorist attacks in the Western Hemisphere in 2013.


To designate a country as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, the Secretary of State must determine that the government of such country has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism. Once a country is designated, it remains a State Sponsor of Terrorism until the designation is rescinded in accordance with statutory criteria. A wide range of sanctions are imposed as a result of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designation, including:

–A ban on arms-related exports and sales;

–Controls over exports of dual-use items, requiring 30-day Congressional notification for goods or services that could significantly enhance the terrorist-list country’s military capability or ability to support terrorism;

–Prohibitions on economic assistance; and

–Imposition of miscellaneous financial and other restrictions.

This report provides a snapshot of events during 2013 relevant to countries designated as State Sponsors of Terrorism; it does not constitute a new announcement regarding such designations. More information on State Sponsor of Terrorism designations may be found online at


Cuba was designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1982.

Cuba has long provided safe haven to members of Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Reports continued to indicate that Cuba’s ties to ETA have become more distant, and that about eight of the two dozen ETA members in Cuba were relocated with the cooperation of the Spanish government. Throughout 2013, the Government of Cuba supported and hosted negotiations between the FARC and the Government of Colombia aimed at brokering a peace agreement between the two. The Government of Cuba has facilitated the travel of FARC representatives to Cuba to participate in these negotiations, in coordination with representatives of the Governments of Colombia, Venezuela, and Norway, as well as the Red Cross.

There was no indication that the Cuban government provided weapons or paramilitary training to terrorist groups.

The Cuban government continued to harbor fugitives wanted in the United States. The Cuban government also provided support such as housing, food ration books, and medical care for these individuals.


Designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1984, Iran continued its terrorist-related activity, including support for Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza, and for Hizballah. It has also increased its presence in Africa and attempted to smuggle arms to Houthi separatists in Yemen and Shia oppositionists in Bahrain. Iran used the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and its regional proxy groups to implement foreign policy goals, provide cover for intelligence operations, and create instability in the Middle East. The IRGC-QF is the regime’s primary mechanism for cultivating and supporting terrorists abroad.

Iran views Syria as a crucial causeway in its weapons supply route to Hizballah, its primary beneficiary. In 2013, Iran continued to provide arms, financing, training, and the facilitation of Iraqi Shia fighters to the Asad regime’s brutal crackdown, a crackdown that has resulted in the death of more than 100,000 civilians in Syria. Iran has publicly admitted sending members of the IRGC to Syria in an advisory role. There are reports indicating some of these troops are IRGC-QF members and that they have taken part in direct combat operations. In February, senior IRGC-QF commander Brigadier General Hassan Shateri was killed in or near Zabadani, Syria. This was the first publicly announced death of a senior Iranian military official in Syria. In November, IRGC-QF commander Mohammad Jamalizadeh Paghaleh was also killed in Aleppo, Syria. Subsequent Iranian media reports stated that Paghaleh was volunteering in Syria to defend the Sayyida Zainab mosque, which is located in Damascus. The location of Paghaleh’s death, over 200 miles away from the mosque he was reported to be protecting, demonstrated Iran’s intent to mask the operations of IRGC-QF forces in Syria.

Iran has historically provided weapons, training, and funding to Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups, including the Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), although Hamas’s ties to Tehran have been strained due to the Syrian civil war. Since the end of the 2006 Israeli-Hizballah conflict, Iran has also assisted in rearming Hizballah, in direct violation of UNSCR 1701. Iran has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in support of Hizballah in Lebanon and has trained thousands of its fighters at camps in Iran. These trained fighters often use these skills in support of the Asad regime in Syria.

Despite its pledge to support Iraq’s stabilization, Iran trained, funded, and provided guidance to Iraqi Shia militant groups. The IRGC-QF, in concert with Hizballah, provided training outside of Iraq as well as advisors inside Iraq for Shia militants in the construction and use of sophisticated improvised explosive device technology and other advanced weaponry. Similar to Hizballah fighters, many of these trained Shia militants then use these skills to fight for the Asad regime in Syria, often at the behest of Iran.

On January 23, 2013, Yemeni authorities seized an Iranian dhow, the Jihan, off the coast of Yemen. The dhow was carrying sophisticated Chinese antiaircraft missiles, C-4 explosives, rocket-propelled grenades, and a number of other weapons and explosives. The shipment of lethal aid was likely headed to Houthi separatists in Northern Yemen. Iran actively supports members of the Houthi movement, including activities intended to build military capabilities, which could pose a greater threat to security and stability in Yemen and the surrounding region.

In late April 2013, the Government of Bosnia declared two Iranian diplomats, Jadidi Sohrab and Hamzeh Dolab Ahmad, persona non grata after Israeli intelligence reported they were members of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security. One of the two men had been spotted in India, Georgia, and Thailand, all of which were sites of a simultaneous bombing campaign in February 2012, according to Israeli intelligence. Both diplomats were subsequently expelled from Bosnia.

On December 29, 2013, the Bahraini Coast Guard interdicted a speedboat filled with weapons and explosives that was likely bound for Shia oppositionists in Bahrain, specifically the 14 February Youth Coalition (14 FYC). Bahraini authorities accused the IRGC-QF of providing opposition militants with explosives training in order to carry out attacks in Bahrain. The interdiction led to the discovery of two weapons and explosives cache sites in Bahrain, the dismantling of a car bomb, and the arrest of 15 Bahraini nationals.

Iran remained unwilling to bring to justice senior al-Qa’ida (AQ) members it continued to detain, and refused to publicly identify those senior members in its custody. Iran allowed AQ facilitators Muhsin al-Fadhli and Adel Radi Saqr al-Wahabi al-Harbi to operate a core facilitation pipeline through Iran, enabling AQ to move funds and fighters to South Asia and also to Syria. Al-Fadhli is a veteran AQ operative who has been active for years. Al-Fadhli began working with the Iran-based AQ facilitation network in 2009 and was later arrested by Iranian authorities. He was released in 2011 and assumed leadership of the Iran-based AQ facilitation network.

Iran remains a state of proliferation concern. Despite multiple UNSCRs requiring Iran to suspend its sensitive nuclear proliferation activities, Iran continued to violate its international obligations regarding its nuclear program. For further information, see the Report to Congress on Iran-related Multilateral Sanctions Regime Efforts (November 2013), and theReport on the Status of Bilateral and Multilateral Efforts Aimed at Curtailing the Pursuit of Iran of Nuclear Weapons Technology (September 2012).


Sudan was designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1993. In 2013, the Government of Sudan remained a generally cooperative counterterrorism partner and continued to take action to address threats to U.S. interests and personnel in Sudan.

Elements of al-Qa’ida (AQ)-inspired terrorist groups remained in Sudan. The Government of Sudan has taken steps to limit the activities of these elements, and has worked to disrupt foreign fighters’ use of Sudan as a logistics base and transit point for terrorists going to Mali, Syria, and Afghanistan. However, groups continued to operate in Sudan in 2013 and there continued to be reports of Sudanese nationals participating in terrorist organizations. For example, regional media outlets alleged one Sudanese national was part of an al-Shabaab terrorist cell that attacked the Westgate Mall in Nairobi in September. There was also evidence that Sudanese violent extremists participated in terrorist activities in Somalia and Mali.

In 2013, Sudan continued to allow members of Hamas to travel, fundraise, and live in Sudan.

The UN and NGOs reported in 2013 that the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) is likely operating in the disputed Kafia Kingi area, claimed by Sudan and South Sudan, in close proximity to Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF). At year’s end, the United States continued to engage the Government of Sudan, the AU, and the UN to evaluate these reports.

The kidnapping of foreigners for ransom in Darfur continued, although no U.S. citizens were kidnapped in 2013. These kidnappings have hindered humanitarian operations in Darfur. Abductees have been released unharmed amid rumors of ransoms having been paid.

In 2013, the United States continued to pursue justice for the January 1, 2008 killing of two U.S. Embassy employees. At the end of the year, the Sudanese Supreme Court was deliberating on an appeal filed by defense attorneys of the three remaining men convicted of the two murders, requesting that their death sentences be commuted. In February 2013, one of five men convicted of aiding the 2010 escape attempt by the four convicted killers received a presidential commutation of his remaining sentence. Government of Sudan authorities explained his release was part of a broad administrative parole affecting 200 other prisoners who had served some portion of their sentences with good behavior. U.S. officials protested the commutation and urged the Government of Sudan authorities to imprison the convicted accomplice for the full 12 years of his sentence.

In 2013, the U.S. Department of State designated three of the individuals who participated in the January 1, 2008 killings – Abdelbasit Alhaj Alhasan Haj Hamad, Mohamed Makawi Ibrahim Mohamed, and Abd Al-Ra’Ouf Abu Zaid Mohamed Hamza – as Specially Designated Global Terrorists under Executive Order 13224.

In 2013, Sudanese authorities continued to prosecute 25 individuals detained during a raid in December 2012 on what the Government of Sudan described as a terrorist training camp operating in Dinder National Park. The so-called “Dinder cell” as of December was still awaiting trial on charges of terrorism and murder stemming from the deaths of several police involved in the December 2012 raid. At least one fringe party, Just Peace Forum, has called upon President Bashir to pardon members of the “Dinder Cell,” but the court cases were still ongoing at the end of the year. One trial judge from the country’s terrorism court remanded several cases back to the attorney general for additional interrogations.

The Government of Sudan has made some progress in opposing terrorist financing, although members of Hamas are permitted to conduct fundraising in Sudan. The Central Bank of Sudan and its financial intelligence unit circulate to financial institutions a list of individuals and entities that have been included on the consolidated list of the UNSC 1267/1989 (al-Qa’ida) Sanctions Committee, as well as the U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations and E.O. lists. The financing of terrorism per UNSCR 1373 (2001) was criminalized in Sudan pursuant to Sudan’s Money Laundering Act of 2003.

Sudan is generally responsive to international community concerns about counterterrorism efforts. Sudan’s vast, mostly unmonitored borders with Libya, Chad, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Eritrea hampered counterterrorism efforts. Nonetheless, in recent years Sudan has forged increasingly stronger relations with its neighbors. For example, in December 2013, Government of Sudan law enforcement authorities hosted a regional workshop on counterterrorism initiatives under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development’s program for security sector reform.


Designated in 1979 as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, the Asad regime continued its political support to a variety of terrorist groups affecting the stability of the region and beyond, even amid significant internal unrest. The regime continued to provide political and weapons support to Hizballah and continued to allow Iran to rearm the terrorist organization. The Asad regime’s relationship with Hizballah and Iran continued to grow stronger in 2013 as the conflict in Syria continued. President Bashar al-Asad remained a staunch defender of Iran’s policies, while Iran has exhibited equally energetic support for Syrian regime efforts to defeat the Syrian opposition. Statements supporting terrorist groups, particularly Hizballah, were often in Syrian government speeches and press statements.

The Syrian government had an important role in the growth of terrorist networks in Syria through the permissive attitude the Asad regime took towards al-Qa’ida’s foreign fighter facilitation efforts during the Iraq conflict. Syrian government awareness and encouragement for many years of violent extremists’ transit through Syria to enter Iraq, for the purpose of fighting Coalition Troops, is well documented. Syria was a key hub for foreign fighters en route to Iraq. Those very networks were the seedbed for the violent extremist elements that terrorized the Syrian population in 2013.

As part of a broader strategy during the year, the regime has attempted to portray Syria itself as a victim of terrorism, characterizing all of its armed opponents as “terrorists.”

