Secessionist groups in Nigeria forming alliance with Cameroon to cause destabilization — NSA
Posted by News Express | 25 August 2021 | 71 times
•Says terrorist groups also forming alliance in the Sahel
National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (retd), on Tuesday raised the alarm on attempts by secessionist groups in Nigeria to form alliances with secessionist groups in Cameroon in order to destabilize both countries.
Reports have linked the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) with the self determination group of the Republic of Ambazonia, seeking a breakaway region for the English speaking part of Cameroon.
But the NSA has warned that Nigeria would not be used as a haven by any secessionist group and any alliance will be dealt with decisively.
Monguno stated this at the 8th Session of the Cameroon/Nigeria Trans-border Security Committee at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja.
He said: “Another emerging concern is the attempt by secessionist groups in Nigeria to form alliances with secessionist groups in Cameroon in order to destabilize both countries. Let me reemphasize what I mentioned in my Opening Remarks during the 6th Session in 2019; His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari reassures you that Nigeria’s territory will never be used as a haven or staging area by any group of secessionists to destabilize another friendly sovereign country.
“In addition, we will work closely together to ensure that any real or perceived attempts to form any alliances between secessionist groups in Nigeria and Cameroon are decisively dealt with.”
Monguno also informed that the Nigerian government will continue to support the efforts of the Cameroonian authorities by engaging all aggrieved parties to de-escalate the security concerns in the North West and South West regions of the country.
He disclosed that since the 7th Session took place in Yaoundé, Cameroon from July 3 – 6, 2019, series of transnational security issues have either morphed or emerged across our common borders that need to be addressed.
According to him, the most dominant transnational security issue remains the threat of terrorism perpetrated by the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) and Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs).
According to him, these terrorist groups continue to exploit the porous border areas to disrupt the livelihoods of innocent citizens in their communities.
“At this point, I am glad to acknowledge that the close counterterrorism collaboration between our two countries has significantly curtailed the activities of these terrorists as well as other forms of criminality,” he added.
The NSA therefore charged the 8th Session of the Cameroon-Nigeria Trans-border Security Committee meeting to produce a comprehensive communiqué that would provide workable solutions to our current and future trans-border security challenges.
This, according to him, is the only way to create a secured environment for mutual and sustainable growth.
“I am therefore optimistic that the respective delegates would ensure that the resolutions for this 8th Session would be geared towards enhancing peace and prosperity not only between the two countries, but the entire sub-region,” he said.
Monguno however noted that collective efforts under the auspices of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to significantly degrade terrorist activities in the Lake Chad Basin is yielding positive outcomes.
Monguno said the multilateral platform in collaboration with international partners needs to be further enhanced, while disclosing that “there is a gradual movement of some terrorist groups from the Maghreb to the Sahel in order to form alliances.”
“We must therefore consolidate our joint efforts to address all the current and emerging security threats affecting both countries. This is due to the grave and unintended consequences of allowing such threats to thrive in our environment,” the NSA warned.
Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, Zubairu Dada, said it was important for Cameroon and Nigeria to sustain strong bilateral relations to overcome lingering border concerns and the enduring challenge of terrorism.
Dada reiterated that border communities are more susceptible to trans-border problems and if left unchecked will have spiral effects.
He charged the committee to come up with new ways of improving cooperation to defeat insecurity and terrorism which has led to loss of lubes and properties.
He also noted that since the signing of the Nigeria/Cameroon Trans border security Committee agreement in February 2012, the Committee has made some strides.
“Therefore, we intend to address the enduring challenges of insecurity and other security challenges along our common borders.
“It is crucial that we sustain this level of cooperation to overcome the challenges,” he stressed.
Paul Atanga Nji, Head of the Cameroon Delegation, in his remarks said that the Session would help the Committee identify and examine threats to improve security situations of both states.
Nji said the meeting provides opportunities to effectively implement resolutions already adopted on one hand and to examine new security challenges on the other hand.
“We have to examine threats that impact on internal security of our states such as :kidnapping for random, training of armed groups along the common borders, illegal trafficking of arms and ammunition , money laundering among others,” he said.
According to him, it “is obvious that trans-border insecurity is a permanent challenge for our two states; as such it is incumbent to deal with the enemies of peace and security”.
To achieve this, he said intelligence gathering and sharing is imperative, and “we must coordinate activities in the field to combat all forms of organised crimes.
He also urged security chiefs on both sides to maintain contacts
Nji said the session couldn’t hold last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Source: News Express
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