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GLOBAL TERRORISM AND AFRICA:

COUNTERING TERRORISM THROUGH EDUCATION


By Prof. Mkpa Agu Mkpa, Vice Chancellor, Abia State University, Nigeria
Delivered on May 1, 2010 in Accra at Kofi Annan Peace Keeping Training
Center
A program of Global Agenda and All-Africa Students Union, AASU
Introduction

When the second world war came to an end in 1945 many people including some
world leaders felt that the worst was over regarding global violence, threat and their
ugly consequences especially in terms of human life and human rights. However, it
soon became clear that such feeling was misplaced as new form of violence
“terrorism” arose to take the centre stage and pose a serious global security threat.
At the present, terrorism has become an important, albeit, a negative, feature of
international relations. Consequently, both state and non-state actors have
increasingly concerned themselves with the thought about this phenomenon
especially in terms its meaning, origin, causes, manifestations and impacts.
Additionally, such other questions as to how to combat it, and the viability of the use
of education to counter it. including the question as to what factors do compel sane
persons to become terrorists even to the level of accepting to become suicide
bombers, are posed.

It is necessary to note that terrorism is not really a brand-new-phenomenon as it


dates far back in human history. Indeed scholars have for long recognized terrorist
groups as global actors with considerable influence upon the course of events both
for good and for bad. However, what makes the modern terrorism appear as if it
were new, is its global visibility occasioned by globalization and accentuated by the
availability of sophisticated weapons of mass destruction coupled with the
revolution in the information communication technology in forms of GSM,
computer and internet facilities.

In the main, the central task of this paper is to among others, bring to the fore the
meaning origin, causes, impact, manifestations as well as strategies and tactics to
combat and counter global terrorism including the possibility of the use of education
as a viable tool to counter it.

Meaning and Manifestations of Terrorism

The concept – “terrorism” has been defined in many different ways by many
scholars such that, at the present, there is a plethora of definitions of terrorism. Thus
for example the UN defines it as any act intended to intimidate a population or
compel a government or international body to act…” In his contribution, Merari
(1994) defines it more elaborately as:

… the use of violence by sub-national group or clandestine state


agents for obtaining political … goals especially when violence is
intended to intimidate or otherwise affect the emotions, attitudes
and behavior of a target audience considerably larger than the
actual victims.
1
While not doubting the efficacy and explanatory adequacy of the above definitions
of terrorism, it is necessary to point out their deficiency of not reflecting terrorism’s
two most essential qualities namely its “cataclysmic” and “premeditated” character.
Therefore, we shall in this paper define terrorism to mean.

Any premeditated cataclysmic violence unleashed on a population


by a sub-national group or clandestine government agent(s) to
cajole or intimidate or compel government or international body to
act or behave in a particular way as desired by its perpetrators.

An appreciation of the foregoing shows that in addition to the destruction of life and
property, terrorism aims to instill fear and induce psychological trauma in the
surviving members of the target population. Terrorism manifests in forms of missile
attack, of suicide bombing, kidnapping/hostage taking, armed robbery, arson, etc.

Origin of Global Terrorism

It is probably impossible to give a definitive answer as to when and where terrorism


originated. This is even moreso because people tend to have different views as to
what constitutes terrorism/terrorist act especially given the currency of the aphorism
that “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter”. However some scholars
have hazarded some answers. Citing Rapport (1984) Chris Ojukwu suggested that
terrorism.

… could be traced back to the period when Jewish zealots employed


terrorism to resist the Romans by killing many Roman soldiers and
destroying their property. It could also be traced to when Muslim
Shiites and Sunni fought each other… during a period in religious
circle when dying in the service of God, dying while killing the
assumed enemies of God (Allah) was the order of the day (in Okoli,
A.M 2009:227).
However this rather ancient type terrorism soon transmuted into an efficacious
instrument for attaining political, religious and ideological ends. The origin of this
modern version of terrorism can be traced to France during that country’s
Revolution (1793-1794) during which period Maximillien Robes-Pierre introduced
state – sponsored terrorism against opposition members (Ojukwu, C.C. in A.M.
Okolie, 2009) This government sponsored terrorism was carried out in order to
maintain state power by suppressing anti-government elements in the society.

The French example was followed by Russia especially during the October 1917
Revolution. During this period the Bolshevicks led by Lenin and later Stalin
introduced government-sponsored terrorism to maintain government control by
systematically intimidating and frightening the Soviet society.

