Morocco to assist Sahel region with counterterrorism strategies
London, April 9, 2021 (AltAfrica)-Morocco sent a high-profile delegation to meet with members of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CENSAD) in Abuja, Nigeria to discuss counterterrorism strategies.
The meetings, which took place from April 5-8, focused on the achievements of CENSAD members in the fight against terrorism in the region. Members exchanged strategies for future joint-exercises and suggested unique approaches to sustainable development for areas affected by terrorism.
The Moroccan delegation shared counterterrorism techniques and promoted innovative ideas the country has recently implemented, such as the formation of the Institute for Specialized Training, a state-run entity to promote bilateral cooperation between Morocco’s intelligence and the members of the region’s counterterrorism operations.
Morocco’s delegation received a warm welcome from Nigeria and other members as the two African powers continue to engage in ongoing dialogue surrounding mutual economic and counterterrorism endeavours.
In late March, Morocco and Nigeria signed a new trade agreement amounting to $1.3 billion (MAD 11.7 billion) and many expected the partnership to transcend economic boundaries.
Terror threat remains Nigerian concern
Nigeria recently participated in counterterrorism joint exercise Obangame Express with Morocco and 30 other countries. The naval exercise sought to fortify joint, global efforts to combat terrorism with an emphasis on improving the capabilities of African nations.
Despite the exercise being a success, Nigeria still faces terrorism at the hands of groups such as Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and Boko Haram.
By engaging in military exercises with other world forces, Nigeria hopes to strengthen its military and develop new methods for gathering intelligence. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari announced the need for development in his New Year’s speech.
“[We] recognize that we rapidly have to move to a more proactive and preemptive posture to ensure that these sorts of traumatic incidents do not become a norm. Our administration is fully aware of the responsibility we have to protect the lives and property of all Nigerians, and we will not relent in learning and adapting to changing threats to our national security and civic wellbeing.”
Another CENSAD meeting is scheduled to take place in Morocco in the coming months with a view to preserve the strong relations between Morocco and Nigeria in the continuance of counterterrorism activities.