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Evaluation of the terrorist attack in Algeria

By Norway - Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Evaluation of the terrorist attack in Algeria
Evaluation of the terrorist attack in Algeria
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OSLO, Norway, March 22, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- “The terror attack against the gas production facility at In Amenas in January shocked us all. Five Norwegian citizens lost their lives. The assault was the largest ever mounted against Norwegian interests in peacetime. We have therefore conducted a thorough review of the way Norwegian authorities handled the crisis,” says Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide.

The responsibility for dealing with the emergency, including the attack itself, was Algeria's. The main task of Norwegian authorities was to help preserve the lives and health of Norwegian citizens. This was done through direct contact with the Algerian authorities, specific offers of assistance to Algeria, and close coordination with the crisis-management systems of other countries and Statoil.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs led and coordinated the Norwegian authorities' efforts during the crisis. After major events, the Ministry generally performs an evaluation of its own response. Due to the large scale of this terror attack, the review was expanded to cover the crisis-management performance of all relevant Norwegian public authorities. In its evaluation, the Ministry focused in particular on the collaboration between ministries, agencies and other actors with respect to responsibilities, information flow and decision-making as well as the coordination of operational measures in Algeria.

The evaluation report concludes that the Norwegian authorities handled the crisis In Amenas in a good way. Even so, the report notes that cooperation between agencies and ministries can be improved when it comes to effective resource usage, classified information exchange and updated planning.

“In a crisis, it is important that we act wisely and use our resources as effectively as possible,” Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide says. “The evaluation report provides important lessons that we will use within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in our dealings with partners.”

In the wake of the Algeria crisis, Norwegian authorities are examining ways to strengthen support for Norwegian activities abroad on matters related to security. The Ministry of Justice and Public Security is leading this analysis.