Cuba soon joined the league of societies in which clandestine government agents’
unleashed violence on the entire society following the emergence of Dr. Fidel
Castro. Cuban government not only employed terrorism as an instrument of
domestic control but also went on to aid its internationalization when in 1966 it
hosted the Soviet-sponsored tri-continental conference. The conference brought
together numerous terrorist and liberation groups from virtually all continents; 2
promoting and justifying terrorism as a legitimate instrument for attaining political
ends both within states and the international system.

From this period onwards terrorist groups began to co-operate among themselves
working together and building alliances, linkages and networks as well as sharing
facilities, intelligence and mutual financial assistance. Citing Padelford et al (1976)
Chris Ojukwu (in Okolie, A.M. 2009:228) highlights the numerous alliances built by
terrorist organizations shortly after the 1966 tri-continental conference among then
terrorist groups. According to his report.

… a German group – The Red Army Faction allied with a


Palestinian group – The Black September; a French group – the
Action Direct allied with an Italian group – The Red Army Faction
and Red Army Brigade; a Japanese group – the Japanese Red
Army allied with another Palestinian group – The Popular Front
for the Liberation of Palestine.

The trend of alliances and co-operations among terrorist groups sparked off by the
1966 conference in Cuba has continued even up to the present with the result that
linkages and networks among terrorist groups have become not only complex and
sophisticated but also far-reaching and global thereby making these terrorist groups
and their activities intractable. The case of Osama bin Ladin’s al – Qaeda with its
linkages and collaborations with other terrorist groups especially in the Middle-East,
is case in point.

Incidence of Global Terrorism

Terrorism is a global phenomenon which has occurred in virtually all parts of the
globe - a fact which further attests to its global nature and character. The global
character of terrorism is further attested to by the fact that victims of terrorist acts
include nationals of several countries. However in terms of its frequency of
occurrence, terrorism is higher in some parts of the globe than in others. Besides
terrorism has not only continued to be on the increase, but also has continued to gain
in sophistication and complexity – a state of affairs accounted for by the spectacular
improvements in and proliferation of weapon systems especially those of mass
destruction as well as the advancement in information communication technology.

Some specific cases of terrorism and places they occurred include the one carried
out in Germany by the Black September Organization in 1972 at the Munich
Olympics in which eleven (11) Israelis were killed. Another case was the October
1983 terrorist bombing of the United States Marine Battalion Landing Team
Headquarters at the Beirut International Airport, which claimed twenty-four (24)
military personnel while over one hundred (100) others were wounded. This attack
was carried out by a rather faceless middle-Eastern (Arab) terrorist group.
Throughout the remaining period of the 1970s and the 1980s terrorism increased
tremendously as many terrorism acts world-wide were recorded. The 1990s saw
increased up-surge in terrorism both in terms of number of terrorist acts and in terms
of fatalities. In 1995 there were over 440 terrorist acts world-wide especially in
Germany and Turkey where the Kurdistan Workers Party – (PKK) launched series
of attacks (US, Dept. Of state Report 1995). The State Department further provides 3
more statistics as follows: The total number of fatalities were 165 death and 6, 291
wounded and of the total number of the wounded, over 5500 were the victims of the
Tokyo subway gas attack. In 1996, 296 acts of terrorism were recorded world-wide
with a total of 311 deads and 2652 wounded. Of these, one single bombing carried
out by the Tamil Tigers killed 90 persons while over 1400 persons were wounded. In
1997, 304 terrorism acts were recorded producing 221 deaths while 693 persons
were wounded. The year 1998 saw 273 international terrorist attacks which led to
the death of 741 persons while 5,952 were wounded, in some cases very badly. In
1999, there were 392 global terrorism acts. These attacks which were evenly spread
across all regions of the world produced a total of 233 deaths and 706 wounded. The
year 2000 saw an increase in global terrorism with Columbia being the most
prominent due to the upsurge in bombings of oil pipelines by two local terrorist
groups. Columbia pipeline received over 152 bombings. On the whole there were a
total of 423 terrorist attacks producing over 405 deaths and 791 wounded. The year
2001 recorded a total of 346 international terrorist acts with Columbia alone
recording over 152 attacks in form of pipeline bombings. Other areas were the
United States and Middle. On the whole, the 2001 terrorist attacks produced a total
of 3547 death and 1080 wounded and according to report 90 percent of the fatalities
came from the September 11 Al-Qaeda terrorist attack in the United States launched
at the World Trade centre in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington and
Pennsylvania. People who died in the September 11 attack involved nationals of
over 90 countries. In 2002, according to the US, Department of State, there were 199
terrorist attacks producing 725 deaths and 2, 013 wounded. The attacks were spread
across the regions of the world. The year 2003 recorded a total of 208 terrorist
attacks. Resulting from these attacks were 625 deaths and 3646 wounded.

