3 February 2013

Nigeria: Mali - UK Pledges More Military Support for Nigeria

Abuja — The United Kingdom (UK) said, Sunday, that following the shift of terrorists havens from Afghanistan and Iran to the Maghreb region and now Mali, it would devote more resources to providing more training opportunities and logistics assistance to the Nigerian armed forces to help contain terrorism in the West African sub region.

Chief of the Defence Staff of the United Kingdom, General David Richards, who made the disclosure when he paid a visit to his Nigerian counterpart, Admiral Ola Sa'ad Ibrahim, noted: "In view of the war against terrorism worldwide, Mali was the immediate imperative. It is important we resolve this threat of Mali especially for the sake of the African continent and the well-being of Nigeria . In doing this, I must say transparency should be a key factor".

Describing the relationship between Nigeria and Britain as historical and emotional, Richards said he was in the country to meet with his counterpart to discuss and identify areas of strength on the part of the Nigerian armed forces and that of Britain so that areas of support particularly regarding the Mali challenge can be agreed on.

In his remarks, Ibrahim commended the CDS of Britain for his interest and expected support of Britain for Nigeria over the crucial and expected role it is to play in tackling the evolving events in Mali .

"Your prompt decision to come and identify with us over the troublesome situation in Mali, which is a cause for concern to nations in the sub-region, is appreciated and, together, the challenge would be surmounted," the Nigerian CDS said.

"At the local level, we have our challenges but we cannot afford to look the other way when a brother African country is being consumed. So, in spite of our challenges, we have to show our support. Your coming demonstrates your level of understanding of the challenge our armed forces will face.

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