The Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has acknowledged the cooperation of members of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, LCBC, and international partners in the fight against boko haram terrorists.
President Buhari made the call at the 2nd Regional Security Summit which ended in Abuja.
The Summit was a follow up to the Paris Summit of May 2014.
President Buhari emphasized that boko haram’s cowardly attacks on soft targets were taking innocent civilian lives and causing mindless damage to social infrastructure.
“When my administration assumed office, our first task was to tackle and defeat boko haram. We restructured and re-equipped our armed forces; we strengthened our cooperation with the Lake Chad Basin Commission Members and Benin. By December the armed forces of Nigeria, Cameroun, Chad and Niger degraded boko haram and squeezed them into a small enclave of Sambisa Forest,” President Buhari said.
President Buhari enumerated the achievements of the member countries of the LCBC in the fight against insurgency.
Among them are the recovery of territories occupied by boko haram; establishment of units by Nigeria, Niger and Chad to prosecute war on terror; strengthening of the regional coalition and establishment of the Regional Intelligence Sharing Unit in Abuja among other achievements.
President Buhari also commended the contribution of the member states of the LCBC and efforts made so far to rescue the abducted Chibok girls.
“We kept faith with humanitarian rules of engagements, in particular the protection of civilian population. What remains is to dislodge the terrorists from their hide out in Sambisa forest and safely liberate the Chibok Girls and other victims of abduction,” Buhari stated.
He also announced the release of twenty million dollars for the support of the Multinational Joint Task Force.
After the conference, the EU/AU joint communiqué highlighted the financing decision to set aside 50 million euros from the African peace facility, in support of the Multinational Joint Task Force against boko haram.
The statement said: “The action will put the Multinational Joint Task Force central command in a position to coordinate operations among troop contributing countries in their respective territories.
This should in turn prevent boko haram from continuing to take advantage of its ability to move across borders. ”
Countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission; Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria with the support of the US, France and the UK, expressed their willingness to strengthen the cooperation against terror.
They unanimously acknowledged the defeat of boko haram terrorists and also reemphasized their commitment to spare no effort in the continuing the search for the Chibok school girls by pooling intelligence resources.
The LCBC and its three partners; US, UK and France renewed their commitment to address humanitarian crises affecting millions of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, living in camps in Nigeria , Cameroun, Chad and Niger.
The critical situation of the inhabitants of the newly liberated towns and villages was adjudged to be pathetic.
“The Summit agreed to provide and rehabilitate facilities in the devastated town and villages with a view to creating conditions for citizens to live without fear of violence and return to normal life,” the statement said.
At the end the Summit the leaders conveyed their appreciation to the President of France Francois Hollande for initiating the Summit and acknowledged President Muhammadu Buhari for hosting it.