The numerous incidents of terrorism discussed above are summarized in table 1 that
follows:

TABLE 1: SOME GLOBAL INCIDENTS OF TERRORISM


YEAR TERRORIST ACTS NUMBER OF NUMBER OF
DEATHS WOUNDED
1995 440 165 6291
1996 296 311 2652
1997 304 221 693
1998 273 741 5952
1999 392 233 706
2000 423 405 791
2001 346 3547 1080
2002 199 725 2013
2003 208 625 3646
2004 NA NA NA

Source: United States’ Department of State, Report,


In the case of Iraq alone, the numbers of deaths by terrorist attacks by suicide
bombing stand as follows:

Table 2: NUMBER OF CASUALTIES BY SUICIDE BOMBING IN


IRAQ
Year Death 4
2003 603
2004 6 801
2005 3247
2006 3902
2007 4882
2008 2028
2009 498
21,961
Source http://enwikipedia.org/wiki/casualitiesofIraqwar

Numbers of suicide bombers who died by blowing themselves alongside victim


were as follows

TABLE 3: NUMBER OF SUICIDE BOMBERS WHO BLEW


THEMSELVES UP IN IRAQ
Year Death
2003 32
2004 140
2005 478
2006 297
2007 442
2008 257
2009 73
1719

http://enwikipedia.org/wiki/casualtiesofIraqWar

Total Number of deaths from suicide bombing in Iraq = 23680 as at 2009 December

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Dimensions of Terrorism

Viewed from the angle of sponsorship two dimensions of terrorism can be identified
– state-sponsored and non-state sponsored.

1. State-sponsored terrorism is one in which the State uses a clandestine agency


to unleash sudden destructive violent actions on a person or a population with
the intention to cajol, and intimidate in order to attain certain political ends.
Notable examples include the systematic mass killings of the Jews by the Nazi
regime between 1939 and 1945 especially through the notorious gass-chambers
(Ojukwu, C in Okoli, AM 2009) the mass murder of the Kurds in Iraq by
President Saddam Hussein with the use of gass/chemical weapons, and the
killing of millions of peasant class of Kulaks in Ukraine by the Stalin regime in
then Soviet Union. Besides, the bombing of an American Airline over Lokerbe
in which over 260 people died by a terrorist group believed to be linked to, and
sponsored by the Libyan authorities is another case in point.
2. The non-state sponsored terrorism is one undertaken by individuals and
groups who, for a number of reasons, are unhappy and disenchanted with
existing order and hence seek to accomplish their political objectives outside the
law and possibly obliterate the status quo anté.

Impact/Dangers of Terrorism

The dangers arising from global terrorism are varied and multidimensional as they
affect the social, economic and political dimensions of human existence.

Social Impact

In addition to the fatalities caused by it, global terrorism creates perpetual fear,
anxiety and uncertainty in the minds of men and groups across the globe. Besides,
by generating feelings of anxiety and uncertainty, terrorism leads to stress – related
mental problems in people generally and persistent trauma in people who survived
its acts.

Another aspect of the social danger of global terrorism is that it, at some time, leads
to displacement and exodus of people from their homes and disruption of social life
of people thereby, in certain cases, making people refugees within and outside there
countries. The case of Iraq where terrorist suicide bombings sponsored by Al-
Qaueda and other sectarian groups led to heavy refugee problem is a case in point.
Indeed the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimated the total
number of Iraqi refugees to be more than 1.6 million in 2006 and by 2008 the figure
stood at a total of 4.7 million (Office of the UNHCR).

Another set of danger of global terrorism include food, health and sanitation
problems usually associated with refugee situation and which threaten the lives of
refugees. Added to the above are those of “hate crimes” which are directed against
innocent people but who perhaps because or religion, or even dressing, are
stereotypically assumed to be related to or associated with people believed to be
perpetrators of terrorist acts. It was reported in some quarters that a number of
“Middle – Easterners” and other Middle Eastern-looking” people in the United 6
States, were attacked in the days following the September 11 attacks on WTC
(Internet Source).

