Munguno, others seek joint effort of Sahel region against terrorism
THE need for all countries in the Sahel region in Africa to collaborate in the establishment of rule of law and global action in the war against terrorism in the continent was highlighted yesterday in Dakar, Senegal.
The National Security Adviser of Nigeria, General Mohammed Babagana Munguno, who stated this need while speaking on the challenges raised by security at the opening session of the two-day Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security in Africa, said: “Countries in the Sahel region face vulnerabilities exacerbated by the rising threat of extremism and transnational effect.”
Meanwhile, the Acting Assistant Secretary, Department of Defence, United States of America, Elissa Slotkin, said no country can win the war against terror alone, adding that if we must achieve peace, we must collectively fight the scourge.
Slotkin suggested that military action must be joined with civilian efforts to achieve this.
Slotkin, while noting that the increasing alliance between networks has produced potential for terrorists to destabilise states and the continent, lamented that the youth are most prone to exposure to the danger as some of them are being recruited on-line, since they use the social media more often.
According to Munguno, “My country Nigeria is in the middle of a very serious insurgency, which started actively about six years ago. This insurgency has not gone unnoticed in the international community. As a consequence of its being expanded or magnified by forces which are unavoidable because of nature of conflict in 21st century and seems to be transnational and is not limited to our country. There are indeed links with others around the world.
“The Boko Haram insurgency is not the only issue in Nigeria, as we also have issues in the maritime sector. We have a government that is extremely committed to solving these problems but in concert with partners from the wider international community. We have so far experienced a lot of good will not only in Africa but Europe, America and Asia.”
While appealing to the international community for aid in this area, Munguno said: “I would like to appeal to the representatives of these countries to please continue to encourage your governments to work hand in hand with your organisation to crush these criminals wherever they are. The pervasiveness of terrorism in Africa presents a challenge to peace, security and stability.” Increasing alliances between other networks have produced the potential to destabilise states and positions of anarchy.
The Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security in Africa condemned the activities of the terrorists in Nigeria known as Boko Haram, Al-shabaab in Mali, the Chad, Senegal, Cameroun, Kenya among other African nations.
Organised by the Senegalese Government (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Senegalese Abroad) and the Pan-African Institute of Strategy, with the support of the French Ministry of Defence and the Association de soutien au Forum de Dakar (ASFORDAR), in conjunction with the African Union and international partners, the forum provided the discussants opportunity to exchange ideas with the highest political authorities.
Slotkin said: “Al-Qaeda has been defused but the social network has given an advantage for this terrorist group; the approach must be in some cases a local one,” adding that the United States has vowed to help in this regard.
The forum brought together over 500 high level stakeholders, including heads of states and leaders of government, Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence from the continent, military officials, representatives from regional and international institutions, academic think-tanks and members of the private sector.