Help Us Identify Boko Haram Sponsors, Jonathan To EU Leaders

President Goodluck Jonathan Wednesday maintained that it is the collective responsibility of all nations of the world to identify sponsors and supporters of terror groups like Boko Haram in Nigeria.

He made the remark while speaking on peace and security at the opening of the ongoing Fourth European Union (EU) – Africa Summit in Brussels, the Belgian capital.

According to him, the terrorists should be held responsible for their actions aiming to destabilise the African continent.

He said that a terror attack on one nation is an attack on everybody.

Jonathan thanked the EU and other development partners for their assistance towards addressing the menace of terror in the continent.

He said, “The weapons of choice of these terror groups are the Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW). Of recent, they have acquired the rapid propelled grenades and even surface-to-air missiles.  Where do they get these sophisticated weapons?”

“The total value of what these terrorists possess as individuals, in terms of what they wear, where they live cannot buy an assault rifle. We all have the collective responsibility to un-earth their sponsors and supporters who are determined to destabilise Africa. We should hold them responsible and accountable for their actions.”

Stressing that the issue of peace and security called for a holistic and integrated approach, he said that peace and development are two sides of the same coin.

Because of the importance Nigeria attaches to the issue of terror, he said that it informed the decision to organize a summit on “Human Security, Peace and Development: An Agenda for the 21st Century” during Nigeria’s recent Centenary Celebrations.

The summit, he said, resolved, in part, that all countries must continue to strengthen existing mechanisms for national and international conflict management, and create new avenues for co-operation within and between peoples and nations.

According to him, African Union since year 2000, have demonstrated sustained desire for the development of collective security arrangement among its member states and its Regional Economic Communities.

To this end, he said that the countries have established a security management system and the codification of standards within Africa’s Peace and Security Architecture, which he said, included the Peace and Security Council, a continental early warning system, the Panel of the Wise and the African Standby Force (ASF).

The union, he said, has also subscribed to modalities and action plans to confront the new challenges and threat of piracy in some maritime boundaries and curb the menace of oil theft.

Beside these initiatives, he said that there were organs within the AU with mandates to strengthen the peace and security architecture.

Jonathan described the coming into force of the African Charter on Democracy, Election and Government as a legally binding instrument as a further re-affirmation of collective resolve at outlawing unconstitutional change of government in Africa.

He said: “Notwithstanding these initiatives, new and emerging threats that necessitate concerted and holistic focus have emerged. These include political conflicts that threaten hard-won peace and democracies, and worse still, the phenomenon of piracy and terrorism.”

“In the face of these new threats and challenges, the Peace and Security Architecture needs to be strengthened and the African Standby Force needs to be fully operationalised.”

“We need to give stronger impetus to capacity building and logistical support to boost Africa’s capability and preparedness to take pre-emptive steps to contain conflict situations, quell violence and deal with the scourges of terrorism.”

Continuing, he said: “There is need for renewed efforts to address the challenges at hand, in the context of our partnership. The modest successes recorded in tackling the peace and security challenges confronting us notwithstanding, the fact remains that we may continue to fall short of the target of ridding Africa of conflicts if the nexus that exists between peace and development is not fully explored and developed.”

“Our approaches must therefore be integrated while simultaneously addressing the socio-political factors that push countries to conflict, with their attendant humanitarian and socio-economic consequences.”

The summit brought together the Heads of State and Government of the EU and the African continent together with the EU and AU institutions.

The EU was represented at the summit which has “Investing in people, prosperity and peace” as its theme by President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy and President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso.

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