To end insurgency, ECOWAS leaders must block sources for funding for terrorists-Buhari
London, Sep 15, 2019 (AltAfrica)-Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday said the best and shorter route to winning the war against terrorism in ECOWAS region, is to block access to the ease with which Boko Haram terrorists raise funds and acquire sophisticated weapons to carry out attacks
President Buhari noted that the best way to achieve this objective is through coordinated regional actions and responses against terrorism, insurgency, banditry, inter-communal disputes while “we also put in place policies and measures that will address their root causes including the re-establishment and protection of livelihoods”
Speaking at Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, on Saturday when he addressed the Extraordinary Summit of the Authority of the Economic Community of West African States’ Heads of State and Government on Counter-Terrorism, Buhari called on leaders of ECOWAS member states to learn to share experience and work together as a collective force to end terrorism
Sharing the experience of Nigeria in fighting the scourge, the President told the summit: “As a major victim of Boko Haram terrorist activities, Nigeria has remained resolute in efforts to combat and eradicate them in all their forms and manifestations. to step up efforts to end terrorism in the sub-region.
”Our counter-terrorism strategy which includes prevention, prosecution and reconstruction is also in full compliance with the Yamoussoukro counter-terrorism strategy adopted by ECOWAS Member States.
”In combating terrorism and addressing the resultant humanitarian crisis, through regional and international collaboration, ECOWAS as a Regional Economic Cooperation, would need in partnership with the African Union, to galvanise international support and solidarity to combat and defeat this menace in our region.”
The Nigerian leader also used the occasion to apprise the regional leaders on the situation in the Lake Chad Basin and the operations of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF).
He described the situation in Lake Chad Basin, historically a bastion of rich culture and civilization, an area abundant in natural resources providing livelihoods to tens of millions of people, as tragic.
He noted that the area has become an abode for terrorist groups and extremists whose primitive intent was wanton destruction of lives of innocent citizens and properties as well as public infrastructure.
On MNJTF, the President reported that the achievements recorded so far in the operations remain an exemplary model of regional collaboration.
”MNJTF has largely succeeded in degrading the Boko Haram terrorist group. This could not have been accomplished without the recognition by the affected Lake Chad Basin Countries and Benin Republic, of the need to harness our efforts and resources to confront our common enemy which has now been substantially weakened.
”While much still remains to be done, I encourage MNJTF to stay steadfast in their mission, as I urge the political leadership of the LCBC countries to continue to preserve our solidarity and commitment towards achieving durable peace and sustainable development in these areas.
”In this regard, it is imperative that we continuously strive to provide the necessary resources and tools to the MNJTF, the G5 Sahel Joint Force, the Accra Initiative and similar initiatives, to lead the war on terrorism, violent extremism and trans-border crimes across the region, ” he said.
Buhari said he expects that the adoption of the road map, priority areas and other recommendations to the Ouagadougou Summit, if properly implemented, would go a long way in addressing the spread of terrorism and violent extremism in the region.