President Muhammadu Buhari has raised an alarm over weapons proliferation in African countries.
According to him, some weapons used in the lingering war between Russia and Ukraine are being shipped into the Lake Chad Basin region.
Lake Chad region is an economically and socially integrated area in West and Central Africa straddling Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria.
Naija News reports that the Nigerian leader raised the alarm while delivering a speech at the 16th Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), held at the Conference Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Tuesday.
Violent Situations In Sahel Region Compounded Boko Haram Terrorism In Lake Chad Basin
Chairing the Summit, Buhari said the situation, which had heightened the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, called for a reawakening of the border security of the countries of the region.
He stressed that the unending war between Russia and Ukraine and other violent situations in the Sahel region of West Africa compounded Boko Haram terrorism in the Lake Chad Basin region.
He said though a lot had been done to decimate the strength of the Boko Haram terror group and other violent extremist groups in the region, terrorist threats still persist.
Buhari said: “I am glad to inform my dear brothers that in keeping with that decision, the MNJTF has since then, successfully conducted three major operations: Ops‘YANCIN TAFKI (I&II) and Ops Lake Sanity I, with, the fourth one, Ops Lake Sanity II, being planned. The next phase of the operation will take cognizance of lessons learnt from previous exercises and effectively consolidating the gains attained by preceding Ops.
“I am glad to note that during the execution of Ops Lake Sanity I, regrouping terrorists in the Lake Chad Islands were effectively decimated.
“It must, however, be stated that despite the successes recorded by the gallant troops of the MNJTF and the various ongoing national operations in the region, terrorist threats still lurk in the region.
“Regrettably, the situation in the Sahel and the raging war in Ukraine serve as significant sources of weapons and fighters that bolster the ranks of the terrorists in the Lake Chad Region. A substantial proportion of the arms and ammunition procured to execute the war in Libya continues to find its way to the Lake Chad Region and other parts of the Sahel. Weapons being used for the war in Ukraine and Russia are equally beginning to filter into the region.
“This illegal movement of arms into the region has heightened the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, which continues to threaten our collective peace and security. There is, therefore, the urgent need for expedited collaborative actions by our border control agencies and other security services to stop the circulation of all illegal weapons in the region,” Buhari stressed.
President Buhari added that governments of the region needed to complement the ongoing efforts with the provision of sustainable development projects, which he said would make life more conducive for the people and restore their confidence in the State.
He said: “Government presence must be positively felt in the area to restore the confidence of citizens in the ability of the State to protect them and provide basic infrastructure for all.
“It is in view of the foregoing that the implementation of the Regional Strategy for the Stabilization, Recovery and Resilience of the Boko Haram affected Areas of the region must gain further traction without any delay.”
Naija News understands that the summit had Presidents and Heads of State of the six member-states in attendance, with the exception of President Paul Biya of Cameroon, who was represented by one of his ministers.
Those in physical attendance were Prof. Faustine Archange TOUADERA, President of the Central African Republic; Mohamed BAZOUM, President and Head of State of Niger Republic; Patrice TALLON, President of the Republic of Benin; Mahamat Idriss Deby ITNO, President of the Transition Military Council of Chad, President of the Republic, Head of State; Mohamed AL-MENFI, Chairman, Presidential Council of Libya.