President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed concern about the proliferation of weapons in African countries.
Some weapons used in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, he claims, are being shipped into the Lake Chad Basin region.
The Lake Chad region in West and Central Africa is an economically and socially integrated area that includes Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria.
WITHIN NIGERIA reports that the Nigerian leader raised the alarm while delivering a speech at the 16th Summit of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) on Tuesday at the Conference Hall of the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Violent Situations In Sahel Region Compounded Boko Haram Terrorism In Lake Chad Basin
Buhari, who presided over the Summit, stated that the situation, which had increased the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, demanded a reawakening of the region’s border security.
He emphasized that the unending war between Russia and Ukraine, as well as other violent situations in West Africa’s Sahel region, exacerbated Boko Haram terrorism in the Lake Chad Basin region.
He stated that despite significant efforts to weaken the Boko Haram terror group and other violent extremist groups in the region, terrorist threats continue.
I am glad to inform my dear brothers that in keeping with that decision, the MNJTF has since then, successfully conducted three major operations: Ops‘YANCIN TAFKI (I&II) and Ops Lake Sanity I, with, the fourth one, Ops Lake Sanity II, being planned. The next phase of the operation will take cognizance of lessons learnt from previous exercises and effectively consolidating the gains attained by preceding Ops.
I am glad to note that during the execution of Ops Lake Sanity I, regrouping terrorists in the Lake Chad Islands were effectively decimated.
It must, however, be stated that despite the successes recorded by the gallant troops of the MNJTF and the various ongoing national operations in the region, terrorist threats still lurk in the region.
Regrettably, the situation in the Sahel and the raging war in Ukraine serve as significant sources of weapons and fighters that bolster the ranks of the terrorists in the Lake Chad Region. A substantial proportion of the arms and ammunition procured to execute the war in Libya continues to find its way to the Lake Chad Region and other parts of the Sahel. Weapons being used for the war in Ukraine and Russia are equally beginning to filter into the region.
This illegal movement of arms into the region has heightened the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, which continues to threaten our collective peace and security. There is, therefore, the urgent need for expedited collaborative actions by our border control agencies and other security services to stop the circulation of all illegal weapons in the region, Buhari stressed.
President Buhari added that governments of the region needed to complement the ongoing efforts with the provision of sustainable development projects, which he said would make life more conducive for the people and restore their confidence in the State.
Government presence must be positively felt in the area to restore the confidence of citizens in the ability of the State to protect them and provide basic infrastructure for all.
It is in view of the foregoing that the implementation of the Regional Strategy for the Stabilization, Recovery and Resilience of the Boko Haram affected Areas of the region must gain further traction without any delay.
WITHIN NIGERIA understands that the summit was attended by Presidents and Heads of State from the six member countries, with the exception of Cameroon’s President Paul Biya, who was represented by one of his ministers.
Prof. Faustine Archange TOUADERA, President of the Central African Republic; Mohamed BAZOUM, President and Head of State of Niger Republic; Patrice TALLON, President of the Republic of Benin; Mahamat Idriss Deby ITNO, President of the Transition Military Council of Chad, President of the Republic, Head of State; and Mohamed AL-MENFI, Chairman, Presidential Council of Libya were among those in attendance.