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Why terrorism persists in West Africa — Chadian President

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President Muhammadu Buhari (right), welcoming President Idriss Deby Itno of Chad to the Presidential Villa in Abuja…yesterdayPHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA 


Says New Strategy Can Eradicate Insurgents 

The President of Chad Republic, Marshal Idris Deby Itno, yesterday, decried terrorism in the continent, stating that the crusade against the menace in the Lake Chad Basin and the Sahel region of Africa has not been adequate.

President Itno was at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on a one-day official visit, during which he held bilateral discussions with President Muhammadu Buhari.

Fielding questions from newsman after the meeting with the Nigerian President, Itno said that the four countries sharing the Lake Chad Basin had put together a formidable military formation, the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), to stamp out terrorism in the region, but lamented that the formation had not been carrying out enough required operations.

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According to him, he discussed the situation at the MNJTF with President Buhari, saying a situation where the joint military outfit embarks on just one operation in a whole year had made the fight difficult and defeating the terrorists rather impossible.

Nevertheless, he expressed confidence that with the new strategies being deployed and new officers with fresh ideas being assigned to take over commands at both national and regional levels, the defeat of the various terror groups, including Boko Haram and the Islamic State, West African Province (ISWAP), would be addressed permanently.

“However, with the new security apparatus that has been put in place with the new security chiefs and not only in Nigeria, but even on the Multinational Joint Task Force itself, which also has a new leadership, we’re hopeful now that with new strategies and dynamism, we’ll be able to address definitively the issue of Boko Haram.

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“All the countries participating and are taking responsibility, none of them are shirking their responsibilities and the military of all the countries also have that sense of responsibility of what needs to be done and what their obligation is, which is to protect all the countries and that they are fully on track for that and that with this new security architecture, we’re hopeful that the things will get much better and it will be done all together. 

“Boko Haram is indeed an evil that has hampered the four countries of the Lake Chad Basin and it has done many harm to our populations.” 

“It would be remembered that since 2013/2014, the four countries put together their means to create the Multinational Joint Task Force, this Multinational Joint Task Force has had good results. 

“Unfortunately, the resilience of Boko Haram and the Islamic State in the Lake Chad Basin has been unprecedented. They are being supplied and being trained and being formed through Libya. 

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“The MNJTF has done a lot of work and as you have seen recently, we’ve had exchanges on this with my brother on the way ahead. 

“With the new team of the Chief of Defence Staff and the new Commander that has been appointed at the Multinational Joint Task Force, they were convinced that we could eradicate Boko Haram. 

“There’s a lot of hope on this new team, with this new strategy. I remain confident that the four armies of the four countries can finish this evil and eradicate Boko Haram once and for all”, he said.

Continuing, President Itno said a number of important issues including the challenges facing Nigeria and Chad were discussed at the bilateral meeting. 

He said that the meeting further discussed various bilateral relations between the two countries and how to strengthen those bilateral relations. 

The President said that they also discussed the issue of Islamic state and the challenges that they pose to the two countries as well as the lake Chad environment. 

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