Molly Kilete, Abuja
As top military brass from African countries converge in Abuja to brainstorm on insecurity bedeviling the continent, Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, said the Nigerian military has significantly tamed the Boko Haram terrorist group.
This came as the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin called for the strangulation of all sources of funding, weapons and groups that pose challenge to security in the continent as a means to ending violent extremist groups.
Buratai, who spoke at the opening of the fifth African Land Forces Summit, also identified terrorism, proliferation of small arms, piracy and human trafficking as the major security challenges facing the African continent.
According to him, the activities of violent extremist organisations such as Boko Haram, Alshabaab, Ansarudeen and Alqaeda in the Magreb have continued to keep the security forces busy.
The CDS called for sincerity and frankness in their deliberations, pointing out that the successes of the fight against Boko Haram can only be consolidated with the renewed and robust collaborations between the Lake Chad Basin Commission countries through the Multi National Joint Task Force.
“These countries have understood the negative impact of Boko Haram on their individual countries and our collective securities, which has informed our collective resolve to deal with the menace.
“It is gratifying to say that the collaboration has denied the terrorist safe harbor in the Lake Chad Basin countries leading to their defeat,” he said.
The weeklong summit is aimed at affording military leaders in the African region the opportunity to strengthen existing relationships and develop new ways of tackling emerging security challenges on the continent.
The summit co-hosted by the Nigerian army and its United States counterpart is being attended by military personnel from Republic of Malawi, Arusha United Republic of Tanzania, Dakar, Uganda, Washington DC and fort Benning, Georgia United States of America.
The African Land Forces Summit is the single largest gathering of African senior military leaders and other senior army chiefs from across the globe on the continent.
It affords the African countries the avenue to share experiences on global terrorism and forge common approach to combating transnational threats and crimes such as violent extremist organisations, terrorism, arms proliferation and piracy.
The summit also affords military leaders the opportunity to interact with the aim of strengthening existing relationships and developing new ones.