Asad’s government has continued to generate significant concern regarding the role it plays in terrorist financing. Industry experts reported that 60 percent of all business transactions were conducted in cash and that nearly 80 percent of all Syrians did not use formal banking services. Despite Syrian legislation that required money changers to be licensed by the end of 2007, many continued to operate illegally in Syria’s vast black market, estimated to be as large as Syria’s formal economy. Regional hawala networks remained intertwined with smuggling and trade-based money laundering, and were facilitated by notoriously corrupt customs and immigration officials. This raised significant concerns that some members of the Syrian government and the business elite were complicit in terrorist finance schemes conducted through these institutions.

In 2013, the United States continued to closely monitor Syria’s proliferation-sensitive materials and facilities, including Syria’s significant stockpile of chemical weapons, which the United States assesses remains under the Asad regime’s control. Despite the progress made through the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapon’s Executive Council and UNSC Resolution 2118 (2013) to dismantle and destroy Syria’s chemical weapons program, there continues to be significant concern, given ongoing instability in Syria, that these materials could find their way to terrorist organizations. The United States is coordinating closely with a number of like-minded nations and partners to prevent Syria’s stockpiles of chemical and advanced conventional weapons from falling into the hands of violent extremists.


Terrorist safe havens described in this report include ungoverned, under-governed, or ill-governed physical areas where terrorists are able to organize, plan, raise funds, communicate, recruit, train, transit, and operate in relative security because of inadequate governance capacity, political will, or both.

Somalia. In 2013, large areas of territory throughout Somalia provided safe haven for terrorists. Following significant military offensives in 2012 that pushed al-Shabaab out of most urban areas of southern and central Somalia, al-Shabaab still maintained freedom of movement and some control in some rural areas,as well as a destabilizing presence in some urban areas. In each of these areas, al-Shabaab could organize, plan, raise funds, communicate, recruit, train, and operate in relative security due to inadequate security, justice, and governance capacity. The absence of anti-money laundering and counterterrorist finance laws, regulatory bodies, and counterterrorism law enforcement resulted principally from a lack of capacity, rather than a lack of political will.

In 2013, the city of Barawe served as al-Shabaab’s primary urban safe haven. Al-Shabaab also maintained a presence in the Golis Mountains of Puntland and in some of Puntland’s larger urban areas. Al-Shabaab continued to operate largely uncontested large sections of rural areas in the middle and lower Jubba regions, the Lower Shabelle region, and the Gedo, Bay, and Bakol regions. Additionally, Somalia’s long unguarded coastline, porous borders, and proximity to the Arabian Peninsula allowed foreign fighters and al-Shabaab members to transit throughout the region. Areas under al-Shabaab control provided a permissive environment for al-Shabaab operatives and affiliated foreign fighters to conduct training and terrorist planning. However, foreign fighters maintained limited freedom within al-Shabaab due to internal strife within the group. The capability of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) to prevent and preempt al-Shabaab terrorist attacks remained limited in 2013, although the FGS was committed to countering terrorism and collaborating with international partners, including the United States. As 2013 came to a close, AMISOM was preparing for another offensive against al-Shabaab in conjunction with Somali National Army troops following the UN Security Council’s authorization of 4,000-plus additional troops for AMISOM.

The Trans-Sahara. The primary terrorist threat in the Trans-Sahara region in 2013 was posed by al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and associated splinter groups, such as the al-Mulathamun Battalion (AMB) and the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO).Although its leadership remained primarily based in northeastern Algeria, AQIM factions also operated in northern Mali and the neighboring region. In 2013, these violent extremist groups used footholds in northern Mali to conduct operations, although safe haven areas in northern Mali were significantly diminished by the French and African intervention in 2013.

Mali. Although the Government of Mali lacks the capacity to control much of its vast, sparsely populated northern region, international and Malian forces were able to erode terrorist safe haven in the region in 2013. French Serval and UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) operations enabled Mali to redeploy government administrators and security forces to urban population centers in the northern regions through the end of 2013. These operations reduced the ability of AQIM and other terrorist groups such as Ansar al-Dine and MUJAO to organize, plan, raise funds, communicate, recruit, train, and operate in the northern region.

The new Malian government demonstrated its political will to deny safe haven to terrorists by supporting and collaborating with international efforts to stabilize northern Mali. The Malian government also demonstrated its political will to increase governance capacity in the North by holding a National Decentralization Conference in October 2013. During the conference, the Government of Mali identified measures to reinforce decentralized authority over northern Mali and to increase the capacity of local authority to govern over the vast territories. The government decided at the conference to create new administrative regions with the intention to increase the presence of the state in the northern region.

Despite having made some progress in disrupting terrorist safe havens in northern Mali, challenges remain, including dealing with long-existing, unregulated smuggling activities integral to the local economy. Controlling long and porous international borders also remains a challenge for the Malian government. The tacit engagement of local populations in illicit commercial activities and licit smuggling in northern Mali provides implicit support to criminal enterprises which undermines efforts to destabilize terrorist networks. Some segments of local populations have been willing to tolerate and enable AQIM’s presence to avoid conflict and for financial gain, rather than ideological affinity.

In September 2013, the foreign assistance restriction to the Government of Mali was lifted. The State Department plans to reengage with the Government of Mali to strengthen biological security and reduce the risk of biological weapons acquisition by terrorists.


The Sulu/Sulawesi Seas Littoral. The numerous islands in the Sulawesi Sea and the Sulu Archipelago make it a difficult region for authorities to monitor. The range of licit and illicit activities that occur there – including worker migration, tourism, and trade – pose additional challenges to identifying and countering the terrorist threat. Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines have improved efforts to control their shared maritime boundaries, including through the U.S.-funded Coast Watch South radar network, which is intended to enhance domain awareness in the waters south and southwest of Mindanao. Nevertheless, the expanse remained difficult to control. Surveillance improved but remained partial at best, and traditional smuggling and piracy groups have provided an effective cover for terrorist activities, including the movement of personnel, equipment, and funds. The United States has sponsored the Trilateral Interagency Maritime Law Enforcement Working Group since 2008, which has resulted in better coordination among Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines on issues of interdiction and maritime security.

The Southern Philippines. The geographical composition of the Philippines, spread out over 7,107 islands, make it difficult for the central government to maintain a presence in all areas. Counterterrorism operations over the past 12 years, however, have been successful at isolating the location and constraining the activities of transnational terrorists. U.S.-Philippines counterterrorism cooperation remained strong. Abu Sayyaf Group members, numbering a few hundred, were known to be present in remote areas in Mindanao, especially on the islands of Basilan and Sulu. JI members, of whom there are only a small number remaining, are in a few isolated pockets of Mindanao. Peace agreements between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are suspected to have limited safe haven areas within MILF territories. Continued pressure from Philippine security forces made it difficult for terrorists to organize, plan, raise funds, communicate, recruit, train, and operate.


Iraq. In the vast desert areas of western Iraq, especially in Anbar and Ninewa Provinces, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) established semi-permanent encampments. These areas reportedly included camps, training centers, command headquarters, and stocks of weapons. ISIL fighters allegedly controlled villages, oases, grazing areas, and valleys in these areas and were able to move with little impediment across international borders in the area.

Also, the lack of sustained coordination between Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional government security forces in the Disputed Internal Boundaries areas made it easier for insurgents and terrorists to operate or move through these areas unchecked.

The Government of Iraq lacked the capabilities to fully deny safe havens to terrorists, but not the will to do so. Iraqi Security Forces have conducted air and ground operations to destroy encampments but face well-trained and heavily equipped ISIL fighters. The scale of the terrorist presence in Iraq is compounded by the cross-border flow of weapons and personnel between Iraq and Syria. The United States has encouraged the Government of Iraq to seek broader cross-border counterterrorism cooperation with like-minded neighboring countries.

During the first half of 2013, Iraq, Turkey, and the United States continued a trilateral security dialogue as part of ongoing efforts to combat the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the region. As part of peace process negotiations between the Government of Turkey and jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, hundreds of PKK fighters left Turkey and entered the Iraqi Kurdistan Region in northern Iraq starting in May.

Lebanon. The Lebanese government does not exercise complete control over all regions in the country or its borders with Syria and Israel. Hizballah militias controlled access to parts of the country, limiting access by Lebanon’s security services, including the police and army, which allowed terrorists to operate in these areas with relative impunity. Palestinian refugee camps were also used as safe havens by Palestinian and other armed groups and were used to house weapons and shelter wanted criminals.

The Lebanese security services conducted frequent operations to capture terrorists. They did not target or arrest Hizballah members.

Libya. With a weak government possessing very few tools to exert control throughout its territory, Libya has become a terrorist safe haven and its transit routes are used by various terrorist groups, notably in the southwest and northeast. The General National Congress has tried to tackle the lawlessness of the southern region by temporarily closing – at least officially – the country’s southern border, and declaring large swaths of area (west from Ghadames, Ghat, Ubari, Sebha, Murzuq, and across a 620 miles off-road east to Kufra) as closed military zones to be administered under emergency law. In reality, however, Libya’s weak and under-resourced institutions have had little influence in that region, and have failed to implement this vague decree, as is evident from frequent ethnic clashes in the area. Instead, tribes and militias continue to control the area, and traders, smugglers, and terrorists continue to utilize ancient trade routes across these borders. All of Libya’s borders are porous and vulnerable to this activity, and the United States is working closely with the EU Border Assistance Mission to help the government mitigate these threats.

The Libyan government recognizes the gravity of the threats emanating from its borders, and is willing to work with the international community to overcome its inability to tackle these problems itself. In 2013, the United States signed an agreement with the Libyan government to cooperate on destroying Libya’s stockpile of legacy chemical weapons in accordance with its obligations as an Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) member state. Libya successfully completed operations for the disposal of its remaining mustard gas filled in artillery projectile and aerial bombs in January 2014. Libya also previously completed the disposal of its remaining bulk mustard in 2013. There also have been reports of thousands of barrels of yellowcake uranium, a foundational material for nuclear enrichment, precariously secured in a former military facility near Sebha in Libya’s south. Although representing limited risk of trafficking due to the bulk and weight of the storage containers, Libya agreed to host an assessment team of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency to survey the stockpile in early 2014.

Yemen. The Government of Yemen, under President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi, remained a strong partner of the United States on counterterrorism issues. Military campaigns against AQAP strongholds in the southern governorates in 2012, along with tribal resistance in the form of pro-government Popular Committees, eliminated much of the territory considered a “safe haven” for AQAP terrorists. In 2013, however, Yemeni security forces have been losing the ground gained in 2012. The impunity with which AQAP conducted ambush-style attacks and assassinations, particularly in the Abyan, Shebwah, and Hadramawt Governorates, suggests that AQAP has been successful in expanding its theatre of operations.

Yemen’s instability makes the country vulnerable for use as a transit point for weapons of mass destruction (WMD)-related materials. In the past year the United States resumed training focusing on the development of strategic trade controls and continued to conduct border security training for Yemeni Customs and other enforcement agencies. Yemen has identified an inter-ministry group to work on nonproliferation-related issues.


Afghanistan. Several terrorist networks active in Afghanistan, such as al-Qa’ida (AQ), the Haqqani Network, and others, operate largely out of Pakistan. AQ has some freedom of movement in Kunar and Nuristan provinces largely due to a lack of Afghan National Security Forces’ capacity to control certain border territories in north and east Afghanistan. During 2013, the Afghan government continued to counter the Afghan Taliban and Taliban-affiliated insurgent networks with AQ connections. The increased capability of the Afghan Local Police units helped to secure some rural areas that had previously lacked a Government of Afghanistan presence.