Political Impact

Terrorism, by its nature is virtually, in all cases, aimed at attaining political


goals/objectives. Global terrorism can and has been known to lead to conditions of
chaos, anarchy and political instability. The cases of terrorist bombings in Sirilanka
by the Tamil Tigers, in Afghanistan by the Talibans, and even Pakistan as well as in
Iraq itself by the Al-Quaeda since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, are only a few
examples of the political dangers and effects of global terrorism. Ofcourse in all
these countries development has remained impeded. This is not surprising because
no meaningful development can ever take place under conditions of uncertainty.

Economic Effects
The economic dangers arising from global terrorism are numerous and indeed very
obvious. It can lead to unemployment arising from loss of jobs occasioned by
terrorist attacks. The case of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the WTC is an example.
According a report:

The attacks had a significant economic impact on the United State


and world markets. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE),
American Stock Exchange (AMEX) and NASDAQ did not open on
September 11 and remained closed until September 17… and when
they reopened the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) stock
market index fell by 684 points or 7.1 percent to 8921 points… By
the end of the week the DJIA had fallen to an unprecedent low of
1369.7 points or 14.3 percent… Besides, it led to serious financial
crisis as US stocks lost $1.4 trillion in value for the week…
(Internet)

In terms of physical economic damages, the 9/11 attacks on WTC involving the
cleaning up of the rubble, repairing and replacing damaged infrastructure, rebuilding
the WTC, restoring other damaged buildings were estimated to be over $31.75
billion (Internet).

In the area of employment, the 9/11 attacks led to the loss of:
…about 430,000 job-months and $2.8billion in wages in three
months following the attacks, The New York City’s GDP…declined
by $ 27.3 billion for the last three months of 2001 and all of 2002…
some small businesses near the WTC were also destroyed displacing
about 18,000 of them… (Internet).

Our analysis above shows that the economic impact of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in
the United State was enormous. And given the globalized nature of world economy,
the impact also reverberated world wide affecting all parts of the world.

Causes of Global Terrorism

7
The two most important causes of global terrorism can be briefly noted. The first
which is economically rooted is related to the disaffection over the distribution and
control of world resources and wealth which is perceived to be overly skewed to the
advantage of the Western societies at the detriment of the third-world societies. This
disproportionate advantage was achieved by western societies through unfair
manipulation of international economy including trade via the instrumentalities of
multinational corporations, and other multilateral financial and trade institutions
such as the IMF, and World Bank among others. That this is one of the causes of
terrorism is eloquently stated by Osama Bin Ladin when he accused the US of
“occupying lands of Islam and plundering its riches…” (Bin Ladin Oct. 2002 letter
to America).

The second cause of the September 11 attack on the US was religious


fundamentalism perpetrated by Islamic fanatics like Bin Ladin and his Al - Qaeda
group who accused the U.S of paganism and quoting the Koran as saying “Slay the
pagan wherever ye find them” (Bin Ladin, Ibid). Related to religion, another cause
of the September 11 attack on US was because of the US support for Israel.
According to Abdulaziz al Omari one of the terrorists of 9/11,

“my work is a message… to the infidels to leave the Arabian


Peninsula… and stop giving a hand of help to the coward Jews in
Palestine” (internet source 9/11 attack: 14)

Terrorism in Africa

As earlier on noted, terrorism is a global phenomenon which knows no boundaries


and occurs virtually everywhere, including Africa. Besides whenever and wherever
terrorism occurs its victims include nationals of many countries as it does not
discriminate.

Africa has experienced many cases of terrorism such as the bombing of the United
States’ embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 and other similar examples.
However the commonest acts of terrorism in Africa are those, of hostage-taking,
kidnapping, abduction of people for ransom, the blowing up of oil pipelines all of
which are common in Nigeria today, hijack of ships as is the case among the Somali
terrorist groups as well as those of religious and ethnic mass killings in Northern
parts of Nigeria by fundamentalist groups such as Matasine, Boko Haram and others
known to have links with Al-Qaeda and the Taliban whose attacks have claimed
thousands of life and led to the destruction of properties worth several billions of
Naira. Added to these are those of armed robbery.
In general, terrorism in Africa especially the local brew perpetrated by African
elements is yet to graduate to the level of suicide bombing. This is because the
African terrorists only fight for the improvement of their material economic
conditions rather than abstract principles. The only case of a Nigerian attempting to
blow up an American Plane cannot be taken to represent a national portrait on
terrorism.

