AU defence chiefs meet on Boko Haram, Al shabab …. PUNCH

Rabe Abubakar

African Defence Chiefs and Ministers of Defence are meeting in Bamako, Mali, to discuss the threat of terrorism in the African sub-region.

The Acting Director, Defence Information, Col. Rabe Abubakar, said in an electronic mail on Friday that the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, had arrived Mali to participate in the crucial security summit.

He said that the CDS would use the opportunity of the meeting to brief the AU defence chiefs and ministers on the efforts of Nigeria and the other member-countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission against the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East.

He said that the Defence chiefs and ministers would focus on the need to enhance security cooperation in addition to designing a peace and security structure for the Sahel-Saharan region in the ongoing summit.

The Acting Defence Spokesman said that the meeting specifically discussed the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria and the Al Shabab’s menace in Central Africa.

He said, “The meeting is aimed at engendering participants to partner on the enhancement of security cooperation and the conceptualisation of the African peace and security architecture in the Sahel-Saharan region.

“The meeting discussed terrorism which has become a global problem that requires collective approach towards addressing its menace.

“It focused on the threats faced by countries in the Sahel-Saharan region, especially the threat of Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria and other member countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission and the threat of Al-Shabab terrorists in Central Africa.”

Abubakar said that the participants at the summit called for enhanced operational cooperation among the affected countries in order to make their response to the terrorists’ threats more effective.

He added that the meeting also classified threats in the sub region to four major categories which included terrorism, organised crime (drugs, arms and human trafficking), illegal immigration and separatism.

He said that the meeting signified a new phase in the promotion of regional security and a united front by the AU in the fight against terrorism.