An international summit in Paris vowed to unify and take substantive measures to combat insurgency by Boko Haram terrorists in West Africa and Nigeria. The head of states of Chad, Benin, France, Niger, Cameroon and Nigeria met with representatives of UK, US and European Union in a summit in Paris dedicated to curbing terrorism in Nigeria. They decided to enhance international and regional mobilization to fight Boko Haram who were terrorizing West Africa and Nigeria in particular.
According to a statement released by the office of the President of France, and disseminated by the African Press Organization, the summit concluded with several decisions made regarding regional cooperation between states to help free the school girls abducted by the terrorists and to fight the Boko Haram in general.
The statement also read that the partners present (European Union, United Kingdom, France, and the United States) are committed to supporting this regional cooperation and helping to strengthen international means to defeat the Boko Haram and save its victims.
Mention was made in the statement that all these nations participating in the summit were committed to protecting human rights and in particular the rights of girls who are victimized by the terrorists and forced into marriage or slavery.
- Regional cooperation:
Nigeria and her neighbors are to build up response and analysis capabilities that will enhance the safety of all populations and establishing rule of law in areas affected by Boko Haram violence and terrorism.
Nigeria and her neighbors have decided to act immediately to combat the terrorism inflicted by Boko Haram, which include several murderous attacks and recent abduction of over 270 school girls.
On bilateral basis, the nations will enforce coordinated patrols aimed at combating Boko Haram and to locate the missing school girls and implement a system to collect intelligence to support this operation. They will also set up mechanism for exchange of information regarding weapon trafficking and enhance measures to comb areas for recovering weapon stockpiles. It will also implement mechanism for border surveillance.
On a multilateral basis, first it will setup a pooling agency for collecting intelligence. Secondly, it will create a dedicated team to locate means of implementing intelligence strategy. It will draw up in its second phase, a counter terrorism strategy in the agenda of the Lake Chad Basin commission.
This strategy is consistent with the Lake Chad basin commission, which was a summit held in 2012. The UK, US, France and EU will support this regional effort through training programs, technical expertise and aid for management of border area programs.
- International strategy:
Within the frame work of the U.N., the participants of the summit, agreed to accelerate efforts to implement sanctions against Boko Haram. They wanted to mobilize support to marginalized areas and their delicate, vulnerable population like women exposed to violence. The EU and P3 promised to mobilize donors in order to support programs for socio economic development in areas affected by violence and especially concentrate on gender equality. They will work on rights of women especially the right to education, increasing the participation of women in decision making and supporting victims of sexual abuse.
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Author’s bio: He is associated with www.deltalherald.com. He is a freelance journalist operating since many years in Delta region, Nigeria. He specializes reporting on political and business stories.