Causes of Terrorism in Africa


8
Terrorism has very many causes. Terrorism in Africa especially as perpetrated by
local terrorist elements is largely motivated by economic reasons with the result that
it is safe to say that causes of terrorist acts by Africans are economically rooted – a
state of affairs resulting from the failure of political leadership in Africa.

1. Therefore, the principal causes of terrorism in Africa include bad political


leadership and which manifests in.

a. Ethnically oriented authoritative distribution system which encourages the


allocation of the society’s values and resources in a way that is overly
skewed to the advantage of certain ethnic groups/ regions of the ruling
political leaders at the detriment of the other ethnic groups/regions of their
countries.

b. Greed and insensitivity on the part of political leaders whose stock in trade is
rapacious pursuit of selfish interests of primitive accumulation.

c. Mass poverty inflicted on the citizens by the political leaders who collude
with some external forces to oppress their citizens.

d. Political marginalization of some ethnic/tribal groups in such a manner that


ensures that members of such ethnic/tribal groups do not access positions of
national power and leadership.

e. Deliberate denial of the citizens of their political right to choose their leaders
through constitutionally approved means. This is perpetrated through the
manipulation of electoral process in a way that subverts the peoples will.

f. Besides political leadership, another very important cause of terrorism in


Africa is religious fundamentalism and extremism.

Efforts at Combating Global Terrorism

Various efforts have been made to combat global terrorism. Some of these include
those made by the United Nations, the United States and even the OAU/AU.

The United Nations Effort

The efforts by the UN to combat global terrorism were generated by the Security
Council as embodied in the Resolution 1373 of September 2001. The Resolution
stipulated among others the following obligations which member states were
required to apply in the fight against terrorism.

1. Criminalizing the financing of terrorism.

2. Freezing terrorist assets.

3. Denying terrorists safe haven; and


9
4. Bringing terrorists to justice” (Imobighe ibid).

This effort did not quite yield significant success due to the reluctance of some
member States who felt that the approach did not address the “underlining
conditions propelling people to take to terrorism” (T.A. Imobighe NIPSS 2010
Conference Paper). Apparently realizing the inadequacy of Resolution 1373 of
September 2001, the UN through its
General Assembly came up with a new approach which was unanimously passed on
8 September 2006 as United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy”. This
strategy covered…

measures to address the condition conducive to the spread of


terrorism; measures to prevent and combat terrorism; measures to
improve member states’ capacity to prevent and combat
terrorism…, and measures to ensure respect for human rights for
all and the rule of law as fundamental basis… in the fight against
terrorism, (T.A. Imobighe 2010 NIPSS Conf. Paper).

However, in spite of the new approach, global terrorism has not shown any sign of
waning rather it has continued to be on the increase. This is evident in the continued
suicide bombings in Iraq, the bombings of an Egypt Hotel, the bombings in
Pakistan, the recent suicide bombings in Russia, among many others.

The United States Efforts

By far the most elaborate efforts at countering global terrorism were those initiatated
by the United States President George W. Bush who after the 9/11 terrorist attack on
WTC formally declared war on terror. In his declaration made on 20 September
2001 some nine days after the 9/11 attack, President Bush said:

… the war would begin with Al Quaeda but will not end until every
terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and
defeated… we shall pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to
terrorists. Every nation in every region… has a decision to make.
Either you are with us or you are with terrorists (Bush, September
2-, 2001).

President Bush’s war declaration received the (US) Congress backing by passing
into law “War Powers Resolution Authorization Bill”. Armed with this over
sweeping war powers, the President in his “State of the Union Address” of 9
October 2001 not only identified Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, North Korea and Syria as
constituting “axis of evil” but also went on to formally announce his adoption of the
“doctrine of pre-emption”. The “doctrine of pre-emption” which formed the “plank”
of the President’s counter-terrorism strategy was one which he felt gave the United
States, the authority, under Article 51 of the UN Chapter, to launch military attack
against any country believed to constitute a threat to its security. To put his strategic
plan into effect, the President first intensified his effort to build bi-lateral and
multilateral security arrangement in his war on terrorism. And, as expected with
little effort he secured the co-operation of US staunchest ally, Britain under Tony
Blair and with the use of a combination of reward and subtle threat, President Bush 10
also secured the support of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and other moderate Gulf States as
well as some Western countries and some African States. Shortly after these the
President, using anti-government forces effortlessly moved on to overthrow the
Taliban government which was accused of habouring Osama Bin Ladin and his Al-
Qaeda terrorist network. Shortly after Afghanistan, President Bush launched attack
on Iraq which saw the overthrow of President Saddam Hussein. But several years
after the military overrunning of Iraq “predictable” peace is yet to be achieved in
Iraq as suicide bombings have continued to claim hundreds of thousands of Iraq
lives.

