WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), ranking member and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today introduced new 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 establishes a policy framework and strategies requirements to better diplomacy, development tools and security assistance to address the wide range of factors that contribute to terrorism and violent extremism.
“The TSCTP is an important tool in ensuring the United States does all that it can to help counter violent extremism and strengthen the resilience of marginalized communities in the Trans-Sahara region of Africa,” said Ranking Member Risch. “The Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership Program Act will enhance the effectiveness of this program by strengthening congressional oversight of the TSCTP and improving inter-agency coordination.”
“By establishing a comprehensive cooperation program that provides for the development of a strategic approach to our work with partners in the region, the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership Program Act of 2021 will vastly improve our efforts to root out terrorism and foster regional stability in the Sahel,” Chairman Menendez said. “Only through an integrated, balanced approach can we hope to confront deteriorating conditions in the region, and effectively safeguard our national security interests abroad.”
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.