20 March 2014

Nigeria: Insurgency - Govt Planning Six Nations Summit

Nigeria is trying to facilitate a summit of leaders of the countries it shares borders within order to get support at the highest level for its war against insurgents in the North East, Daily Trust has learnt from a senior security official.

This follows a recent meeting in Abuja which was attended by relevant security officials from the Nigeria, Republic of Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Benin Republic and France as the former colonial power in the four countries.

The meeting is expected to take place in Yaounde, Cameroon as soon as the host President, Paul Biya agrees to a date.

Earlier there have been reports of some of the insurgents who carry out attacks in remote villages crossing the mountainous North Eastern Nigerian border into Cameroon. Nigeria is keen to get the Cameroonian authorities to ensure that their territory does not become a hideout for such insurgents that will also be a threat to that countries security concerns.

A report by online medium, Premium Times Tuesday said the France and the other four countries have "agreed with Nigeria to ensure effective policing of common borders to avoid the infiltration of terrorists and other criminals as well as the repatriation of suspects in conformity with existing protocols."

The report said this was part of the recommendations made by the Directors-General of External Intelligence Services of the six countries, who met in Abuja on March 5.

The one-day meeting with the theme "Challenges of Combating Boko Haram in the Sub-region" was facilitated and declared open by National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki and attended by the top echelon of Nigeria's security services and some senior foreign intelligence agencies

The meeting also recommended that the doctrine proposed by President Goodluck Jonathan that "an act of terror against one nation is an act of terror against all," be adopted by Heads of State of participating states and that "the reaction of member-states to acts of terror be spontaneous, concerted, broad-based and integrated."

It further recommended the effective implementation of existing regional and Confidential Agreements on Small Arms Light Weapons; the sensitization of the local communities in border areas on the need to assist military and security agencies with timely information necessary for their operations; and the discouragement of payment of ransom in all its ramifications.

That meeting, where modalities for a joint military offensive is being worked out, is ongoing in Yaounde, the Cameroonian capital.

When Daily Trust contacted the Cameroon Embassy in Nigeria to find out when the meeting of the six heads of state will be coming up, an official said he is not aware and cannot comment.

He, however, promised to contact his country for confirmation and get back to our reporter.

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