Italy calls on African task force to tackle growing ISIL threat | ISIL / ISIS news

Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio has called for the global alliance against ISIL to intensify action in the regions in which it operates.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Luigi Di Maio, has stated that he wants to set up an international task force to counter the threat of the spread of ISIL-affiliated groups (ISIS) across the African continent.

Co-chair of a meeting Friday of the global coalition fighting ISIL alongside US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Di Maio said there are fears that the group could “regain strength”. He also warned that the alliance would abandon guard, despite the fact that ISIL fighters had lost much of their territories in Iraq and Syria.

“With the support of the USA and several other partners, I have proposed the creation of a task force in Africa to identify and plant [ISIL]-terrorist threats in relation to the mainland, ”Di Maio told reporters, alongside Blinken.

“We must intensify the action taken by the coalition, not by changing our focus but by increasing the regions in which we operate – not just the Middle East, but Africa.”

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio speaks at press conference with US Secretary of State [Andrew Harnik / AFP]

Blinken said he supports the Italian initiative.

“Let me make it very clear that we strongly support Italy’s initiative to ensure that the coalition against Daesh [ISIL] he focuses his expertise on Africa, always keeping our eye close to Syria and Iraq, ”Blinken said.

“With all the reasons we have just cited, we have decided that this is of significant importance, and I think we have heard a strong consensus today from our coalition partners to do just that,” he added.

ISIL earns in Africa

ISIL affiliates have claimed gains in recent weeks in Nigeria, the Sahel, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), helping to offset significant contrasts in the Middle East, where the group initially gained a prime place.

Di Maio said African countries that were not initially part of the 83-member anti-ISIL coalition, including Burkina Faso, Ghana and Mozambique, had been invited to Monday’s meeting – the first meeting in person. of the alliance for two years.

The coalition said in a statement that it also welcomes nine members into the group – Central African Republic, DRC, Mauritania and Yemen – to unite the 78 countries and five organizations they already belong to.

Di Maio did not give further details on what the proposed workforce in Africa would do.

However, he would look to build on the work done by French forces in the Sahel region since 2013. President Emmanuel Macron said this month that France’s operation would end with troops now operating in the Sahel. broader framework of international efforts in the region.

Macron said details of the changes will be finalized in late June following consultations with the United States, European states involved in the region and the five Sahel countries – Mali, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso and Mauritania. .

Meanwhile, Blinken on Monday called on countries to recapture about 10,000 ISIL fighters detained in camps run by Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), saying the situation was “unsustainable.”

It also announced a new US $ 436 million contribution to help displaced people in Syria and surrounding countries.

“It cannot persist indefinitely. The United States continues to demand countries of origin, including coalition partners, to repatriate, rehabilitate, and where applicable, persecute its citizens,” Blinken said in opening comments to at a meeting.

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