Pres meets E.Guinea, Congo Leaders over Boko Haram

Teodoro Obiang Nguema MbasogoAFRICAN nations are being urged to pool their resources under the banner of solidarity, to confront and eliminate the threat posed to the entire continent by the Boko Haram Islamist insurgents.

“If we don’t do this, it (Boko Haram menace) can go beyond Nigeria, Niger, Cameroun and Chad, and affect other nations on the continent,” President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea, has said.

He was briefing the media at the Peduase Lodge in the Eastern Region yesterday, after holding a closed-door meeting with ECOWAS Chairman, John Mahama, and President Dennis Sassou-N’Guesso of Congo, on the ongoing collaboration between ECOWAS and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) concerning the fight against Boko Haram.

Denis Sassou Nguesso  Pascal LissoubaAt their last meeting in Yaounde Cameroun, ECCAS Heads of State and Government mandated Presidents Mbasogo and Sassou-N’Guesso to discuss further strategies and common issues the Chair of the ECOWAS Authority and with President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria.

At that meeting, they pledged to “actively support” member states combating the Boko Haram threat by offering military assistance, financial, logistical and humanitarian aid.

Member nations such as Cameroon and Chad have already been directly affected by the bloody jihadist insurgency, which is estimated to have claimed 13,000 lives since the Boko Haram sect launched its uprising in 2009.

Nigeria, where elections have been postponed by six weeks until late March because of Boko Haram’s activity in swathes of the northeast, was absent from the talks since it is not an ECCAS member.

Ahead of the planned deployment of a Multi-National Joint Force to deal with the Boko Haram threat, Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria have formed a military alliance to combat the notoriously brutal militants, who are fighting to create a hardline Islamic state.

President Mbasogo, who was flanked by President Mahama and President Sassou-N’Guesso, stated that ECCAS had realized that the threat posed by the Islamist insurgents was escalating and should not be overlooked.

“We have realized that this has actually gone beyond Nigeria’s borders and affected other nations; member states have to come together and face Boko Haram squarely, so as to crush it entirely and give no room for resurgence,” he stressed.

President Mbasogo announced that the defence and security chiefs of member states would meet next week in Yaounde, to come out with strategies which would be expected to be endorsed later at a meeting of the Heads of States and Government.

“With such as African solidarity, we expect that the victory (over Boko Haram), will be an African victory,” he stated.

The two leaders have since left for their respective countries.

From Samuel Nuamah, Peduase Lodge

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