Pakistan. Portions of Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, and Balochistan province remained a safe haven for terrorist groups seeking to conduct domestic, regional, and global attacks. Al-Qa’ida, the Haqqani Network, Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan, Lashkar i Jhangvi, Lashkar e-Tayyiba, and other terrorist groups, as well as the Afghan Taliban, took advantage of this safe haven to plan operations in Pakistan and throughout the region. Though they did act against TTP, Pakistani authorities did not take significant military or law enforcement action against other groups operating from Pakistan-based safe havens, such as HQN and the Afghan Taliban.


Colombia. Colombia’s borders with Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Panama, and Brazil include rough terrain and dense forest cover, which coupled with low population densities and historically weak government presence, have often allowed for potential safe havens for insurgent and terrorist groups, particularly the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN). Colombia continued its efforts to combat terrorism within its borders, targeting both the FARC and ELN. Additionally, even as the Government of Colombia engaged with the FARC in peace talks throughout the year, President Santos maintained pressure by continuing operational exercises to combat the FARC’s ability to conduct terrorist attacks. Nevertheless, illegal armed groups, primarily known as “Bandas Criminales,” use the porous borders, remote mountain areas, and jungles to maneuver, train, cultivate and transport narcotics, operate illegal mines, “tax” the local populace, and engage in other illegal activities. Colombia continued cooperation and information sharing with the Panamanian National Border Service, establishing a joint base of operation and strengthening control of their shared border in the Darien region. Improved relations with neighboring Ecuador and Venezuela have led to some increased cooperation from those countries on law enforcement issues. Stronger government actions in Brazil and Peru and continued cooperation with the Government of Colombia have also addressed potential safe haven areas along their shared borders.

Venezuela. There were credible reports that Venezuela maintained an environment that allowed for fundraising activities that benefited known terrorist groups. Individuals linked to Hizballah as well as FARC and ELN members were present in Venezuela.


COUNTERING VIOLENT EXTREMISM (CVE). CVE is part of a strategic approach to counterterrorism (CT) that aims to deny terrorist groups new recruits. In 2009, the State Department created a CVE team in the Counterterrorism Bureau, to lead our efforts in this critical area. In our CVE programming and activities, we are seeking to (1) build resilience among communities most at risk of recruitment and radicalization to violence; (2) counter terrorist narratives and messaging; and (3) build the capacity of partner nations and civil society to counter violent extremism.

To be effective, CVE must work on multiple levels. First, our efforts must be well targeted. As such, we identify both key nodes and locales where radicalization is taking place, and focus our programming and activities in these areas. Second, our efforts must be tailored to take the local context into account. The drivers of recruitment and radicalization to violence are varied, often localized, and specific to each region, and our programming choices are developed in response to these factors.

Therefore, State’s CT Bureau emphasizes supporting local CVE efforts and building local CVE capacity. Given the growing international focus on CVE, we have also been able to develop a broader range of international partners to work within our efforts, including other governments, multilateral organizations, and non-governmental actors. Through these broad-based partnerships, we have been able to develop good practices, leverage others’ resources, and multiply its impact.

The President and the Secretary of State established the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC) in 2011 to lead an interagency effort to coordinate, orient, and inform government-wide foreign communications activities targeted against terrorism and violent extremism, particularly al-Qa’ida (AQ), its affiliates, and adherents. CSCC, based at the Department of State, collaborates with U.S. embassies and consulates, interagency partners, and outside experts to counter terrorist narratives and misinformation, and directly supports U.S. government communicators at our U.S. embassies overseas. CSCC’s programs draw on a full range of intelligence information and analysis for context and feedback. CSCC counters terrorist propaganda in the social media environment on a daily basis, contesting space where AQ and its supporters formerly had free reign. CSCC communications have provoked defensive responses from violent extremists on many of the most popular extremist websites and forums as well as on social media. In 2013, CSCC produced over 10,000 postings and 138 videos. CSCC also engages in a variety of projects directly supporting U.S. government communicators working with overseas audiences, as well as amplifying credible CVE voices and supporting local initiatives, in critical parts of the Middle East and Africa, such as Yemen, Syria, Somalia, and Mali.

While public diplomacy and development projects can have a positive impact on the CVE environment, our CVE programs and activities are far more narrowly tailored and targeted. In fact, CVE programming more closely resembles programs for curtailing recruitment into militias or gangs. It requires knowledge of where youth are most susceptible to radicalization to violence and why that is so. We ensure that our areas of focus align with the areas of greatest risk by working with foreign partners and other U.S. government agencies, such as USAID and DoD, to identify hotspots of radicalization and to design programming. Key areas of programming include:

Community Engagement and Community-Oriented Policing. The Department of State has implemented projects that link marginalized groups in a community, such as at-risk youth or women, with responsible influencers and leaders in their communities to build their resilience to violent extremism or improve their capacity to counter it. These activities include: providing skills training to youth, their families, and their communities; leadership development; and promoting problem solving and conflict resolution skills. Projects also include those to mentor and train law enforcement personnel in community engagement, facilitation and conflict mitigation; and communication techniques. Through increased cooperation between community leaders, law enforcement, and local government; community-oriented policing builds community resilience to violent extremism by addressing factors of community instability, disenfranchisement, and marginalization.
CVE Advocacy: Women and Victims/Survivors. Women can act as gatekeepers to their communities, and can thus provide a first line of defense against recruitment and radicalization to violence in their families and communities. In regions such as East Africa and West Africa, women are trained to recognize signs of radicalization, deploy prevention techniques, and become personally responsible for the local promotion of security and for radicalization prevention. In partnership with local women’s networks, the Department of State supports training for women civil society leaders and works with law enforcement personnel to devise CVE-prevention strategies and pilot activities.
By sharing their stories, victims of terrorism offer a resonant counternarrative that highlights the destruction and devastation of terrorist attacks. Workshops train victims to interact with conventional and social media, create public relations campaigns that amplify their messages, and seek out platforms that help them disseminate their message most broadly to at-risk audiences.

Media and CVE Messaging. The Department of State supports media projects that include radio shows that reach millions of listeners who are facing a looming violent extremist threat. Pivotal in West Africa, these projects include weekly radio dramas that are produced locally and are designed to tackle CVE subjects by empowering locally-credible voices who reject violent extremism. They include call-in shows that engage youth; women; traditional, religious, and political leaders; representatives from educational institutions; and government officials in thematic discussions about CVE, peace, and stability.
The Department of State supports efforts to conduct outreach, engagement, and training tours among diaspora communities who may be targeted for recruitment or susceptible to radicalization to violence in certain regions. Efforts involve screening documentaries highlighting the tragedy and devastation wrought by the recruitment of youth to terrorism and holding community roundtables to raise awareness and discuss ways to prevent recruitment and radicalization to violence. These projects are especially effective in engaging Somali diaspora communities.

Prisoner Rehabilitation/Prison Disengagement. The Department of State has worked to identify and address key nodes of potential radicalization to violence, an example of which is prisons. Improperly managed, a prison can serve as both a safe haven for violent extremism and an incubator for new recruits. Recognizing that many such inmates will eventually be released back into society, the Department of State is working – directly and through partner organizations – to strengthen the capabilities of key countries to rehabilitate and reintegrate such offenders. Such partners include the UN’s Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute and the International Center for Counterterrorism, a Dutch NGO; who are leading a major international initiative on prison rehabilitation and disengagement. They have been using the Global Counterterrorism Forum’s Rome Memorandum – a series of good practices in this area – to shape their efforts. More than 40 countries, multilateral organizations, and leading independent experts have participated in this stage of the initiative, which provided policymakers, practitioners, and experts a chance to compare notes and develop good practices in this critically important area.
A number of multilateral bodies remain key partners for the Department of State in its CVE efforts. Through these partnerships, we are able to shape the international CVE agenda, leverage others’ resources and expertise, and build broader support for our CVE priorities.

Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) CVE Working Group. The GCTF provides a platform for counterterrorism policymakers and experts to identify urgent needs, devise solutions, and mobilize resources for addressing key counterterrorism challenges. GCTF’s CVE Working Group, one of five expert-driven groups, focuses on the following areas: (a) using institutions to counter violent extremism; (b) measuring the impact of CVE programs; and c) countering the violent extremist narrative.
Hedayah, the International CVE Center of Excellence: With support from GCTF members and international partners, the United Arab Emirates launched the first international CVE Center of Excellence, Hedayah, in December 2012. Hedayah’s mandate covers CVE research, dialogue, and training. The Department of State supports Hedayah with funding to develop pilot training courses for governmental and non-governmental CVE practitioners in the areas of community-oriented policing, education, youth development, and media. More information on the GCTF and Hedayah can be found at:
Global CVE Fund: In September 2013, Secretary Kerry announced the launch of the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF), the first ever public-private global effort to support local grassroots CVE projects. GCERF will leverage public and private sector support for community-based projects aimed at addressing local drivers of radicalization by focusing on education, vocational training, civic engagement, and women’s advocacy. GCTF member Switzerland will host the GCERF in Geneva when it opens in the second half of 2014.
CAPACITY BUILDING PROGRAMS. As the terrorist threat has evolved and grown more geographically diverse in recent years, it has become clear that our success depends in large part on the effectiveness and ability of our partners. To succeed over the long term, we must increase the number of countries capable of and willing to take on this challenge. We have had important successes in Indonesia and Colombia, but we must intensify efforts to improve our partners’ law enforcement and border security capabilities to tackle these threats. Our counterterrorism capacity building programs – Antiterrorism Assistance Program, Counterterrorist Finance, Counterterrorism Engagement, the Terrorist Interdiction Program/Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System, and transnational activities under the Regional Strategic Initiatives – are all critically important and work on a daily basis to build capacity and improve political will. For further information on these programs, we refer you to the Annual Report on Assistance Related to International Terrorism, Fiscal Year 2013:

REGIONAL STRATEGIC INITIATIVE. Terrorist groups often take advantage of porous borders and ungoverned areas between countries. The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Counterterrorism created the Regional Strategic Initiative (RSI) to encourage Ambassadors and their Country Teams to develop regional approaches to counterterrorism. RSI operates in key terrorist theaters of operation to assess the threat, pool resources, and devise collaborative strategies, action plans, and policy recommendations. In 2013, RSI groups were in place for Central Asia, East Africa, Eastern Mediterranean, Iraq and its Neighbors, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Trans-Sahara (the Maghreb and the Sahel), and the Western Hemisphere.

One examples of an RSI program approved and funded in 2013 is the Explosive Incident Countermeasures (EIC) course for Bulgaria, which yielded almost immediate results when a week after the course ended, the Ministry of Interior officers that participated in the course successfully responded to two bomb threats, one of which was at the U.S. Embassy in Sofia.

RSI is continuing to fund Resident Legal Advisors in Malaysia, Mauritania, Niger, and Turkey. RSI also funds a number of regional workshops focusing on border security and larger counterterrorism issues. Two ongoing series include Eastern Mediterranean Working Groups on border security and the Gulf of Aden Regional Forum. These forums provide a venue for participants to discuss current counterterrorism issues, as well as joint efforts to counter them.

The Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF). The GCTF aims to strengthen the international architecture for addressing 21st century terrorism and promotes a strategic, long-term approach to dealing with the threat. Since its launch in September 2011, the GCTF has mobilized over US $230 million to strengthen counterterrorism-related rule of law institutions, in particular, for countries transitioning away from emergency law.

