By Victor Asije
Mr David Luna, a U.S. Senior Director for National Security and Diplomacy Anti-Crime Programmes, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, has identified measures for fighting corruption and other crimes across Africa.
Luna, who spoke at this year’s Senior Leaders’ Seminar hosted by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS), called for a crackdown on corruption at all levels.
According to him, illicit trafficking also remains the lifeblood of the numerous bad actors and networks, creating vulnerabilities for nations.
“We must crackdown on corruption at all levels and cut off the ability of kleptocrats, criminals, and terrorists to enjoy the fruits of their illicit enterprise.
“By combating corruption, we can also shut the door and keep violent extremists from exploiting their grievances to wage jihads. We must prevent narco-corruption from destroying countries like Guinea and Guinea-Bissau.
“In addition to our law enforcement and security cooperation, we also need to address underlying causes that are contributing to today’s conflicts and insecurity in Africa,’’ he said.
Luna said that it was imperative for Africa to address her current challenges of food and water security, poverty, economic integration and development, and other socio-economic issues.
He said that with careful, targeted assistance, and smart diplomatic engagement, African countries and the U.S. could jointly advance their common objectives and strategic interests.
“If we do not act decisively, the region will remain an exporter of terror and a provider of safe havens where terrorists from other areas of conflict all over the world find refuge.
“We must continue to leverage all national economic intelligence and diplomatic powers to make it riskier, harder, and costlier for threat networks to do business within Africa, and externally.
“We must stay connected and continue to harness our network of networks at every level – local, regional, and global, to win our fight against convergence crime,’’ Luna added.