Nigeria’s President Buhari From Cameroon; Regional Cooperation And Trust Needed To Defeat Boko Haram

buhari and biya
Nigeria’s President Buhari with Cameroon’s President Paul Biya at the presidential palace in Cameroon where they held bilateral talks.

Highlights:

  • Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2-day visit Cameroon in a bid to strengthen cooperation between the two countries in the fight against Boko Haram
  • First Buhari’s visit since his election to Cameroon
  • Cameroon is among the nations in the region that have launched a joint offensive together with, Niger, Nigeria and Chad.
  • In the past weeks Cameroon has experienced series of suicide bombings in the north of the country that left at least 60 people dead and scores injured
  • The African Union has mandated a 8700-strong regional taskforce that has its headquarters in N’djamena in Chad but has postponed to start its operation over a funding issue

Assessment:

President Buhari was in Cameroon for a two-day visit in an effort to foster increased cooperation in the fight against the Boko Haram Islamist.

Buhari held talks with his Cameroon counterpart President Paul Biya on 29th July 2015 at the presidential palace in Cameroon.

The trip was the first for Buhari to Cameroon since his election and it was preceded by a wave of suicide bombs in Cameroon. The attacks are in retaliation to the joint offence that was launched earlier by Niger, Chad, Nigeria and Cameroon against the militants.

Key on the agenda was ways and means to eradicate the already weak Boko Haram that has resulted in conducting attacks on soft targets as they are incapable of a military-type attacks and engagements.

Buhari was also looking to ease the decades-long strain between the two countries brought about by a border conflict. Cameroon accused Nigeria of denying them access to pursue the Boko Haram into Nigeria like it has granted Niger and Chad thus hampering the efforts to combat the militants.

The African Union has mandated an 8700-strong regional taskforce that has its headquarters in N’djamena in Chad but has postponed starting its operation over a funding issue.

The talks look to hasten the start of the regional task force and the talks with President Biya would fast track the launch thus the regional task force would be operational in 30 days.

Buhari expressed optimism in the outcomes of the talks as he heads to Benin over the weekend,  “We cannot afford to falter in our resolve to rid our countries of this evil that is threatening to destroy our hard-earned freedoms and what we have achieved as individual countries and collectively in our sub-region,” said Buhari.

Summary:

The mandated AU task force will include Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Benin and it is expected to start its operation in30 days. This is a clear indication of the need for global and regional cooperation in the fight against terrorism.

Buhari’s visit to Cameroon not only revived the hope for cordial relationship between the two nations but also ascertained the common agenda of defeating the Boko Haram by all means exuded by the two.

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