Other accomplishments since the launch include the adoption of six sets of good practices that are intended to both provide practical guidance for countries as they seek to enhance their counterterrorism capacity and bring greater strategic coherence to global counterterrorism capacity building efforts:

The Rabat Memorandum on Good Practices for Effective Counterterrorism Practice in the Criminal Justice Sector;
The Rome Memorandum on Good Practices for Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Violent Extremist Offenders;
The Algiers Memorandum on Good Practices for Preventing and Denying the Benefits of Kidnapping for Ransom by Terrorists;
The Madrid Memorandum on Good Practices for Assistance to Victims of Terrorism Immediately after the Attack and in Criminal Proceedings;
The Ankara Memorandum on Good Practices for a Multi-Sectoral Approach to Countering Violent Extremism; and
Good Practices on Community Engagement and Community-Oriented Policing as Tools to Counter Violent Extremism.
In addition, the GCTF has set in motion the development of two independent international training centers that will provide platforms for delivering sustainable training in the Forum’s two areas of strategic priority: countering violent extremism (CVE) and strengthening rule of law institutions. Hedayah, the first international center of excellence on CVE, officially opened in Abu Dhabi in December 2012. The International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law, to be based initially in Malta, is slated to begin operations in 2014.

In September 2013, Secretary Kerry announced that a core group of government and non-governmental partners from different regions will establish the first-ever public-private global fund to support local grass-roots efforts to counter violent extremism. The Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF) will be the first global effort to leverage greater public and private-sector support for community-based projects aimed at addressing local drivers of radicalization by focusing on education, vocational training, civic engagement, and women’s advocacy. GCTF member Switzerland will host the GCERF in Geneva when it opens in the second half of 2014.

The UN is a close partner of and participant in the GCTF and its activities. The GCTF serves as a mechanism for furthering the implementation of the universally-agreed UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and, more broadly, to complement and reinforce existing multilateral counterterrorism efforts, starting with those of the UN. The GCTF also partners with a wide range of regional multilateral organizations, including the Council of Europe, the OSCE, the AU, and the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development.

INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS AND PROTOCOLS. A matrix of the ratification status of 16 of the international conventions and protocols related to terrorism can be found here:

Foreign Terrorist Organizations

Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs)are designated by the Secretary of State in accordance with section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). FTO designations play a critical role in the fight against terrorism and are an effective means of curtailing support for terrorist activities.

In 2013, the following FTOs were designated by the Department of State: Ansar al-Dine on March 22, Boko Haram and Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis-Sudan on November 14, and Al-Mulathamun Battalion on December 19. Also in 2013, the Department of State revoked the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group’s designation as an FTO on May 28.

Legal Criteria for Designation under Section 219 of the INA as amended:

It must be a foreign organization.
The organization must engage in terrorist activity, as defined in section 212 (a)(3)(B) of the INA (8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(3)(B)), or terrorism, as defined in section 140(d)(2) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1988 and 1989 (22 U.S.C. § 2656f(d)(2)), or retain the capability and intent to engage in terrorist activity or terrorism.
The organization’s terrorist activity or terrorism must threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security (national defense, foreign relations, or the economic interests) of the United States.

U.S. Government Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations

Abdallah Azzam Brigades (AAB)

Abu Nidal Organization (ANO)

Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)

Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AAMB)

Ansar al-Dine (AAD)

Ansar al-Islam (AAI)

Army of Islam (AOI)

Asbat al-Ansar (AAA)

Aum Shinrikyo (AUM)

Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA)

Boko Haram (BH)

Communist Party of Philippines/New People’s Army (CPP/NPA)

Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA)

Gama’a al-Islamiyya (IG)


Haqqani Network (HQN)

Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami (HUJI)

Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami/Bangladesh (HUJI-B)

Harakat ul-Mujahideen (HUM)


Indian Mujahedeen (IM)

Islamic Jihad Union (IJU)

Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU)

Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis-Sudan (Ansaru)

Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM)

Jemaah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT)

Jemaah Islamiya (JI)


Kahane Chai

Kata’ib Hizballah (KH)

Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)

Lashkar e-Tayyiba

Lashkar i Jhangvi (LJ)

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)

Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG)

Al-Mulathamun Battalion (AMB)

National Liberation Army (ELN)

Palestine Islamic Jihad – Shaqaqi Faction (PIJ)

Palestine Liberation Front – Abu Abbas Faction (PLF)

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC)

Al-Qa’ida (AQ)

Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)

Al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI)

Al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)


Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)

Revolutionary Organization 17 November (17N)

Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C)

Revolutionary Struggle (RS)

Al-Shabaab (AS)

Shining Path (SL)

Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP)

United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC)

Yona Fares Maro

Institut d’études de sécurité – SA

Republic Of The Mind And Thralldom Of Fear By Wole Soyinka

From: Yona Maro

I have a cloud of sadness within me as I speak. It has to do with an absence, a non-event which, both as a product in itself and as the product’s fate, could easily stand – among similar testimonies – as symbolic of the mission of this gathering, and a number of others like it, at least in all societies which value the exertion of the mind and products of the imagination.

Before I state what that non-event is, I wish to emphasize very strongly that this is not meant as an indictment of this Book Fair of which I consider myself a part, having been with it – albeit marginally – from its very inception. That would be grossly misleading. My remarks represent a personal wish, generated by the nation’s current crisis of existence, and extend beyond this present location and time, even though they do take off from there. They are a continuation of a discourse on which I embarked years ago – and formed part of my BBC Reith Lecture series – CLIMATE OF FEAR. That discourse was nudged awake quite fortuitously when I visited the London Book Fair three to four weeks ago, where the issue of censorship resurfaced. In any case, this absence I speak of, paradoxically, constitutes an integral part of the story of the Book, narrating the predicament of much of humanity in scattered parts of the world – and on so many levels, both specific and general.

For us in this nation, that predicament is hideously current and specific. We are undergoing an affliction that many could not have imagined possible perhaps up to a decade ago. In a way, both that product, and its absence are simultaneously instruction and consolation. On the one hand it brings home to us the price that others have paid – and still pay – for complacency, timidity, evasion, and/or failure to grasp the nature, and multiple guises of the Power drive. The obsession to dictate, dominate, and subjugate. On the other hand, it consoles us, in that painfully ironic way, that others have been there before, and many more are yet lined up to undergo – if I may utilize an apt seasonal metaphor, this being the Easter season – many more unsuspecting nations and communities, currently insulated from a near incurable scourge, are lined up to undergo the same Calvary.

To the product then: It’s just a book, but then, more than ‘just a book’ – written by Professor Karima Bennoune, an Algerian presently teaching at Berkeley University, California. And the title? YOUR FATWA DOES NOT APPLY HERE. It is not a work of fiction. It is a compilation – with commentary and analysis of course – of experiences of individuals – men, women, young, old, professionals, academics, entire families and others – among them her own father. It is a record of unbelievable courage and defiance, yes, also of timorousness and surrender, of self-sacrifice and betrayals, of arrogance and restraint, intelligence and stupidity, fanaticism and tolerance – in short, a document of Truth at its most forthright and near unbearable, the eternal narrative of humanity that illustrates, the axial relation between the twin polarities called Power and Freedom which, I persist in pointing out, stand out as the most common denominator of human history.

I feel sad that through this absence, Africa north of the Sahara could not meet and speak to Africa South on Nigerian soil, console and instruct us through a shared experience, one from whose darkness one nation recently emerged and into which the other is being dragged by the sheer deadweight of human mindlessness. It is such an important book, one that has a sobering relevance – does one have to reiterate? – for this nation. It is not quite over yet for Algeria by the way. Only yesterday I read in the papers that eleven soldiers were ambushed and killed by forces of identical mental conditioning to the ones that are currently traumatizing this nation. We can only hope that Karima Bennoune does not have to drastically update her account through a resurgence of a traumatic past. So much on the product itself.

Now comes the question: what would have been the effect of that title on most of us, seeing it displayed in one of the bookstalls of a participating publisher? Let’s begin from there. Even before we have opened the cover, what impact does it have on us, the local consumers? This is not a rhetorical question – what is it in the title itself that guarantees in advance that the average viewer would instinctively approach it with some trepidation? This is a familiar battle ground for thousands of affected writers, and constitutes the phenomenon that I wish to drag into this specific context, seeing that the book is available through all the normal sales channels elsewhere, and has been reviewed extensively in numerous media. It leads inevitably to the question: have we been shortchanged, albeit through circumstances too convoluted to go into here – in an environment to which such a history is excruciatingly pertinent?

One should not cry over spilt milk, yet one should never let an opportunity go to waste to recoup one’s losses wherever possible – even in divergent directions. In this case, as I hinted earlier, the very absence forms part of our literary mission. I consider this work of such relevance that I am persuaded that it should be made compulsive reading for everyone in leadership position in this nation, beginning from the President all the way down to local councilors, irrespective of religion, and community leaders. I intend to adopt Professor Bennoune’s book as entry point into the interrogatories for the very contestation that is summed up in the title of this address – “The Republic of the Mind and the Thralldom of Fear”. I intend to pose questions such as: should such a work constitute a contentious issue in the first place? Is our world now in a condition where a work that may – repeat – may – explore and narrate unpleasant histories is approached as an instant minefield for its handlers? Is any interest group, as long as it is sufficiently vociferous, reckless and dangerous, entitled to bestride and menace our world once such a minority decrees even factual history unpalatable or unflattering? Do we now instinctively make assumptions of negative responses on behalf of such a minority? Does anyone possess a right of imposition in the first place? What does that mean for any community?

I pose these questions because my increasing conviction is that our space of volition and equality of choice is rapidly collapsing under internal relationships based on fear and domination, on dictation and imposition. This is not the view of this speaker alone. Both Egypt and Tunisia, one after the other, are solid proofs that this shrinkage of space is an obsessive project by the assiduous cultivators of the realm of thralldom, and we have seen how it is answered in both instances. My business here is not to urge the adoption of the solutions pursued in either nation, or indeed Somalia, but to point out an existing agenda of control, manifested in different ways and degrees, and consequently drawing unpredictable responses.

But quickly, that question, are the people themselves sometimes collaborators in the shrinkage of that space of choice, that space of freedom? This, indeed, was the disquieting issue that triggered off the London discussion, catapulting the Nigerian predicament to the fore. We must be honest in our answers. When we look into the demands and impositions by one section of society upon another, coldly and analytically, we find that, very often, our instinctive assumptions are totally divergent from the actuality of relationships between such groups. We find that we have conceded what was never at issue, or else can be argued and clarified through mutual exchange. We find that sensitivities are often exaggerated, or else unnecessarily indulged. It is a lazy intellectual habit, one that is born of a timorous attitude for frank and honest dialogue. Mutual respect is built by clarification, not by avoidance or unjustifiable concessions, which is an attitude of condescension, a patronizing approach that is not only disrespectful but unhealthy.

To begin with our immediate community here in Nigeria as testing ground, let us consider the ‘People versus Boko Haram.’ Boko Haram represents the ultimate fatwa, of our time. It has placed a fatwa on our very raison d’etre, the mission, and justification of our productive existence. I do not think that this claim is in contention. The next question is: does the Boko Haram fatwa remotely represent the articulated position of the majority of moslems in this nation? My reading over the past few years is an unambiguous NO! Again and again the declaration that those words represent in Bennoune’s title is the very manifesto with which the nation has been inundated by moslem intellectuals, politicians, community leaders quite openly in their pronouncements on Boko Haram. ‘They are not true moslems’ has become the persistent mantra from North East to West, all the way southwards across the Niger. Grasping the nearest such declaration to hand, only two days old, the governor of Osun state, a moslem, declared in categorical terms:

“A visibly angry Osun State Governor called on Moslems to rise against atrocities perpetrated by the fundamentalist group in the name of religion”. In his own words,

We must protest seriously against the sycophants who hide under religion to perpetrate evils in our land; it must be done nationwide. We reject everything that Boko Haram represents. Our religion rejects everything these evil characters project in the name of islam. We must not be silent, because Boko Harm represents evil.”

