This Day (Lagos)

20 November 2012

Nigeria: PAC Endorses Deployment of Troops to Mali

The Presidential Advisory Council (PAC) has highlighted the menace posed by militants in Mali to the sustenance of peace in the sub-region, the continent and the world, saying that the decision to send forces to the country to stem the tide of the violence there is a good one.

The former Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, told journalists after a breakfast meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan Monday that it was important for Nigeria to liaise with its neighbours to arrest the ugly situation in the Francophone country which has been under siege in recent time.

"The situation in Mali poses great danger to the sub-region including Nigeria. I mean if the situation in Mali is not resolved, Mali will become a hot bed for terrorism and for criminal gangs and their operations will threaten the region," Anyaoku said.

He further explained that: "It is right that Nigeria should join hand with her neighbours in the region to see what can be done about it and so far the decision has been to send an intervention force into Mali to help the Malian government deal with the situation in northern Mali, which as you know, is now being controlled by elements other than the Malian government."

Although he did not disclose the details of the advice the council gave the president, he said: "It's not for me to tell you what we told him. "We had a meeting with Mr. President in which we advised him on a number of issues. At the meeting, he was told that: they told him that "It is important that Nigeria should be part of the concerted effort" to liberate Mali.

According to him, I would not want to go into details, but we discussed with him the global scene. You have new leaderships in China and Obama has been re-elected in the USA. We have just had elections in the sub-region, in Sierra Leone.

"We discussed how all these developments can impact on Nigeria's foreign policy. We also talked about funding of Nigerian diplomatic missions abroad. You must have been reading in the newspapers some of the parlous situations in some of our missions abroad. We then presented a book, the report of a seminar," he stated.

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