The United States military has expressed concerned over attacks being carried out by foreign extremists in Nigeria and other West African countries.
The Army’s concern came a week after President Muhammadu Buhari blamed the rise in herders’ attacks on foreign militia trained by late Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi.
Speaking at the African Land Forces Summit in Abuja, the Commanding General of the U.S. Army, Africa, Brig.-Gen. Eugene LeBoeuf, said insecurity and terrorism in Nigeria and other West African nations have been fuelled by the invasion of foreign extremists.
LeBoeuf said the U.S. military had set in motion a strategic plan to assist Nigeria and other nations within the region with reliable border security plans.
“To respect our security cooperation activities, we again will support border security activities through invitation to help support our African allies.
“We are all concerned over attacks from foreign extremists’ orgainisation and so the U.S. is interested in supporting our partner nations to secure their borders and enabling security whether in their country or outside,” he said.
He explained that the U.S. would continue to support Nigeria in strengthening its defence policy, which will be geared towards combating terrorism and extremism in the West African sub-region.
On his part, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen Gabriel Olonisakin, observed the need to combat terrorism, proliferation and extremism saying it had become imperative given the wave of attacks in recent times.
“Violent extremism terrorism, human trafficking, proliferation of small arms and light weapons as well as piracy have continued to pose security challenges to our individual and collective countries.
“The army chiefs of various countries including our partners need to develop and adopt a unified approach to confronting these challenges.
“Tackling security challenges such as those highlighted above requires a comprehensive decision and unified approach by all stakeholders.
“There is a need for sincere and active collaboration between all stakeholders to strangulate the sources of funding, weapons and groups that pose or have the potential to pose a security challenge at national, regional or continental levels.
“This collaboration can only be possible if we forge lasting friendships that will accommodate common interests and aspirations to safeguard Africa,” he said.