Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, COAS

Army lauded for counter-insurgency war, support to UN programmes

NEWS DIGEST–The Nigerian Army (NA) has been applauded for its gallantry and efforts in dealing with the Boko Haram insurgency.

NA was commended by the United Nations Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel, Ambassador Mohammed Ibn Chambas, who also thanked the Army for lending its support to the various rehabilitation and humanitarian programmes launched by UN.

“We want to underscore the continuous support of the Federal Government of Nigeria and in particular, the Nigerian Army, for its various supports to UN programmes. Without the support of the Nigerian Army, it would have been difficult for UN humanitarian agencies to work in the North East, including non-UN agencies,” Mr. Chambas explained.

He said the openness of the Nigerian Army to UN has become legendary, pointing out that the gallant efforts of NA in combating the terrorists and curtailing their destructive activities in not only Nigeria, but the entire West African sub-region, was exceptionally remarkable.

He spoke at the Army Headquarters’ Conference Room, when he paid a courtesy visit to the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, on Wednesday, in Abuja.

Ibn Chambas, was accompanied by the UN Special Representative for Africa, Ambassador Francois Fall, and the European Union (EU) Special Representative for the Sahel and Lake Chad Basin Commission, Amb. Angel Lusada.

The eminent diplomat, said they were at the Army Headquarters to ascertain how the world bodies could intervene and support the affected countries in particular, states affected by the devastating impact of terrorism.

Assuring that their world bodies would partner the Army in strengthening troops’ capacity and offering other vital supports, Mr. Chambas, said: “We are here in the context of the visit to Boko Haram affected areas. We have visited Cameroun and Chad. This is our last leg to Nigeria. The objective is to support affected states, to see how the UN, EU and other stakeholders can work together in the fight against violent extremism and terrorism.

He continued: “One area of interest is the ongoing efforts to checkmate Boko Haram and stop its spread because of its affiliation to international terrorists groups. That is why it is incumbent on us all, that we must see the fight against Boko Haram, as a fight against international terrorism. We are all concerned and we believe that Boko Haram is fight that we can win.”

Also speaking, Amb. Lusada, said the EU was committed to Nigeria and the Multinational Joint Task Force in the efforts to ending Boko Haram and international terrorism in the Lake Chad Basin.

He said: “We are happy with the work of the Nigerian Army. There are so many initiatives taking place and new once coming up and this involves funding, but we want coordination. The crisis has become regional and can only be solved with regional partnerships. That is why we are meeting with stakeholders.”

Responding, Lt. Gen. Buratai, commended both international bodies for standing by Nigeria in the efforts to dislodge terrorism and other violent crimes in the sub-region, urging the UN and EU to pay a visit to the Nigerian Army Peacekeeping Centre in Jaji, and see how the Centre can be expanded and further supported to enhance its international contributions to UN peacekeeping efforts.