President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, addressed the African Union Peace and Security Council Summit and suggested ways of eliminating terrorism from the continent.
The theme of the summit was “Towards a Comprehensive Approach to Combat the Transnational Threats of Terrorism”.
Buhari, who said Nigeria was gravely concerned over the increasing threats by transnational terrorism and its attendant humanitarian crisis, called for more concerted action by the council and the rest of the international community to address the scourge.
He noted that terrorism cannot be defeated only through military force and law enforcement measures, saying a multifaceted approach of good governance, economic development and creation of job opportunities for our youths must be adopted.
He said in order to combat the threats posed by transnational terrorism, African leaders must first of all address the conditions conducive to the spread of extremism, radicalization and terrorism in its communities.
He said collaborative measures must be taken to disrupt terrorists’ recruitment and financing networks while effective ways must be found to stop the movement of foreign fighters.
He said Nigeria was encouraged by the sustained multidimensional fight against the Boko Haram and their foreign supporters which led to the degrading of that group, through the multinational joint task force. “We extolled the efforts of the Lake Chad Basin countries and Benin, the African Union, and the international community in achieving that feat.’
Buhari said the replication of the multinational joint task force model should be encouraged for countering terrorism on the continent.
He, however, acknowledged that in spite of the achievements so far recorded, there were still some pockets of terrorist activities within the Lake Chad Basin region, particularly northeastern part of Nigeria.
President Buhari called on the international community for more support in addressing the menace of Boko Haram and its attendant humanitarian crisis.
He said in the context of putting in place comprehensive approach to effectively combat the transnational threats of terrorism in Africa, Nigeria endorsed the Nouakchott process and emphasised that renewed efforts must be made by the AU and its partners to promote and intensify intelligence sharing, expertise and experience in the fight against foreign terrorist fighters.
According to him, a key approach is for the AU, especially the Peace and Security Council, to lead in addressing the nexus between organised crimes and transnational threats posed by terrorism.
President Buhari African leaders’ resolve must be strengthened with renewed political determination to effectively combat terrorism in all its ramifications.
He said resolute and coordinated initiatives must also be taken by developing an African Union database of persons or groups and entities involved in terrorist acts for use by law enforcement agents such as border security officers, customs, military and intelligence officers.