BEN AGANDE IN BRUSSELS, BELGIUM.
President Goodluck Jonathan has called on world leaders to assist Nigeria identify sponsors of the Boko Haram terrorists Organization, saying that the world has the responsibility of holding the sponsors of the deadly sect responsible and accountable for their atrocities.
Speaking in Brussels, Belgium yesterday at the European Union/African Union summit on Peace and Security, President Jonathan reiterated that there can be no development in Africa if the issue of insecurity is not holistically tackled, emphasizing that “peace and development are two sides of the same coin”.
While expressing appreciation of the government of Nigeria to the European Union for its support to Nigeria and other African countries to tackle the threat of terrorism from groups like Boko Haram and in the Sahel, president Jonathan maintained that “that a terror attack on one nation is an attack on us all” and everything must be done to expose and defeat them.
“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” the president said.
He said given the importance Nigeria attaches to the subject of peace and security in Africa, we organized a Summit on “Human Security, Peace and Development: An Agenda for the 21st Century” which attracted over 20 Heads of State and Governments and Heads of International Organizations, where it was resolved that Leaders “must continue to strengthen existing mechanisms for national and international conflict management, and create new avenues for co-operation within and between our peoples and our nations”.
President Jonathan noted that in the face of these new threats and challenges, the Peace and Security Architecture of Africa needs to be strengthened and the African Standby Force needs to be fully operationalised, adding that The African Union needs 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”.
The president said in demonstration of its desire for the development of collective security arrangement among its member states and its Regional Economic Communities, the African Union established a security management system and the codification of standards within Africa’s Peace and Security Architecture (APSA).
“This includes the Peace and Security Council, a Continental Early Warning System, the Panel of the Wise and the African Standby Force (ASF). As part of the efforts to bolster the governance architecture in the continent, we have recently added the Africa Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC).
” In our resolve to check the new threat of piracy in some of our maritime boundaries and curb the menace of oil theft, we have subscribed to modalities and action plans to confront these challenges. These include the outcomes of the London Conference in 2012 on the situation in Somalia and the Yaoundé Summit on Maritime Safety and Security in the Gulf of Guinea in June, 2013.
“In addition to these initiatives, we have organs within the AU with mandates to strengthen the Peace and Security Architecture. These include: The African Commission on Human and Peoples Right, the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights and the Pan-African Parliament.
“The coming into force of the African Charter on Democracy, Election and Government as a legally binding instrument is a further re-affirmation of our collective resolve at outlawing unconstitutional change of Government in Africa. 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” he said.
President Jonathan told the heads of states present at the summit that there is need for renewed efforts to address the challenges at hand, in the context of the Partnership the European Union and the African Union.
He warned that despite “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”.
In his message at the summit, the Secretary General of the United Nation, mr Ban Ki Moon
Over forty world leaders and delegations attended the summit which was held at the European Union headquarters in Brussels. It is the first summit by the EU and AU to tackle the challenge of insecurity in Africa which has far reaching consequences for Europe.