Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai
The United Nations and the European Union Special Representatives to West Africa and the Lake Chad Basin Commission on Wednesday met with the Chief of the Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, in Abuja, saying that the Boko Haram insurgents must be checkmated and their spread stopped.
The UN Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, and the EU Special Representative for the Sahel and Lake Chad Basin Commission, Angel Lusada, stated this during their visit to the Army Headquarters in Abuja. They noted that their organisations would work together in the fight against terrorism in the North-East geopolitical zone.
The UN representative noted that the establishment of the Lake Chad Governors’ Forum was a welcome development and “part of a holistic approach which will focus on the root causes of insurgency.”
Chambas said, “One area of interest is the ongoing efforts to checkmate Boko Haram and stop its spread because of its affiliation to international terror groups. That is why it is incumbent on us all that we must see the fight against Boko Haram as a fight against international terrorism.
“We are all concerned and we believe that Boko Haram is a fight that we can win. That is why we are specially applauding the efforts of the army in dealing with the menace.
“We welcome the establishment of the Lake Chad Governors’ Forum which had its inaugural meeting in Maiduguri last year. We believe it is part of a holistic approach which will focus on the root causes of insurgency.”
Also speaking, the EU Representative, Lusada, noted that the union was committed to the Multinational Joint Task Force in the efforts to end Boko Haram and other terror groups in the Lake Chad Basin.
“There are many initiatives taking place and new ones coming up and this involves funding, but we want coordination. The crisis has become regional and can only be solved with regional partnerships. That is why we are meeting with stakeholders,” the EU chief said.