Now what does that mean, this exhortation that has been echoed by Emirs, islamic scholars, islamic councils, politicians and lawgivers etc. The least that the intimately connected people of the book – publishers, teachers, thinkers of all faiths can contribute, is to exploit opportunities such as this market of ideas – to spread the word in all possible forms, most especially where an example is provided through the histories of those who failed to rally the mind when encroachment on the space of ideas was still in infancy. What these voices now proclaim, somewhat belatedly, is simply that the edicts of Boko Haram – in short, its fatwa’s – are worthless and unacceptable to the rest of society. Bennoune’s book, the string of words that makes up the title, is the charter of rejection that the Algerians, as a people, flung at the murderous fundamentalists as they battled for over ten years for their freedom. It represents a collective challenge for the rest of us: to go beyond even the contents of the work and actualize its lessons in our lives. To do less is to concede that the will of Boko Haram is the will of all humanity.

Why else are we gathered here? Boko Haram anathemizes books, destroys books and destroys their institutions, but we are here, in a surrounding of, and celebration of books. Yes, indeed, a Book Fair is itself a statement of rejection of Boko Harm’s fatwa. It is an implicit yet overt gesture of contempt for the delusions of grandeur of that movement and its homicidal avocation. But then, a Book Fair owes itself the full complement of what renders it – itself . Its mission, as an instrument of enlightenment, must not be compromised by the diktat – implicit or overt – of whatever makes no disguise of its contrary mission and manifests itself as an enemy of enlightenment.

An army that remains in the barracks even when assailed by enemy forces is clearly no army at all, but a sitting duck. We cannot recommend that we all sign up and join the uniformed corps as they make their rescue sorties into caves and swamps in the forest, not only to destroy the enemy but now, primarily, to rescue our children who were violently abducted from their learning institutions to become – let’s not beat about the bush, let us face the ultimate horror that confronts us, so we know the evil that hangs over us as a people – to become sex slaves of any unwashed dog. Those children will need massive help whenever they are returned to their homes. To remain in denial at this moment is to betray our own offspring and to consolidate the ongoing crimes against our humanity. There is no alternative: we must take the battle to the enemy. And this is no idle rhetoric – the battlefield stretches beyond the physical terrain. We are engaged in the battle for the mind – which is where it all begins, and where it will eventually be concluded. And that battlefield is not simply one of imagination, it is one of memory and history – our histories, what we were, and a consciousness of the histories of others – what happened to them in the past, how they responded, and with what results.

My dear colleagues, there may be hundreds of soldiers out in the forests of Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, but this battle is very much our own., primarily ours, and we should display as much courage as those who are dying in defence of what we value most, as writers, and consumers of literature. At least I like to believe so, to believe that nothing quite comes quite that close to our self-fulfillment as the liberation of the mind wherever the mind is threatened with closure. This is what is at stake. At the core of this affliction, it is this that is central to the predicament of our school pupils wondering through dangerous forests at this moment through no crime that they have committed.We sent them to school. We must bring them back to school.

Why did this nation move out of its borders to join other West African nations to stop the maniacs whose boastful agenda is to cut a bloody swathe through communities of learning, of tolerance and peaceful cohabitation? What does a united world say to the agents of heartbreak and dismay when religion powered mayhem is unleashed against innocent workers gathered at prime time in a motor park to resume their foraging for daily livelihood? It has happened before – let us not forget that, by the way! What, in short, do Book Fairs say as we learn of the steady, remorseless assault on the seminal places of culture, ancient spiritualities and book learning. We have not so soon forgotten the destruction of the monumental statues of Buddha, the historic monuments and tombs of Timbuktoo, her ancient manuscripts – repositories of islamic scholarship that pre-date the masterpieces of Europe’s medieval age? The true moslems, the authentic strain of the descendants of the Prophet Mohammed, pride themselves as people of the book, hence those lovingly preserved manuscripts of Timbuktoo, treasured and tended through generations of moslems. In such circumstances, whose side do we take, when children are blown up and slaughtered in their school dormitories, their teachers and parents hunted down for daring to disobey that phillistinic fatwa that forbids learning? Do we remain in our barracks? And I am not speaking of military barracks!

For it has not just begun, you know. We are speaking of the prosecution of a war that, four years ago already, was already galloping to its present blatant intensity. That it has attained the present staggering figures that numb our humanity with the abduction of female pupils to serve as beasts of burden for the enemy, does not disguise past failures, self-inculpating silences, and even tacit collaboration in places. Try as we might, we cannot insulate ourselves from the horrors to which our children are daily exposed through a fear to undergo, even for our own instruction, the vicarious anguish of others. First, it is futile, the ill wind currently rattling our windows will shortly blow down the flimsy structures we erect around our heads. Symbolism is all very well and – yes indeed – no one should underestimate the value of this symbolic enclave whose mandate we shall be acting out over the next seven days. The palpable products – albeit of words only – that emerge from within this symbol however is what constitutes the durable product, reinforcing morale and conveying to the maimed, the traumatized, the widowed and the orphaned, the suddenly impoverished, displaced, the bereaved and other categories of victims a sliver of reassurance that they are not abandoned.

And why should they feel abandoned in the first place? Why not indeed? Permit me to impose on the leadership of this nation a simple, straightforward exercise in empathy. I want you to imagine yourself in a hospital ward, one among many of the over a thousand victims of the latest carnage in Nyanya – do remember that the actual dead and wounded are not the only casualties – I could refer you to JP Clark’s Casualties for a penetrating expression of the reality of the walking wounded – however, let us take it step by step, let us retain within the territory of physical casualties – imagine that you are one of them, on that hospital bed. You find yourself in the role of playing host to the high and mighty. You are immobilized, speechless, incapable of motion except perhaps through your eyelids. The guests stream in one by one, faces swathed in concern – local government councillors, ministers, legislators, governors, prelates, all the way up the very pinnacle of power – the nation’s president. They even make promises – free medical treatment, habilitation, etc etc. They take their leave. Your spirits are uplifted, you no longer feel depressed and alone.

Considerately mounted eye level on the opposite wall is a television set, turned on to take your mind off your traumatized state and provide some escape for the mind in your otherwise deactivated condition. A few hours after the departure of your august visitors, you open your eyes and there, beamed live, are your erstwhile visitors participating in chieftaincy jollifications a few hundred miles away, red-hot from your sick-bed. A few hours later, the same leadership is at a campaign rally, where the chief custodian of a people’s welfare is complaining publicly about an ‘inside job’ – that is, someone had allegedly diverted his campaign funds to unauthorized use. That national leader then rounds up his outing with a virtuoso set of dance steps that would put Michael Jackson to shame.

That is all I ask of you: to undertake a simple exercise in human empathy, asking the question – as that victim, what would you think? How would you feel? That is all. Would you, playing back in your mind the reel of that august visitation, would you feel perhaps that the visit itself was all a sham, that those sorrowing visitors were merely posing for political photo shots, that the faces were studiously composed, their impatient minds already on their next engagement on the political dance floor? Or would you feel that this was a time that a nation, led by her president, should be in sackcloth and ashes – figuratively speaking of course? That there is something called a sense of timing, of a decent gap between the enormity of a people’s anguish and ‘business as usual’? And do let us bear in mind that that dismal day in Nyanya went beyond a harvest of body parts, of which yours could very easily have been part, there was also the dilemma of two hundred school children, some of whom could very easily have been your own – vanishing under violent conditions. Would you think that perhaps, in place of the dance floor, a national leader should have been holding round-the-clock emergency meetings on the recovery of those girl children, mobilizing the ENTIRE nation – and by entire, I mean, entire, including the encouragement of volunteers, for back-up duties to the military, demonstrating the complete rout of the prolonged season of denial, the total transformation of leadership mentality in the nature of responses to abnormalities that are never absent, even in the most developed societies.

If anyone requires contrasting models of simple, commonsense responses – not even the responses of experts, just leadership – then look towards South Korea. That tragic ferry disaster that overcame schoolchildren on an outing was not even a case of deliberate, criminal assault on our humanity. It was a human failing, probably of culpable negligence, but not part of a deliberate act of human destabilization. It was a frontal, in-your-face assault. Study the nature of leadership response in that nation! Today’s media carry headline banners that nearly two hundred children remain missing. Even if it were twenty, ten, one, is this the time for dancing? Or for silent grieving? What is the urgency of a re-election campaign that could not be postponed in such circumstances? Will the yardstick of eligibility for public office be the ability to dance to Sunny Ade or Dan Marya? The entire world regards us with eyes brimful with tears; we however look in the mirror and break into a dance routine. What has this thing, this blotched, mottled space become anyway? It is a marvel that some still wave a green-white-green rag called a flag and belt out one of the most unimaginative tunes that aspires to call itself a nation anthem. It has become a dirge – that is what it is – a dirge, and what we call a flag is the shroud that now hovers over a people that are even incapable of the dignity of self-examination, self-indictment, and remorse, which would then be a prelude to self-correction and self-restitution, if leadership were indeed attuned to the responsibilities of leadership.

To sum up, one would rationally expect that the leadership mind, belatedly applied to cautionary histories such as YOUR FATWA DOES NOT APPLY HERE, will courageously attune itself to an altered imperative that now reads: YOUR FATWA WILL NOT APPLY HERE. This would be manifested in a clear response to the enormity of the task in which the nation is embroiled. Not all national leaders can be Fujimori of Peru who personally directed his security forces during a crisis of hostage-taking – no one demands bravura acts of presidents. However, any aspiring leader cannot be anything less than a rallying point for public morale in times of crisis and example for extraordinary exertion. Speaking personally now, my mind goes to the lead role played by President Jonathan in this nation in the erstwhile campaign to ‘BRING BACK THE BOOK’ an event at which we both read to hundreds of children. So where are the successors to those children? The reality stares us in the face: Among the walking wounded. Among the walking dead. In crude holdings of fear and terror. Today, we shall not even be so demanding as to resurrect the slogan BRING BACK THE BOOK – leave that to us. It will be quite sufficient to see a demonstrable dedication that answers the agonizing cry of: BRING BACK THE PUPILS!

Emperor Nero only fiddled while Rome burned. There is no record of him dancing to his own tune. There is, nonetheless, an expression for that kind of dance – it is known as danse macabre, and we all know what that portends.

Yona Fares Maro
Institut d’études de sécurité – SA

Four reasons Chinese companies thrive abroad

From: Yona Maro

Despite the global economic and financial crises of recent years, corporate China continues its push for globalization. China now ranks third in the world for outward FDI (2012 data), with its fastest revenue growth over the period 2008?2012 coming from operations in North America and Europe. The top Chinese multinational corporations (MNCs) are increasing their overseas assets and overseas employment at rapid rates, and seeing greater revenue increases from overseas operations than from their Chinese ones.

Moreover, today’s Chinese globalizers have even more aggressive plans for geographic and functional expansion in the near future. A survey by the World Economic Forum and Booz & Company of 125 leading Chinese globalizers shows these companies planning to expand in the next five years in virtually every region of the world and to expand their functional footprints outside of China as well.

Our research on the success of leading Chinese globalizers has also found, however, that increased effort at globalization does not necessarily lead to increased output. Furthermore, companies with similar, perfectly sound globalization strategies do not necessarily achieve similar results. What distinguishes a group of companies the report identifies as Chinese Globalization Champions from the rest of the pack is their ability to systematically tackle various operational challenges in the globalization process.

