During the first two decades of the twenty-first century, terrorism and violent extremism have been the most worrying asymmetric security challenges facing the international community. The stability of States and the cohesion of societies are its central targets. Jihadist terrorism has targeted the West, however, in terms of damage, it has established itself and has violently manoeuvred in the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa (Sahelian, East and West). The increase in attacks has been accompanied by a diversification of operating methods (suicide bombers, charges and explosive devices, mass killings, coordinated assaults, ram trucks, mopeds, geographical fragmentation) and the people involved (children, women, adults). These attacks produce a lot of violence and are an opportunity for terrorist organizations to communicate and forcefully invest in the field of information and media.
Sahelian and West Africa continues to suffer the deadly action of jihadist terrorism in an increasing pace of attacks and a geographical spread approach never before seen, while improving their mode of action and holding populations hostage. Terrorists wage psychological warfare against local defence and security forces, to weaken their morale and drive them into desertion, particularly in Mali.
The increase in attacks particularly concerns cross-border areas, particularly the so-called "three borders" territory (Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso). Jihadist groups are expanding their scope of operations to weaken the coordinated struggle of African states and their international allies. Boko Haram has redeployed to Lake Chad despite his losses and continues to carry out occasional suicide attacks in northern Nigeria. All terrorist groups too often take advantage of journalists' difficulties in being on the ground to inform, order and supervise information about them and their actions.
In 2017, the Peace and Security Centre of Competence Sub-Saharan Africa organised two major conferences on the theme "Authorities, Media and Terrorism". It is on the basis of the results of these conferences that the FES PSCC Bureau decided to continue the reflection. This time, the option was taken to focus on the establishment of an Authority and Media Consultation Framework (ACPF) in / for the fight against terrorism. This workshop was attended by participants from Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire and Mauritania. They were representatives of state, non-state and international institutions (NGOs and CSOs), journalists, bloggers, members of the defence and security forces, experts on the subject, academics... These experts met to discuss and share their experiences.
Thus, the workshop aimed to create the basis for the establishment of a consultation and decision-making framework that brings together representatives of the relevant State institutions, journalists, as well as social media and civil society actors in order to make the fight against terrorism effective and coherent. The debates that followed allowed for constructive and fruitful exchanges. Indeed, among the recommendations, the following were highlighted: