Niger’s Foreign Minister, Mohamed Bazoum, on Thursday said African nations threatened by the Boko Haram sect would seek the UN Security Council’s authorisation for a multinational force to take on the Islamist militants.
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that Bazoum said the countries of the Lake Chad region had agreed during a meeting in Niamey that the resolution would be presented to the UN by the African Union.
He did not, however, specify when this would be done.
“Boko Haram, which is fighting to create an Islamic emirate in northern Nigeria, has increasingly made incursions into neighbouring Cameroon, Niger and Chad.
“Mistrust and disagreements between the states have however hampered attempts to pool military resources.
“The countries had agreed to create a multinational force to tackle the insurgents by last November but failed to contribute the troops.
“Contrary to what happened in the past, we agreed with our partners that a resolution should be passed by the Security Council that will allow the establishment of the Joint Multinational Force,” Bazoum noted.
He said the countries also agreed to move the headquarters of the proposed multinational force from the Nigerian town of Baga to the Chadian capital, N’Djamena, after Baga was seized and ransacked by Boko Haram fighters.
Meanwhile, a former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd.), has rated the Nigeria Army low in its battle against the Boko Haram insurgents.
He said that the military performed below expectation.
The military’s inability to overrun the terrorists, he said, made the international community to question its professionalism, noting that lack of political will had also made the fight against the insurgents look impossible.
Dambazau said this in Abuja on Thursday at the 12th Daily Trust Annual Dialogue Series, with the theme, “2015 Elections: How to Make Nigeria the Winner.”
He said the security forces had deviated from their constitutional responsibilities and left the country in a dangerous situation.
He said, “The conduct of the army against Boko Haram was below expectation and its professionalism was questioned by the international community. The insurgency situation in the North-East has exposed the weakness of our military and the lack of political will has made the fight against the insurgents look impossible. Nigeria is in a situation where continued politicisation of its army had weakened its military response.”
The retired army chief also accused politicians of creating private and well-funded armies to push their personal agenda.
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