In all, although some people have tended to argue that war on global terrorism has
not been won, but President Bush’s war on terrorism was quite successful in that he
was able to, not only weaken and disorganize global terrorist groups, and their
networks but also ensured the security of the US and its citizens right from after the
9/11 attack and throughout his presidency and even up to the present.

The OAU/AU Efforts

Africa’s involvement in efforts to combat global terrorism has been quite


long standing even though confused and ineffectual. For example apart from
condemning earlier terrorist acts such as the mass murder of Jews by Nazi German
regime and the Munich Olympic terrorist attack against Israelis, Africa only makes
speeches in condemnation of terrorism. Africa, either as a result of its economic and
political weakness or because of lack of political will on the apart of the political
leaders or because of lack of agreement as to the meaning of terrorism, has failed to
make any impact against terrorism.

COUNTERING TERRORISM THROUGH EDUCATION

Given that the efforts of the United Nation Organization, United States and other
nations have failed to achieve a terror-free world, the need to re-strategize- to deploy
education, the weapon of the mind and soul-becomes not only desirable but in fact
imperative if success in eradicating global terrorism must be achieved. We believe
that the education of the mind and soul will better address the problem in a more
enduring manner that guarantees the present and future generations of the world
communities the much desired tranquil environment. The questions arise as to the
form and content of the said education being advocated. Perhaps the first pertinent
question would be: why should we in Africa, plan, or think of planning to counter
terrorism through education?

NEED FOR AFRICAN NATIONS TO PLAN COUNTERING TERRORISM


THROUGH EDUCATION

As the world continues to shrink into a smaller global village with development in
information and Communication Technology (ICT), events that take other parts. Just
as products of technology are imparted into the continent from the developed world,
so are varieties of life styles, belief, philosophies and practices. Suicide bombing
may, before along also penetrate the elicit such behavior are rearing their ugly heads 11
in parts of Africa. Religious fanaticism, unfair distribution of nation’s resources,
unemployment, extreme hunger and diverse socio-political philosophies are evident
to a greater or lesser extent in various African Countries.

A distributing reality is that if, and when suicide bombing gets entrenched in Africa
as a terrorist strategy, the most popular countries of the continent are at a greater risk
of suffering greater, greater casualties than even Iraq that is relatively more sparsely
populated. Furthermore our security outfits in Africa may be unable to confront the
terrorists head-on, given the usual superiority of the fire-power of their (terrorists)
deadly weapons. The ability even to intercept such terrorists on our highways is a
remote possibility given the inefficiency, lack of courage and diminished integrity
on the part of the security men on the highways in several African countries.

Obviously too, most African countries lack the resources required to wage a
sustained war on terror within their national spaces and in the Continent at large.

It therefore becomes wise for Africa countries to embrace the approach that deploys
education as an effective instrument into combat terrorism. It is better to employ
education to address the problem than to allow the problem confront us in a manner
that throws everyone into confusion and disarray. If we successfully do we shall be
sparing ourselves the identified disadvantages of terrorism already identified above.

NATURE OF DESIRED EDUCATION

We perceive that given the nature of persons who at the moment are usually
involved in global terrorism namely, the youth and adults, and the need to steer the
future generations away from that malaise, a comprehensive educational structure is
needed. We propose formal and informal as well as non-formal education.

Formal Education refers to the structured curriculum content that is delivered in


the formal school system, from the pre-primary through the tertiary level. On a
global scale, definite subject matter content needs to be offered to primary,
secondary and tertiary level learners to combat the problem of terrorism.

The main goal of such instruction is to expose to the pupils and students values and
information necessary to wheel them away from the temptation towards terrorism in
all its ramifications. It also guides future leaders against policies and actions that
may elicit terrorist response from a sub population.

