Following the security summit hosted by France at the weekend to stem the activities of the terror group, Boko Haram, the United Kingdom (UK) will host a follow up meeting at the ministerial level to review the progress made on the action plan agreed to on Saturday by eight countries and the European Union (EU) to counter the terrorist organisation.
This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, which was presided over by French President Francois Hollade, and had in attendance Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan, President Boni Yayi of Benin Republic, President Paul Biya of Cameroun, President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, President Idriss Deby of Chad and representatives from the United States, UK and the EU.
According to the communiqué, the countries in attendance agreed on a number of initiatives to curtail the excesses of the insurgents, as well as mobilise funds in support of women and girls in marginalised areas.
It added that countries are to establish an intelligence-pooling unit, create a dedicated team to identify means of implementation and draw up, during a second phase, a regional counter-terrorism strategy in the framework of the Lake Chad Basin Commission.
“The United States, the United Kingdom, France and the European Union will coordinate their support for this regional cooperation through technical expertise, training programmes and support for the border area management programmes.”
The participants are committed to “accelerating the implementation of international sanctions against Boko Haram, Ansaru and their main leaders, within the United Nations framework as a priority.”
France, US, Britain and the EU also pledged to mobilise donors in support of programmes fostering social and economic development of the regions concerned with particular emphasis on gender equality and the rights of women and girls.
The participants agreed that the UK would host a follow-up meeting next month at ministerial level to review the progress on this action plan. They have agreed to institute sanctions against Boko Haram and Ansaru within the framework of the United Nations.
At the end of the summit, Nigeria and its neighbours agreed to build analysis and response capabilities that will contribute to enhancing the security of all populations and the rule of law in the areas affected by Boko Haram’s terrorist acts.
In order to combat the insurgents’ threat, which manifested through several murderous attacks and the abduction of more than 270 schoolgirls, Nigeria and its neighbours have decided to immediately, on a bilateral basis, implement coordinated patrols with the aim of combating Boko Haram and locating the Chibok girls.
They are also to establish a system to pool intelligence in order to support this operation, establish mechanisms for information exchange on trafficking of weapons and bolster measures to secure weapon stockpiles while also establishing mechanism for border surveillance.