In analyzing these challenges and how Chinese Globalization Champions overcome them, we developed a reference framework for a global operating model, a framework with four building blocks: Culture, Governance, Processes, and People. Successful execution in these four areas, in turn, allows Chinese Globalization Champions to address three sets of polarities or tensions that challenge all globalizing companies: Home country & Host Country, Consistency & Innovation, and Control & Empowerment.

Our research on how Chinese Globalization Champions successfully manage these three polarities in their operating models reveals several best practices in the areas of Culture, Governance, Processes, and People from which other Chinese globalizers can draw lessons.


Yona Fares Maro
Institut d’études de sécurité – SA

Demand for Democracy Is Rising in Africa, But Most Political Leaders Fail to Deliver

From: Yona Maro

Africans’ support for democracy is robust and rising (seven in 10 Africans prefer democracy to other political regimes) but the supply of democracy has not kept pace with demand, according to this report. Its findings reveal people’s dissatisfaction with political leaders on the workings of democracy in the 34 countries surveyed.

Yona Fares Maro
Institut d’études de sécurité – SA

Space for civil society: how to protect and expand an enabling environment

From: Yona Maro

In many parts of the world, the work of civil society is becoming increasingly dangerous. Civil society organisations (CSOs) speak out about social injustice and are often forced to put their own staff at risk to defend the human rights of others. Why? Because they believe that protecting the freedoms that constitute a democracy are worth fighting for. This report looks at the situation in Colombia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Malawi.

Yona Fares Maro
Institut d’études de sécurité – SA

Community Matters: Fulfilling Learning Potentials for Young Men and Women

From: Yona Maro

The fourth policy brief in the UIL series recommends youth engagement in multipurpose community learning spaces and centres. The aim is to improve their access to full participation in learning and community development activities. It is based on discussions from the International Policy Forum on Literacy and Life Skills Education for Vulnerable Youth through Community Learning Centres held on 20 – 22 August 2013 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Policy Brief 4 is built on the second policy brief published by UIL, Youth Matters: Equipping Vulnerable Young People with Literacy and Life Skills .

UIL Policy Brief 4 Community Matters: Fulfilling Learning Potentials for Young Men and Womendescribes features of community learning centres, which have different names in local languages across world regions. Furthermore, it illustrates how community learning centres from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Japan, Mongolia, Thailand, and the United Kingdom engage young men and women in the planning and implementation processes.


Yona Fares Maro
Institut d’études de sécurité – SA

World Investment and Political Risk 2013

From: Yona Maro

For a second straight year, FDI to developing economies remains soft, still below previous peaks (figure 1). After declining from the 2011 peak of $628 billion to $604 billion last year, 2013 is expected to see a 2 percent increase to an estimated $617 billion—a further increase is expected only in 2015. While there has been explosive FDI growth since the turn of the century—FDI was 337 percent higher in 2011 than in 2000—the rebound of 2009-10 looks more distant. FDI now appears stable and at high levels, but with persistent economic concerns and stuttering growth, it does not look likely to return to the growth rates of the mid 2000s anytime soon.

At a sub-regional level, trends are more diverse. Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia have shown healthy growth this year, achieving 19 percent and 21 percent increases in FDI inflows, respectively. Other developing regions are experiencing declines, particularly Europe and Central Asia, where FDI flows are expected to fall by 16 percent for the year. The other key success stories of recent years – increases in FDI from developing economies and South-South investment—continued. FDI outflows from developing economies reached a record level of $164 billion in 2012, representing a record share of 12 percent of global FDI outflows.

Yona Fares Maro
Institut d’études de sécurité – SA

Infomediaries: Brokers of public access

From: Yona Maro

This study investigated the role of infomediaries in shaping outcomes for users at Public Access Venues (PAVs) in Bangladesh, Chile, and Lithuania. We examined the extent to which technical skills and empathy are relevant to and appreciated by different types of users, and whether differences in infomediaries are evident across different types of PAVs. We asked whether particular infomediary behaviors were associated with significant changes as reported by PAV users.

We learned that infomediaries provide the human face for the information age by taking on the functions of facilitation, coaching, referral and teaching and assuming the role of a trusted gatekeeper. The process of infomediation turned out to be of prominence within which the infomediary is a key component. In the absence of infomediaries, those left behind (or excluded due to their age, socio-economic status, level of education/literacy, gender, disability or caste) will face additional, perhaps insurmountable, barriers.

ARCHIVES – The Pride of the Blacks over the Whites

From: Yona Maro

Yona Fares Maro
Institut d’études de sécurité – SA

– – – –

This is the full text of a book called “The Pride of the Blacks over the Whites” written in the second century of Islamic civilization to defend dark-skinned Arabs and Africans from the prejudices of the lighter-skinned Arabized Persians, Slavs and Turks living in Iraq.

al-J??i? was an Arabic prose writer and author of works of literature, theology, and politico-religious polemics. Born: 776 AD, Basra, Iraq. Died: 868 AD, Basra, Iraq.

In the name of the Almighty, Merciful God ;
May God protect and keep you; let He make you obey Him and make you part of his favorites.
[ . . . ]

read more …

The Union is dead! Long live Tanzania!

From: Yona Maro

Yona Fares Maro
Institut d’études de sécurité – SA

– – – – – – – – – –

(The Union is no longer valid. A complete merger should be in place. Zanzibar’s sovereignty is UNCONSTITUTIONAL!)

THIS will be – by far – the most polemic opinion article that I have ever written for my Truth Be Told column. It could get this newspaper barred from being published, but let’s take that risk, shall we? Unless freedom of opinion and freedom of the press are no longer God-given rights in Tanzania, therefore, anyone who speaks freely – without seeking permission to do so – risk certain jail terms and being barred from publishing their papers? We shall see!

When you speak, talk or write about the Union of Tanzania, which was forged in 1964 (if my memory serves me right) between Tanganyika and Zanzibar, you risk certain punitive measures. The Union has
become a central issue that has been highlighted in the current Constitutional Assembly, and, indeed, it has been a dividing issue. There are several camps of thought; there are those who want the Union gone completely that we have a severance – dissolution – whereby Tanganyika retains its former status and Zanzibar becomes a complete and independent nation, which, by the way, it ALMOST is! Zanzibar – save for this erratic and confusing union – can be defined as a sovereign state, as it already has its own flag (which incorporates the flag of the United Republic of Tanzania, reduced to abou 25% of the entire flag, or less), its own national anthem, its own FULL and autonomous Presidency – the President of Zanzibar under the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar has full powers to administer the “country” as he sees fit, without seeking whatsoever permission from the President of the Republic of Tanzania.

I remember, a while back, Zanzibar made declarations that it wanted more autonomy, especially in terms of natural resouces. Zanzibar declared that the recent and abundant oil (and other fossil fuel) deposits found in Zanzibar, whereby there are five plots – of petroleum and natural gas – in the Indian Ocean, were purely Zanzibar property and where not to be considered Union property. This infuriated some bigwigs in the United Republic, who adamantly insisted that the oil deposits remain – as was prescribed – part and parcel of the United Republic.

Today, we have learned much about the Union; there is a second camp, in Zanzibar, which wants an arranged and contractual Union, whereby if eiher country – Zanzibar and Tanganyika – contravened the perninent articles of the Union Treaty, such action would constitute in the breach of law, which would make either country – after the severance due to breach of law/contract – a free and independent dominion; a state!

One thing that is clear is that, under the present arrangement, Zanzibar – as per the Union – is NOT a free state, because the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania states as following (right from the VERY BEGINNING):




1. Tanzania is one State and is a sovereign United Republic.

2. (1) The territory of the United Republic consists of the whole of the area of mainland Tanzania and the whole of the area of Tanzania Zanzibar, and includes the territorial waters.

(2) For the purpose of the efficient discharge of the functions of the Government of the United Republic or of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, the President may, in accordance with the procedures prescribed by law or provisions of such law as may be enacted by Parliament, divide the United Republic into regions, districts and other areas:
Provided that the President shall first consult with the President of Zanzibar before dividing Tanzania Zanzibar into regions, districts or other areas.

3. (1) The United Republic is a democratic, secular and socialist state which adheres to multi-party democracy.

(2) All matters pertaining to the registration and administration of political parties in the United Republic shall be governed by the provisions of this Constitution and of a law enacted by Parliament for that purpose.

4. (1) All state authority in the United Republic shall be exercised and controlled by two organs vested with executive powers, two organs vested with judicial powers and two organs vested with legislative and supervisory powers over the conduct of public affairs.

(2) The organs vested with executive powers shall be the Government of the United Republic and the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar; the organs vested with judicial powers shall be the Judiciary of the United Republic and the Judiciary of the Revolutionary government of Zanzibar; and the organs vested with legislative and supervisory powers over public affairs shall be the Parliament of the United Republic and the House of Representatives.

This is what the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania says – from the BEGINNING – and here is what the Constitution of Zanzibar (Revised Edition of 2006) says:



1. Zanzibar is an integral part of the United Republic of Tanzania.

2. (1) The area of Zanzibar consists of the whole area of the Islands of Unguja and Pemba and all small Islands surrounding them and mcludes the territorial waters that before the Union formed the then People’s Republic of Zanzibar.

(2) For the purpose of the efficient discharge of the function of the Government, the President of the United Republic in consultation with the President of Zanzibar, may divide Zanzibar into Regions, Districts and any other areas in accordance with procedures prescribed.

3. (1) There shall be a Seal of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar whose insignia shall be as laid down by law enacted by the House of Representatives.

(2) The Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar slall be empowered to prescribe anything whatsoever that shall serve to Identify the Government in accordance with the law as enacted by the House of Representatives.

4. This Constitution is the Constitution of Zanzibar and shall have the force of law throughout the Country save for provisions of Article 80 if any legislation is found to be in conflict with this Constitution this shall prevail and that law shall be null and void to that extent that conflicts with this Constitution.

NOW, I am not a Constitutional Affairs expert nor am I a legal expert, but using my simple-man’s deductive powers, I can attest to the fact that Zanzibar IS A SOVEREIGN STATE for this single reason, as following:
2. (1) The area of Zanzibar consists of the whole area of the Islands of Unguja and Pemba and all small Islands surrounding them and mcludes the territorial waters that before the Union formed the then People’s Republic of Zanzibar.

Simply put is that Zanzibar – through THIS constitution openly declares that its territorial coverage is t he whole of the Islands of Unguja and Pemba and all the small islands surrounding them and it also includes the territorial waters that before the Union formed the then People’s Republic of Zanzibar.

This is an open and blunt statement that BOLDLY DECLARES that Zanzibar is a sovereign state, because, as per the Articles of the Union, and the Constitution of the Union, “Tanzania is one State and is a sovereign United Republic”. There is no question of Zanzibar being “an integral part of the United Republic of Tanzania”. In ESSENCE, as per the Constitution of Zanzibar, the SHOULDN’T even BE a Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, and this is where the problem started, a long time ago!

The Presidencies of the late Julius Kambarage Nyerere, Ali Hassan Mwinyi, Benjamin Mkapa and Jakaya Kikwete HAVE ALL IGNORED the fact the Constitution of the United Republic was breached a long time ago, simply by the mere fact that – legally – a Union means the “merger” of two separate entities into ONE!

The Constitution of Tanzania declares that Tanzania is a sovereign United Republic – a one State entity – which wad formed by the union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar, therefore:

2. (1) The territory of the United Republic consists of the whole of the area of mainland Tanzania and the whole of the area of Tanzania Zanzibar, and includes the territorial waters.