More specifically the content of instruction would include among others things:

 Causes and incidence of local, regional and global terrorism. This


knowledge enlightens us on what we should not do if we must avoid terrorism.

 Impact of terrorism on local national and global economic, social


and political development. This will make us/learners know how terrorism affects
everyone negatively.

 Ideological differences and world peace. This explains how we can


reconcile various ideologies and achieve peace out of the diverisities 12
 Value of human life. Knowledge of sacredness of human life will
dissuade people from risking lives.

 Human rights: their protection and benefit; their violation and results.
When human rights are protected, threats of terrorism are reduced.

 Unemployment: Problems solutions and impact. When people are


gainfully employed they won’t like to waste their lives by taking risks on terrorism.

 Peace, mediation and conflict resolution strategies and techniques.


When conflicts are wisely resolved, there will be no need for violence.

 Wealth creation and entrepreneurship. Self employed persons would


not desperately enlist as terrorist.

 Good governance/responsible leadership and followership.


responsible leadership will render terrorism unnecessary since needs shall be met.

 Concepts of justice, equity and fair play in leadership. The


application of these concepts in leadership will guarantee peace in the world.

 Resource control and equitable distribution. If leaders would learn to


distribute resources equitably there would be no need for agitation that may
degenerate to terrorist acts.

The main goals of this education are, first, to expose the obvious negative
consequences of terrorism in all its forms, and secondly, to teach both the young and
adults useful knowledge that will orientate them towards rejecting to be lured
towards acts of terrorism. They need to learn alternative and better ways of
resolving conflicts and the fact that human lives are sacrosanct. They also need to
learn to address/avoid behavior that lead to terrorism.

In designing a curriculum, a vital principle of organization of learning experiences


and content is to go from the known to the unknown and from the simple to the
complex. The implication is that the topics as listed above would have to be
organized in such a way that the learners would have to be exposed to simpler
aspects of the topic before the more complex ones. In fact curriculum experts
believe that any topic, however complex it appears to be could taught to learners of
any age or developmental standing provided that the rights, appropriate or suitable
concepts that tally with the age of the learners are used. To this end, content or
topics that are appropriate for each age or class level should be developed and taught
to the group by teachers specially trained for the task. This is possible. From the
primary through the tertiary level.

A decision can be made between two options of either creating a new subject out of
the listed content/subject matter on the one hand, or infusing the subject matters into
already existing school subject(s). The details of the procedure for achieving the
above namely: decision on what should be taught in what class level, the sequence 13
of presentation of what should be taught (ie what comes before what and why); what
combination of subject matter and values to be taught at each school level (pre-
primary through the tertiary) belong to expects in the field of educative and so may
not bother us at this stage.

Informal Education refers to that unstructured fund of information, learning,


teaching, or value orientation to which learners are exposed at home, in religious
organization or in the wider society by adults or some significant others. It is
sometimes called “socialization”

The implication of this type of education is that parents, adult members of the
society, religious leaders/instructors and other knowledgeable members of the
society constitute the “teachers” The effectiveness of informal education in
combating terrorism depends largely on such factors as:
1. How knowledgeable about terrorism the “teachers” are

2. How willing the teachers are to create time to discuss the subject matter with
their children, wards, congregations, religious adherents or other populations
or sub-populations who need the information;

3. How committed and enthusiastic the would-be teachers are towards


countering terrorism.

Not much of success may be anticipated through informal education unless a


definite programme of sensitization of the teachers/stake holders is undertaken. This
could be achieved through the third form of education- the non-formal.

The Non-Formal Education is the type of education usually provided by some


institutions that are not schools. Examples are the mass-media and some Non-
Governmental Organizations (NGO), Community Based Organization (CBO) and
Faith Based Organizations (FBO). These organizations would be expected to select
the content that will be useful in achieving the desired goal of dissuading the youth
from engaging in terrorist activities.

Drawing from the list of recommended topics the mass media organizations, be
effective in propagating necessary information that would be effective in educating
youths on the need to abstain from terrorist propensities.

The whole idea in the application of education is to infuse into the psyche of world
citizens on a permanent basis, the facts of sacredness of human lives; the fact that
peace is a sine-qua-non for development, and that we all both leaders and followers
have vital roles to play in guaranteeing global peace.

