8 July 2019

Nigeria: Cameroon-Nigeria - Recommendations to Curb Trans-Border Insecurity

Focus is on the regular meetings of Governors of border areas, exchange of information, sharing of intelligence and the development of common security strategies.

The President of Cameroon, Paul Biya and his counterpart of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari will certainly soon receive the recommendations of the seventh session of the Cameroon-Nigeria Trans-border Security Committee that held in Yaounde, Cameroon from July 4-5, 2019. The Head of the Cameroonian delegation to the session, Territorial Administration Minister, Paul Atanga Nji and that of the Nigerian delegation, Brigadier General EA Ndagi signed and exchanged documents on the minutes of the session that contained the key recommendations during the closing ceremony of the event at the Yaounde Mont Fébé Hotel. Though the minutes were not made public, pertinent recommendations emerged during the Governors forum that took place earlier and during the closing remarks of the two heads of delegation. Concerning the Governors in particular, Minister Atanga Nji recommended, "Exchange relevant information and intelligence so that we can solve issues of common interest. Boko Haram insurgency is still visible even though the two governments have worked a lot to reduce its influence. The eradication of Boko Haram remains a major preoccupation to the two governments." He disclosed in the closing statement that, "Governors accepted within their forum to meet time and again to exchange intelligence, information and work for issues of common interest." The Minister further said, "The criminals should feel that on both sides, the administration is strong to counter the barbaric and terrorist activities they want to undertake. Terrorism and drug trafficking is the same thing because people do drug trafficking, illicit arms finance terrorism." Brigadier General EA Ndagi said, "Cameroon and Nigeria have very old ancestral and historical linkages and we have similar security challenges and its is only appropriate that we work out collective security mechanisms in order to address these common concerns." He said all transnational security challenges were convergence of all illegal networks and recommended that, "It is important that the Governors work correspondingly together." Other security challenges that preoccupied officials and experts in the Security Committee session include the illegal trafficking of drugs, firearms, and other illicit goods. To tackle them, Minister Atanga Nji said, "Since the Governors here share boundaries we realise that we have the same population. The direct collaborators of the Governors who include the Police, Gendarme and Military and Customs should share information so that we can put an end to trans-border crimes. We have to make it practically impossible for criminals to leave Nigeria and come to Cameroon and vice versa" Two heads of delegations recommended that the meetings between Governors of border localities both from Nigeria and Cameroon should be regular and that the Governors should visit one another.

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