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Zambia has dedicated counterterrorism legislation adopted in 2018 that replaced and repealed an earlier law of 2007. There is no carve-out for the exercise of fundamental human rights. 

Compliance with International Law:
Last updated: one year ago

The Definition of Terrorism in Domestic Law

Section 2(1) of the 2018 Anti-Terrorism and Non-Proliferation Act defines "terrorism" as follows:

an act or omission in or outside Zambia that is intended, or by its nature and context, may reasonably be regarded as being intended to intimidate or threaten the public or a section of the public or compel a government or an international organisation to do, or refrain from doing, any act, and is made for the purpose of advancing a political, ideological or religious cause and which—

(a) constitutes an offence within the scope of a counterterrorism convention listed in the Second Schedule;

(b) causes or is intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to a person;

(c) causes or is intended to cause serious damage to private or public property;

(d) endangers a person’s life;

(e) creates a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or a section of the public;

(f) involves the use of firearms or explosives;

(g) involves the release into the environment or any part thereof or distributing or exposing the public or any part thereof to any dangerous, hazardous, radioactive, harmful substance, toxic chemical, microbial or other biological agent or toxin;

(h) is designed or intended to disrupt any computer system or the provision of services directly related to communications, infrastructure, banking or financial services, utilities, transportation or other essential infrastructure or services;

(i) is designed or intended to disrupt the provision of essential emergency services such as police, civil defence or medical services;

(j) causes serious risk to national security;

(k) causes damage to a vessel or is likely to endanger the safe navigation of any vessel on inland or international waters; and

(l) causes damage to any aircraft or airport, is intended or likely to cause damage to any air navigation facilities or endanger the safety and lives of persons and property, affect the operations of air services or undermine the confidence of the public in the safety of civil aviation and “terrorist act” shall be construed accordingly.

Adherence to Global and Regional Terrorism Treaties


Zambia is a State Party to the main United Nations treaties on terrorism.


Adherence to Global Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1973 Convention on Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons State Party
1979 Hostage-Taking Convention State Party
1997 Terrorist Bombings Convention State Party
1999 Terrorist Financing Convention State Party
2005 Nuclear Terrorism Convention State Party


Zambia is a signatory but not a State Party to the main regional treaties on terrorism.


Adherence to Regional Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1999 Algiers Convention Signatory
2004 Protocol to the Algiers Convention Signatory

Laws and Penalties for Terrorist Offences

The maximum penalty for the commission of a terrorist offence is life imprisonment.S. 19(2), 2018 Anti-Terrorism and Non-Proliferation Act.

Counterterrorism Capacities and Policies at Domestic Level

The Zambian Police Service does not have a dedicated counterterrorism unit although a number of officers from the paramilitary division were trained in relevant techniques by Turkish counterterrorism police in 2014.


Zambia 2018 Anti-Terrorism and Non Proliferation Act

Zambia 2007 Anti-Terrorism Act