We believe that given the global and escalating nature of terrorism, a comprehensive
approach to its solution through education should include the following, among
others:

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 The Mass Media’s Involvement through radio and television jingles in all
major languages and possibly dialects in Afriac. The jingles should point out
the evils of terrorism and dissuade people from enlisting in films, concerts,
and plays to be sponsored and produced to expose the global effects of
terrorism so that the youth would reject it.

Governments to sponsor the production of posters that warn against


participation in terrorist acts; cartoons, drawings and painting conveying well
thought-out messages against terrorism, to complement the other suggested
strategies; Newspapers, magazine and journal publications all aimed at
exposing the evils of terrorism and cautioning Governments/leaders to avoid
policies and actions that may elicit terrorist responses.

 Government could commission the production of reading texts, novels


periodicals etc aimed at steering individuals away from terrorist acts. A good
or well-written novel may need to be translated into many other languages to
increase the scope of its consumption. Governments would need to work out
strategies for infusing the anti-terrorist agenda into religious organizations so
that such teaching becomes an in-built feature in the doctrine of the various
organizations. This could be done through prominent clerics in the various
organizations. This is possible only when such clerics are convinced or
induced to accept the new doctrine of world peace. Seminars of Clerics will
do the miracle

In the formal school type, we can predict success in the use of the curriculum
to convey the appropriate lessons/ideas if government makes it a policy that
the emerging school subject should be examinable say by the West African
Examinations Council or any other recognized Examination body. There
could be essay contests. Drama contests, art contests and the like. In school
each targeted at stamping out terrorism. Poems, playlets, recitations by
primary/secondary schools can help

Funding: The foregoing would require substantial funding to actualize. To


this end, we recommend financial support from appropriate United Nations
Agencies, Governmental Organizations that can support such a programme,
philanthropists and persons of goodwill. Where the will exists, the way open
up.

Research: needs to be undertaken at tertiary education levels about such


issues as:
 A comparative analysis incidence of terrorism in parts of the world.

 The nature/characteristics of persons who are involved in terrorist


acts.

 Number of lives lost under various forms of terrorist acts.

 The forms of leadership styles and their relationship to cases of


terrorism. 15
 Motivating stimuli towards terrorism ,etc

National Institutes for Strategic Studies should focus attention on research on


terrorism and publicize their findings for global consumption.

When research is conducted on the subject of terrorism, we are better guided to


function with greater accuracy and precision even as we endorse the application of
education to combat terrorism.

I have chosen to take certain factors for granted in our prescription


of the role education can and should play in the fight against terrorism.
One of such factors is that of free access to good quality education. We
regard the provision of affordable, if not reasonably free and qualitative
education a right of all African children. The poverty levels of many
African nations have kept many school-age children out of our schools.
Even when many pupils/students are in schools, the quality of
instructions they receive casts doubts as to the possibility of attaining
the anticipated goals of education.

No segment of the population should be denied the opportunity of good


education. If we expect adult members of societies to correctly read and
understand newspapers, fliers, novels, pamphlets, pictures, cartoons and
notices that are related to terrorism , then a functional mass literacy ,
adult and non-formal educational structure ought to be put in place and
sustained by governments at all levels.

CONCLUSION

We believe, from the foregoing, that although global terrorism would appear
intractable, given the escalating incidence of reported surprise attacks, bombing, air
and ground strikes, hostage taking/kidnapping, etc all hopes are not lost. Strategies
of sanctions, force, and war have failed to restore a free/safe world. We need to try
the instrumentality of education. We have tried to prescribe the nature of education
adopt to include the formal, informal and non-formal types. It remains for us to
reach a consensus that we actually need to adopt this approach globally.

Can we convince the nations that George Bush described as the “Axis of Evil” that
there is need to stamp out terrorism? Are those nations prepared to embrace our
prescribed
peace- education? Are world governments at the local, national, regional and
international levels prepared to lead with fairness and equity such that sub-groups do
not feel so disaffected as to resort to terrorism? Answers to these question/issues are
pertinent in determining the efficacy of education in combating global terrorism.

Thank you very much for your attention.

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Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Conference On Political Stability and Democratic
Imperative in a Dynamic International Environment at the International
Conference Centre Abuja April 13-15, 2010.

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Merari, A. (1994) “Terrorism” in Encyclopedia of Human Behaviour Vol. 4.

Offiong, D.A. (2001) Globalization: Post-neodependency and Poverty in Africa,


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