U.S. Congress voted to codify the partnership to combat trans-Saharan terrorism that aimed at maximizing coordination between the United States and North African countries in the field of counter-terrorism.
The law, which was overseen by the Republican, Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, McCaul, codified the Partnership Program for Combating Trans-Saharan Terrorism, which was launched in 2005 by the George W.Bush administration, to bolster the capacity to combat violent extremism in the Maghreb and West Africa.
The program includes several Maghreb and Sahel countries, including Algeria, Cameroon, Chad, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia.
Algeria Press Services (APS) said this law aims to codify all the programs and activities of the partnership of the United States of America in the region, especially with regard to the assistance and strengthening of military capabilities, border control and combating the financing of terrorism.
In order to ensure such coordination, the Secretary of State is required by this Act to consult with the US Chief of Information, the Treasury Secretary, the Justice Minister and other departments’ officials who are working on the Partnership Program as well.
The text of the law calls on the U.S. administration to provide a “comprehensive inter-agency strategy” in the six months following the passage of the law, which explains the United States’ counter-terrorism objectives in the Maghreb and West Africa.
The Congress, which wishes to control this initiative, orders the State Secretary to provide notice of each funds that will be allocated for this assistance, asserting that this notice must be forwarded within 15 days prior to the payment of the funds.
This Senate-sponsored law reflects Congress’s interest in these two regions, which are currently facing significant retaliation of foreign terrorist fighters, according to members of Congress.
In an article that was published earlier in September in “The National Interest”, the Congressman McCaul reported that 10,000 members of the terrorist organizations ISIS and Al Qaeda had returned to Africa.
He added that reductions in the number of armies and missions that are deployed in Central and Western Africa, that are planned, by the Pentagon are expected to make the partnership under this program more determined than in the past.