However, there IS a contradiction in terms, which is:

(2) For the purpose of the efficient discharge of the functions of the Government of the United Republic or of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, the President may, in accordance with the procedures prescribed by law or provisions of such law as may be enacted by Parliament, divide the United Republic into regions, districts and other areas:
Provided that the President shall first consult with the President of Zanzibar before dividing Tanzania Zanzibar into regions, districts or other areas.

Now someone tells me, IF at all we are talking – really – about a ONE STATE entity, why the heck would the President of the United Republic ever need to “first consult with the President of Zanzibar before dividing Tanzania Zanzibar into regions, districts or other areas”? I am sorry, but THIS DOES NOT COMPUTE! It doesnt make any sense, AT ALL!

I guess this is the BIGGEST LIE ever told to us all – both Tanganyikans and Zanzibaris – because, simply put, a Union, even by the simplest of definitions, means “the action of joining together or the fact of being joined together, especially in a political context.” or “the act of uniting two or more things”. So, this really WAS A LIE, to tell us that Zanzibar and Tanganyika were ONE STATE under the United Republic of Tanzania, only to have each one have its own independent Government AND a Presidency? WHAT A CROCK!

Simply put, the Union DIED the very minute the Articles of the Union were signed and put into motion, because, IF AT ALL – and I am sorry for over-emphasizing this – the Union was a reality, there would be only ONE government. What are we going to do about this – “we” meaning YOU and I? – is simply a matter of reflecting; we need to sit down and plan a course of act and ask, “If we have been lied to about the Union for 48 years, what else have we been lied to that we don’t yet know?” THEN and ONLY THEN will it all begin to sink in, and we shall – with great resolve and perseverance – overcome all obstacles that stand in the way of our becoming a truly independent ONE state!


P.S. I am just a messenger. don’t shoot the messenger. Shoot the person who sent the messenger if you don’t like the message.

By @Paul Francis
Twitter: @PaulFrancisTZ, a.k.a. Citizen Paul
Text/Voice: +255-772-949577 and +255-762-949577

Tanzania: Sixth Julius Nyerere Intellectual Festival

From: Yona Maro
– – – –

9TH – 11TH APRIL 2014


Professor Patrick Lumumba’s
Lecture will be on :
09 April 2014 at 11:10 AM

Prof. Herbert Chimhundu’s Lecture will be on:
SPACE: Proposing an Agency Role
for the African Academy”
11 April 2014 at 9:00 AM

An Exploration of Best Practice in the Use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for Development

From: Yona Maro

This discussion paper captures best practice in the use of mobile phones and other low-cost communications technologies through a series of interviews with experts and practitioners. Interviewees include:

• The head of the mobile solutions team at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) who describes the agency’s efforts to use mobile phones to pay teachers in Afghanistan, reducing money lost to graft;

• The founder of FrontlineSMS, one of the most widely scaled mobile text messaging-based information sharing program, who provides his top 10 tips for effective use of technology for social good;

• The chair of the Health Board of The United Methodist Church in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who describes how using FrontlineSMS is changing the way information is shared in the context of acute health emergencies, such as cholera outbreaks; and

• The program manager of the Thomas Food Project in Thomas, Haiti, who describes how low cost solar power is being used to power a new computer center and generate income that supports a school feeding program.


Yona Fares Maro
Institut d’études de sécurité – SA

Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability

From: Yona Maro

The 10th Session of Working Group II (WGII-10) was held from 25 to 29 March 2014 in Yokohama, Japan. At the Session, the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) of the Working Group II contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (WGII AR5) was approved and the underlying scientific and technical assessment accepted.


Yona Fares Maro
Institut d’études de sécurité – SA

The World Water Development Report 2014: Water and Energy

From: Yona Maro

The World Water Development Report, or WWDR, is produced by the World Water Assessment Programme, a programme of UN-Water hosted by UNESCO, and is the result of the joint efforts of the UN agencies and entities which make up UN-Water, working in partnership with governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders.

The report was until 2012 a comprehensive, triennial report on the state, use and management of the world’s water resources. After a detailed review and stakeholder surveys on the scope and purposes of the report, it was decided to make it an annual and more concise publication that is increasingly facts-based and has a more specific thematic focus.

The first edition of the annual report will address the theme “Water and Energy” in 2014 and will be launched during the main World Water Day celebrations in Tokyo, Japan on 21 March 2014.

Starting in 2014, the theme of the World Water Development Report and that of World Water Day will be harmonized in order to provide a deeper focus and in-depth analysis of a specific water-related issue every year.


Yona Fares Maro
Institut d’études de sécurité – SA

Digital Life in 2025

From: Yona Maro

The Web became a major layer of the Internet. Indeed, for many, it became synonymous with the Internet, even though that is not technically the case. Its birthday offers an occasion to revisit the ways it has made the Internet a part of Americans’ social lives.

Our first report tied to the anniversary looked at the present and the past of the Internet, marking its strikingly fast adoption and assessing its impact on American users’ lives. This report is part of an effort by the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project in association with Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center to look at the future of the Internet, the Web, and other digital activities.

This is the first of eight reports based on a canvassing of hundreds of experts about the future of such things as privacy, cybersecurity, the “Internet of things,” and net neutrality. In this case we asked experts to make their own predictions about the state of digital life by the year 2025. We will also explore some of the economic change driven by the spectacular progress that made digital tools faster and cheaper. And we will report on whether Americans feel the explosion of digital information coursing through their lives has helped them be better informed and make better decisions.


Yona Fares Maro
Institut d’études de sécurité – SA

Putin Address on Crimea Annexation

From: Yona Maro

Address by President of the Russian Federation

March 18, 2014, 15:50 The Kremlin, Moscow

Vladimir Putin addressed State Duma deputies, Federation Council members, heads of Russian regions and civil society representatives in the Kremlin.

PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Federation Council members, State Duma deputies, good afternoon. Representatives of the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol are here among us, citizens of Russia, residents of Crimea and Sevastopol!

Dear friends, we have gathered here today in connection with an issue that is of vital, historic significance to all of us. A referendum was held in Crimea on March 16 in full compliance with democratic procedures and international norms.

More than 82 percent of the electorate took part in the vote. Over 96 percent of them spoke out in favour of reuniting with Russia. These numbers speak for themselves.

To understand the reason behind such a choice it is enough to know the history of Crimea and what Russia and Crimea have always meant for each other.

Everything in Crimea speaks of our shared history and pride. This is the location of ancient Khersones, where Prince Vladimir was baptised. His spiritual feat of adopting Orthodoxy predetermined the overall basis of the culture, civilisation and human values that unite the peoples of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. The graves of Russian soldiers whose bravery brought Crimea into the Russian empire are also in Crimea. This is also Sevastopol – a legendary city with an outstanding history, a fortress that serves as the birthplace of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. Crimea is Balaklava and Kerch, Malakhov Kurgan and Sapun Ridge. Each one of these places is dear to our hearts, symbolising Russian military glory and outstanding valour.

Crimea is a unique blend of different peoples’ cultures and traditions. This makes it similar to Russia as a whole, where not a single ethnic group has been lost over the centuries. Russians and Ukrainians, Crimean Tatars and people of other ethnic groups have lived side by side in Crimea, retaining their own identity, traditions, languages and faith.

Incidentally, the total population of the Crimean Peninsula today is 2.2 million people, of whom almost 1.5 million are Russians, 350,000 are Ukrainians who predominantly consider Russian their native language, and about 290,000-300,000 are Crimean Tatars, who, as the referendum has shown, also lean towards Russia.

True, there was a time when Crimean Tatars were treated unfairly, just as a number of other peoples in the USSR. There is only one thing I can say here: millions of people of various ethnicities suffered during those repressions, and primarily Russians.

Crimean Tatars returned to their homeland. I believe we should make all the necessary political and legislative decisions to finalise the rehabilitation of Crimean Tatars, restore them in their rights and clear their good name.

We have great respect for people of all the ethnic groups living in Crimea. This is their common home, their motherland, and it would be right – I know the local population supports this – for Crimea to have three equal national languages: Russian, Ukrainian and Tatar.


In people’s hearts and minds, Crimea has always been an inseparable part of Russia. This firm conviction is based on truth and justice and was passed from generation to generation, over time, under any circumstances, despite all the dramatic changes our country went through during the entire 20th century.

After the revolution, the Bolsheviks, for a number of reasons – may God judge them – added large sections of the historical South of Russia to the Republic of Ukraine. This was done with no consideration for the ethnic make-up of the population, and today these areas form the southeast of Ukraine. Then, in 1954, a decision was made to transfer Crimean Region to Ukraine, along with Sevastopol, despite the fact that it was a city of union subordination. This was the personal initiative of the Communist Party head Nikita Khrushchev. What stood behind this decision of his – a desire to win the support of the Ukrainian political establishment or to atone for the mass repressions of the 1930’s in Ukraine – is for historians to figure out.

What matters now is that this decision was made in clear violation of the constitutional norms that were in place even then. The decision was made behind the scenes. Naturally, in a totalitarian state nobody bothered to ask the citizens of Crimea and Sevastopol. They were faced with the fact. People, of course, wondered why all of a sudden Crimea became part of Ukraine. But on the whole – and we must state this clearly, we all know it – this decision was treated as a formality of sorts because the territory was transferred within the boundaries of a single state. Back then, it was impossible to imagine that Ukraine and Russia may split up and become two separate states. However, this has happened.

Unfortunately, what seemed impossible became a reality. The USSR fell apart. Things developed so swiftly that few people realised how truly dramatic those events and their consequences would be. Many people both in Russia and in Ukraine, as well as in other republics hoped that the Commonwealth of Independent States that was created at the time would become the new common form of statehood. They were told that there would be a single currency, a single economic space, joint armed forces; however, all this remained empty promises, while the big country was gone. It was only when Crimea ended up as part of a different country that Russia realised that it was not simply robbed, it was plundered.

At the same time, we have to admit that by launching the sovereignty parade Russia itself aided in the collapse of the Soviet Union. And as this collapse was legalised, everyone forgot about Crimea and Sevastopol ­– the main base of the Black Sea Fleet. Millions of people went to bed in one country and awoke in different ones, overnight becoming ethnic minorities in former Union republics, while the Russian nation became one of the biggest, if not the biggest ethnic group in the world to be divided by borders.

Now, many years later, I heard residents of Crimea say that back in 1991 they were handed over like a sack of potatoes. This is hard to disagree with. And what about the Russian state? What about Russia? It humbly accepted the situation. This country was going through such hard times then that realistically it was incapable of protecting its interests. However, the people could not reconcile themselves to this outrageous historical injustice. All these years, citizens and many public figures came back to this issue, saying that Crimea is historically Russian land and Sevastopol is a Russian city. Yes, we all knew this in our hearts and minds, but we had to proceed from the existing reality and build our good-neighbourly relations with independent Ukraine on a new basis. Meanwhile, our relations with Ukraine, with the fraternal Ukrainian people have always been and will remain of foremost importance for us. (Applause)

Today we can speak about it openly, and I would like to share with you some details of the negotiations that took place in the early 2000s. The then President of Ukraine Mr Kuchma asked me to expedite the process of delimiting the Russian-Ukrainian border. At that time, the process was practically at a standstill. Russia seemed to have recognised Crimea as part of Ukraine, but there were no negotiations on delimiting the borders. Despite the complexity of the situation, I immediately issued instructions to Russian government agencies to speed up their work to document the borders, so that everyone had a clear understanding that by agreeing to delimit the border we admitted de facto and de jure that Crimea was Ukrainian territory, thereby closing the issue.

