By RFIPosted 18-11-2019Modified on 18-11-2019 at 08:27
It is a rendezvous now unavoidable, the Forum on peace and security in Africa opens this November 18 in Dakar, Senegal. Launched in 2013, in the wake of the French operation Serval in Mali, this meeting, which brings together political decision-makers, military personnel and researchers, is a moment of reflection on defense and security on the continent.
With our special correspondent in Dakar, Pierre Firtion
This sixth edition of the Forum on Peace and Security in Africa highlights multilateralism, but it is of course the situation in the Sahel that will dominate trade. Twenty-eight African Ministers of Defense and Foreign Affairs are announced, but also the French Prime Minister, Édouard Philippe and especially the Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani.
The strong signal of the Mauritanian president's presence
The participation of the Mauritanian president in this forum is indeed a strong signal, because the relations between Mauritania and Senegal have long been strained, especially regarding the distribution of fishing areas. This visit thus suggests an evolution on a security plan.
Former Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who is scheduled to meet with the French Prime Minister, has been opposed to Senegal's entry into the G5 Sahel. Will the arrival of his successor to this forum mark the beginning of a relaxation on this point? This is likely because French military sources explain that Dakar aims to support the countries involved in the joint force and even to play a vital role in this system. Clearly, Senegal should be called upon to integrate the P3S, the Partnership for Security and Stability in the Sahel, a parallel structure supporting the G5.
From security to irregular immigration
Édouard Philippe also participated in the fourth Franco-Senegalese intergovernmental seminar . In particular, there has been talk of immigration. Both countries reiterated their willingness to cooperate to fight irregular immigration. " Cooperation (...) can still improve in the logic of mutual commitment ," said the French Prime Minister, while according to Matignon, the pressure from Senegal remains high in terms of illegal immigration.
At the end of this seminar, four roadmaps were signed, both on migration and mobility, but also on security and defense issues, on education, as well as on the emergence of Senegal. Seven cooperation agreements were also initialed. Among these agreements, the sale in Senegal of three French deep-sea patrol boats was recorded, patrol boats to be equipped with missiles. Objective: to allow the country to protect its gas and oil fields.
Fight against cybercrime
Among the stakes of the Dakar Forum, the fight against cybercrime . In Dakar, Senegal, the National School of Regional Cybersecurity hosts a new African Cybersecurity Institute, funded by the Directorate for Security and Defense Cooperation (DCSD). The institute starts Monday, November 18, its training, for listeners of all countries of the continent.
Better identify the risks, know how to face cyber threats, learn how to use computer software, Senegal has proposed to become a crossroads in the field. Papa Gueye, Doctor of Private Law and Criminal Sciences, Director General of the National School of Regional Cyber Security: " Yes, it is a priority. Information and communication technologies are used for terrorist purposes to commit crimes and to spy. It is now a question for states of capabilities through appropriate training, different acts. "
Very practical training designed by Florent Bouvier. On the technical platform, equipped by the French cooperation, the director of studies of the African Institute of Cybersecurity prepares scenarios for the military and political decision makers of the continent: " You are here in a simulation room that allows you to play games role in cyber attacks, based on real-life experiences that have impacted production sites or civilian or military sites, to enable these departmental or IT staff to respond appropriately to similar attacks . "
Inaugurated a year ago, the Institute welcomes this week its first promotion, twenty or so listeners from the continent, says our correspondent in Dakar .
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