"The experience of the United Arab Emirates could serve the Sahel countries for the prevention and reintegration of former terrorist combatants". Spécial

Timbuktu Institute-African Center for Peace Studies welcomes His Excellency the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates, Mr. Sultan Al-Harbi, within the framework of the field visits that the Emirati Ambassador is conducting these days to establish partnerships with cultural institutions and strategic research centers. The meeting with Timbuktu Institute team members was enhanced by the presence of the Minister, Advisor to the President of the Republic Dr. Abdoul Aziz Mbaye, Lt-Colonel Ibrahima Sy Mbow, representative, General Sayfoulaye SOW, Director General of CICO, Interministerial Framework for Coordination of Counter-Terrorism Operations  in Senegal as well as Mr. Fadel Gaye, President of the Literary Club of Senegal and a number of affiliated researchers. After welcoming the guests and the delegation accompanying the Emirati Ambassador, Dr. Bakary Sambe, Coordinator of the Observatory of Religious Radicalisms and Conflicts in Africa, reviewed the work and achievements of the Institute he has been leading for the past four years and which recently opened an office in Niamey.

The Emirati experience in counter-terrorism and reintegration

After an analysis of the security situation in the Sahel, Bakary Sambe insisted on the need for cooperation between the countries of the region and the UAE, which can make a great contribution in terms of prevention as well as operational aspects. Dr. Sambe explained that currently "the field of reintegration of former terrorists or ex-combatants and their rehabilitation in society remains a real problem for the countries of the region and that the UAE should support the States on this urgent issue through its various institutions of world renown but whose experience is not sufficiently known on the continent"

For his part, Ambassador Al-Harbi evoked the Emirati experience in the fight against terrorism, emphasizing the pioneering role played by the Hedaya Center of Abu Dhabi in this field but also other structures such as Sawab Center. He then returned to the quality of cooperation relations between the Republic of Senegal and the United Arab Emirates in this and other fields. The Emirati diplomat also spoke at length about the various initiatives taken by the authorities of his country, particularly in terms of inter-religious dialogue with the launch of the document on "Human Brotherhood" (al-ukhuwwa al-insâniyya) with the Sheikh of Al-Azhar and Pope Francis. He also recalled the importance that the United Arab Emirates attach to mediation and conflict prevention by giving the example of the launch of the initiative of the Council of Muslim Elders (Majlis Hukamâ' al-Muslimîn) supported by his country.

Then His Excellency Minister Aboul Aziz Mbaye had to welcome Ambassador Sultan Al-Harbi, and thanked him for his visit to "this distinguished center carrying out important work for Senegal and the region. In this context, Ambassador Al-Harbi expressed his desire to establish exchange relations and partnerships between the Timbuktu Institute and Emirati centers sharing the same objectives of promoting peace and supporting public policies in the areas of peace, security and stability.