March 24, 2021

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Approves New Legislation to Confront Growing Threat of Terrorism in the Sahel

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today praised the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s approval of S.615, their bipartisan legislation authorizing the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP) program to combat the growing threat of terrorism in the Sahel region of Africa. Entitled The Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership Program Act of 2021, the bipartisan legislation establishes in law a program to improve coordination between U.S. government agencies and bolster long-term capabilities for allies and partners in the region against terrorist threats.

The legislation, which now moves to the Senate Floor for final consideration, also establishes a policy framework and strategy requirements to strengthen diplomacy, development and security assistance tools to address the wide range of factors that contribute to terrorism and violent extremism. 

“I am thrilled to see the Foreign Relations Committee overwhelmingly approve this critical bipartisan legislation to improve our efforts in rooting out terrorism and fostering stability in the Sahel,” Chairman Menendez said. “Only through an integrated, balanced, and strategic approach that emphasizes cooperation among U.S. government agencies and with our regional partners will we be able to successfully counter such significant threats to American national security interests abroad.” 

“Committee passage of the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership Program Act today is an important step toward ensuring the United States is better able to support our partners to counter violent extremism and strengthen the resilience of marginalized communities in the Trans-Sahara region of Africa,” Ranking Member Risch said. “This legislation has bipartisan, bicameral backing, and I encourage my colleagues to support its passage in the full Senate.”

In addition to mandating U.S. government agency collaboration, bolstering Congressional oversight, and establishing the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership Program (TSCTP), the new legislation requires the State Department to develop comprehensive strategies to address security, economic, humanitarian, and governance issues for the entire Sahel-Maghreb region.

Find a copy of the bill HERE.


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