United Efforts Can Deal with Boko Haram


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ECOWAS Chairman, President John Mahama
has proposed the setting up of a multi-
national force to fight Islamist militant group,
Boko Haram.
To be able to achieve this, ECOWAS has
requested that the next African Union (AU)
meeting in Addis Ababa must include a
special session on terrorism.
This will enable West African leaders to seek
authority to create the multi-national force to
help combat the operations of Boko Haram.
Thousands of people in North Eastern Nigeria
have either lost their lives or have been
abducted by Boko Haram.
Nigerian authorities have for years been
unable to fight the group which has been
terrorizing citizens.
ECOWAS heads of states have been meeting
periodically to re-strategize to help Nigeria
fight the Islamist group and protect citizens
as well but not much success has been
recorded.
Regarding the number of African countries
willing to contribute troops to the force,
President Mahama told the BBC on Saturday
that “it will depend on the discussions at the
AU and that will determine how many forces
and how many troops are needed and which
countries will participate.”
He was however quick to mention that so far,
“there is already a consensus in the region
from Niger, Chad, Cameroun, Nigeria and
Benin so we can start from there.”
The ECOWAS chair admitted that it is more
difficult for the individual countries to cope on
their own with Boko Haram therefore, “a
regional force will be a better alternative than
leaving the countries on their own to deal with
it.”
He disclosed that there had already been an
effort to create a multi-national force and
“countries of the Lake Chad Development
Authority came together and agreed to create
an international force.”
This force, he said was supposed to be based
in Baga in North Eastern Nigeria but it was
recently overrun recently by Boko Haram
This, he said points to the fact that there is an
urgent need to “create a better conceptual
plan and an operational plan so that this is
more effective.”
President Mahama was optimistic that many
countries will be willing to support this
venture, adding that “already, Nigeria and
Cameroun have been getting assistance from
France, the UK and the United States but I
believe that if we were to organize this
properly, then we must get an African Union
mandate.”
He stressed that if ECOWAS is able to secure a
mandate from the African Union, and set up a
multi-national force with a proper operational
plan, “I guess it will be more effective than
what is happening currently.”
President Mahama however indicated that the
force can only be set up in a few months
because “these things take a couple of
months; logistical planning must take place
and even mobilizing forces so as rapidly as we
might want to do it, it will take a couple of
months.”
He was certain that at this point, “a military
solution is the most viable option…I think the
whole world is threatened if there is terrorism
in any other part of the world.”

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