The United Nations states why Nigeria cannot compromise with terrorists as it calls on her and other African countries to renew their efforts and determination to uproot Boko Haram insurgency from the Lake Chad Basin
By Anayo Ezugwu
Boko Haram insurgency has remained a concern to the international community despite the efforts by the Lake Chad Basin Commission, LCBC, to uproot the terrorist group from its base. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, special representative of the United Nations Secretary General for West Africa and Sahel, said there must be renewed efforts and determination to eliminate the group.
In an exclusive interview with Realnews in Lagos, Chambas urged Nigeria and other African countries involved in the fight against the terrorist group not to relent. He said just because there have been successes doesn’t mean that anyone should relax and think that Boko Haram is defeated.
According to him, Boko haram has been defeated in terms of territories they occupy. “The territory in which Boko Haram was effectively running a state within a state has been drastically reduced. They’ve been chased out of Sambisa Forest in Nigeria, out of Diffa in Niger, out of the extreme north in Cameroun and out of the lakes part of Chad.
“The Multinational Joint Task Force, MJTF, has been put in place. And today, there is a much more effective intelligence sharing and joint operational activity by the four countries of LCBC (Lake Chad Basin Commission) than was the case. So that is very important to the extent that with these kinds of terrorist activities, you need a sub-regional joint effort, they know no boundaries.
“So, if you’re going to fight alone in your own country, it’s not effective. So this is very important to them in this area. And that’s why the countries of the Sahel are emulating this example and also trying to establish their force, and it’s taking them much longer than it did in the case of LCBC.
“Also because of Nigeria’s lead role in initially financing the MNJTF, which is what has kept it growing now. So what is called the J5 Force in Sahel is copying this example. What is true, however, is that just because there have been successes doesn’t mean that anyone should relax and think that Boko Haram is defeated.
“The international terrorist organisations have networks. They know when to lie low. And they know how to now adopt proper terrorist mode of operation, which is what the experts call a symmetrical warfare. And it seems that that’s what they’ve reverted to do now. They’re no longer going to come as if they’re standing army.
“They’ve been broken…., but a small group can still attack; you can see they’re attacking. They’re still sending suicide bombers, very unfortunate, using women and children, which tells you the depravity of their mind; using innocent women, girls, children to go and perpetrate this heinous act. So, that’s the state of play now.
“In fact in most of the countries – Niger, Cameroun, here in Nigeria, Chad, that freedom and that impunity of claiming verse territories of land, they’ve been pushed out of; they’ve been defeated in that contest. But that is not to say the war against terrorism and in particular Boko Haram is over. It is still a fight that must be fought with all vigour and determination,” he said.
Chambas also regretted the killings of health workers in the northeast. He said every effort that is being made to defeat Boko Haram needs to be encouraged. “It’s very unfortunate. In fact, it is again showing us the callous face of Boko Haram. These are very barbaric and very callous terrorist honestly. They have no limit to how far they will go.
“To pick a mother whose only crime is that she was there in the IDP camp. IDP camp is a camp of suffering people, people who have been chased out from their homes, being dehumanized, prevented from living their normal lives. And somebody who has gone to give care to such a community of distressed people cannot by any imagination be seen as an enemy to anybody, to be killed in very brutal and barbaric manner as they were killed.
“But that’s the face of terror. That is why we cannot be compromised with terrorists. They do not understand the language of logic. It is completely incomprehensible to them and they must be defeated.”
– Dec. 21, 2018 @ 00:10 GMT |