We accommodated Ukraine not only regarding Crimea, but also on such a complicated matter as the maritime boundary in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait. What we proceeded from back then was that good relations with Ukraine matter most for us and they should not fall hostage to deadlock territorial disputes. However, we expected Ukraine to remain our good neighbour, we hoped that Russian citizens and Russian speakers in Ukraine, especially its southeast and Crimea, would live in a friendly, democratic and civilised state that would protect their rights in line with the norms of international law.

However, this is not how the situation developed. Time and time again attempts were made to deprive Russians of their historical memory, even of their language and to subject them to forced assimilation. Moreover, Russians, just as other citizens of Ukraine are suffering from the constant political and state crisis that has been rocking the country for over 20 years.

I understand why Ukrainian people wanted change. They have had enough of the authorities in power during the years of Ukraine’s independence. Presidents, prime ministers and parliamentarians changed, but their attitude to the country and its people remained the same. They milked the country, fought among themselves for power, assets and cash flows and did not care much about the ordinary people. They did not wonder why it was that millions of Ukrainian citizens saw no prospects at home and went to other countries to work as day labourers. I would like to stress this: it was not some Silicon Valley they fled to, but to become day labourers. Last year alone almost 3 million people found such jobs in Russia. According to some sources, in 2013 their earnings in Russia totalled over $20 billion, which is about 12% of Ukraine’s GDP.

I would like to reiterate that I understand those who came out on Maidan with peaceful slogans against corruption, inefficient state management and poverty. The right to peaceful protest, democratic procedures and elections exist for the sole purpose of replacing the authorities that do not satisfy the people. However, those who stood behind the latest events in Ukraine had a different agenda: they were preparing yet another government takeover; they wanted to seize power and would stop short of nothing. They resorted to terror, murder and riots. Nationalists, neo-Nazis, Russophobes and anti-Semites executed this coup. They continue to set the tone in Ukraine to this day.

The new so-called authorities began by introducing a draft law to revise the language policy, which was a direct infringement on the rights of ethnic minorities. However, they were immediately ‘disciplined’ by the foreign sponsors of these so-called politicians. One has to admit that the mentors of these current authorities are smart and know well what such attempts to build a purely Ukrainian state may lead to. The draft law was set aside, but clearly reserved for the future. Hardly any mention is made of this attempt now, probably on the presumption that people have a short memory. Nevertheless, we can all clearly see the intentions of these ideological heirs of Bandera, Hitler’s accomplice during World War II.

It is also obvious that there is no legitimate executive authority in Ukraine now, nobody to talk to. Many government agencies have been taken over by the impostors, but they do not have any control in the country, while they themselves – and I would like to stress this – are often controlled by radicals. In some cases, you need a special permit from the militants on Maidan to meet with certain ministers of the current government. This is not a joke – this is reality.

Those who opposed the coup were immediately threatened with repression. Naturally, the first in line here was Crimea, the Russian-speaking Crimea. In view of this, the residents of Crimea and Sevastopol turned to Russia for help in defending their rights and lives, in preventing the events that were unfolding and are still underway in Kiev, Donetsk, Kharkov and other Ukrainian cities.

Naturally, we could not leave this plea unheeded; we could not abandon Crimea and its residents in distress. This would have been betrayal on our part.

First, we had to help create conditions so that the residents of Crimea for the first time in history were able to peacefully express their free will regarding their own future. However, what do we hear from our colleagues in Western Europe and North America? They say we are violating norms of international law. Firstly, it’s a good thing that they at least remember that there exists such a thing as international law – better late than never.

Secondly, and most importantly – what exactly are we violating? True, the President of the Russian Federation received permission from the Upper House of Parliament to use the Armed Forces in Ukraine. However, strictly speaking, nobody has acted on this permission yet. Russia’s Armed Forces never entered Crimea; they were there already in line with an international agreement. True, we did enhance our forces there; however – this is something I would like everyone to hear and know – we did not exceed the personnel limit of our Armed Forces in Crimea, which is set at 25,000, because there was no need to do so.

Next. As it declared independence and decided to hold a referendum, the Supreme Council of Crimea referred to the United Nations Charter, which speaks of the right of nations to self-determination. Incidentally, I would like to remind you that when Ukraine seceded from the USSR it did exactly the same thing, almost word for word. Ukraine used this right, yet the residents of Crimea are denied it. Why is that?

Moreover, the Crimean authorities referred to the well-known Kosovo precedent – a precedent our western colleagues created with their own hands in a very similar situation, when they agreed that the unilateral separation of Kosovo from Serbia, exactly what Crimea is doing now, was legitimate and did not require any permission from the country’s central authorities. Pursuant to Article 2, Chapter 1 of the United Nations Charter, the UN International Court agreed with this approach and made the following comment in its ruling of July 22, 2010, and I quote: “No general prohibition may be inferred from the practice of the Security Council with regard to declarations of independence,” and “General international law contains no prohibition on declarations of independence.” Crystal clear, as they say.

I do not like to resort to quotes, but in this case, I cannot help it. Here is a quote from another official document: the Written Statement of the United States America of April 17, 2009, submitted to the same UN International Court in connection with the hearings on Kosovo. Again, I quote: “Declarations of independence may, and often do, violate domestic legislation. However, this does not make them violations of international law.” End of quote. They wrote this, disseminated it all over the world, had everyone agree and now they are outraged. Over what? The actions of Crimean people completely fit in with these instructions, as it were. For some reason, things that Kosovo Albanians (and we have full respect for them) were permitted to do, Russians, Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars in Crimea are not allowed. Again, one wonders why.

We keep hearing from the United States and Western Europe that Kosovo is some special case. What makes it so special in the eyes of our colleagues? It turns out that it is the fact that the conflict in Kosovo resulted in so many human casualties. Is this a legal argument? The ruling of the International Court says nothing about this. This is not even double standards; this is amazing, primitive, blunt cynicism. One should not try so crudely to make everything suit their interests, calling the same thing white today and black tomorrow. According to this logic, we have to make sure every conflict leads to human losses.

I will state clearly – if the Crimean local self-defence units had not taken the situation under control, there could have been casualties as well. Fortunately this did not happen. There was not a single armed confrontation in Crimea and no casualties. Why do you think this was so? The answer is simple: because it is very difficult, practically impossible to fight against the will of the people. Here I would like to thank the Ukrainian military – and this is 22,000 fully armed servicemen. I would like to thank those Ukrainian service members who refrained from bloodshed and did not smear their uniforms in blood.

Other thoughts come to mind in this connection. They keep talking of some Russian intervention in Crimea, some sort of aggression. This is strange to hear. I cannot recall a single case in history of an intervention without a single shot being fired and with no human casualties.


Like a mirror, the situation in Ukraine reflects what is going on and what has been happening in the world over the past several decades. After the dissolution of bipolarity on the planet, we no longer have stability. Key international institutions are not getting any stronger; on the contrary, in many cases, they are sadly degrading. Our western partners, led by the United States of America, prefer not to be guided by international law in their practical policies, but by the rule of the gun. They have come to believe in their exclusivity and exceptionalism, that they can decide the destinies of the world, that only they can ever be right. They act as they please: here and there, they use force against sovereign states, building coalitions based on the principle “If you are not with us, you are against us.” To make this aggression look legitimate, they force the necessary resolutions from international organisations, and if for some reason this does not work, they simply ignore the UN Security Council and the UN overall.

This happened in Yugoslavia; we remember 1999 very well. It was hard to believe, even seeing it with my own eyes, that at the end of the 20th century, one of Europe’s capitals, Belgrade, was under missile attack for several weeks, and then came the real intervention. Was there a UN Security Council resolution on this matter, allowing for these actions? Nothing of the sort. And then, they hit Afghanistan, Iraq, and frankly violated the UN Security Council resolution on Libya, when instead of imposing the so-called no-fly zone over it they started bombing it too.

There was a whole series of controlled “colour” revolutions. Clearly, the people in those nations, where these events took place, were sick of tyranny and poverty, of their lack of prospects; but these feelings were taken advantage of cynically. Standards were imposed on these nations that did not in any way correspond to their way of life, traditions, or these peoples’ cultures. As a result, instead of democracy and freedom, there was chaos, outbreaks in violence and a series of upheavals. The Arab Spring turned into the Arab Winter.

A similar situation unfolded in Ukraine. In 2004, to push the necessary candidate through at the presidential elections, they thought up some sort of third round that was not stipulated by the law. It was absurd and a mockery of the constitution. And now, they have thrown in an organised and well-equipped army of militants.

We understand what is happening; we understand that these actions were aimed against Ukraine and Russia and against Eurasian integration. And all this while Russia strived to engage in dialogue with our colleagues in the West. We are constantly proposing cooperation on all key issues; we want to strengthen our level of trust and for our relations to be equal, open and fair. But we saw no reciprocal steps.
Agreement on the accession of the Republic of Crimea to the Russian Federation signed

March 18, 2014, 16:00 The Kremlin, Moscow

The Agreement between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Crimea on the Accession of the Republic of Crimea in the Russian Federation and on Forming New Constituent Entities within the Russian Federation was signed in the Kremlin on March 18, 2014.

The document bears the signatures of President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, Chairman of the State Council of the Republic of Crimea Vladimir Konstantinov, Prime Minister of the Republic of Crimea Sergei Aksyonov and Chairman of the Coordinating Council for the establishment of the Sevastopol municipal administration Alexei Chaly.

* * *

The agreement is based on the free and voluntary expression of will by the peoples of Crimea at a nationwide referendum, held in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol on March 16, 2014, during which the people of Crimea made the decision to reunite with Russia.

The Republic of Crimea is considered to have acceded to the Russian Federation from the date of the Agreement’s signing. Beginning on the day that the Republic of Crimea accedes to the Russian Federation, two new constituent entities are formed within the Russian Federation: the Republic of Crimea and the Federal City of Sevastopol.

The text of the Agreement includes a preamble and ten articles that outline the provisions concerning the accession of the Republic of Crimea to the Russian Federation and the formation of new constituent entities within the Russian Federation, including provisions regarding the territories of the new Russian constituent entities, their residents’ citizenship, and the constituent entities’ government bodies.

In accordance with the Agreement, from the day that the Republic of Crimea accedes to the Russian Federation and new constituent entities are formed and until January 1, 2015, a transitional period is in effect for settling issues of integrating the new federal constituent entities into Russia’s economic, financial, credit and legal systems, Russia’s system of government agencies, and matters of fulfilling military responsibilities and military service on the territories of the Republic of Crimea and the Federal City of Sevastopol.

Legislative and other regulatory legal acts of the Russian Federation are in effect on the territories of the Republic of Crimea and the Federal City of Sevastopol from the day of the Republic of Crimea’s accession to the Russian Federation and the formation of new federal constituent entities within Russia, unless otherwise specified by Russian legislation.

Regulatory legal acts in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status, shall be in effect on the territories corresponding to the Republic of Crimea and the Federal City of Sevastopol until the end of the transitional period or the adoption of a corresponding regulatory legal act by the Russian Federation and/or a regulatory legal act by the Republic of Crimea, a regulatory legal act by the Russian Federation and/or a regulatory legal act by the Federal City of Sevastopol.

Regulatory legal acts of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, the Republic of Crimea and the Federal City of Sevastopol that contradict the Constitution of the Russian Federation shall not be executed.

The Agreement is subject to ratification on the basis of Article 15 of the Federal Law On International Agreements of the Russian Federation and in accordance with Article 10 of the Agreement.

Yona Fares Maro
Institut d’études de sécurité – SA