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African leaders hold security summit over violent extremism

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African leaders hold security summit over violent extremism

African Union Commission leader, Mousa Faki alongside Chairman of ECOWAS, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and others, have called for the establishment of a standby military force for peacekeeping efforts in Africa. They made this known during a security summit held in Abuja, Nigeria.

Insecurity in Africa is linked to violent groups, such as Islamic State and al Qaeda with multiple attacks on civilians and the military across the Sahel, Somalia, and Mozambique, and the Sahel suffered the most attacks, Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe said.

I say this with prudence and regret, but I think the institutions that have been in place for several decades are no longer able to respond to the security situation that we face, Gnassingbe added.

According to Faki, “Last year, the number of daily attacks by extremist groups in Africa rose from four attacks and 18 deaths to eight attacks and 44 deaths daily between 2017 and 2021.

“7,000 civilians were killed and 4,000 military personnel died last year, adding that this situation was being exploited in countries as a basis for military coups,” he said.

He added that Africa needs more funding to help counter the spread of terrorism in the region.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed argued that the Sahel accounted for half the deaths caused by terrorism globally.

Nigerian President, Bola Tinubu said greater efforts were needed to halt the proliferation of small arms and weapons and called for the establishment of a regional standby force whose mandate includes tackling terrorism.

“I am mindful of the funding, legal, and logistical complexities that face the proper establishment of such a force. Such a force can stand as a strong deterrent to large scale and protracted terrorist operations and the capture, occupation or disruption of strategic land and resources,” Tinubu said.

Other foreign dignitaries at the summit were President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana; President Faure Gnassingbe of Togo; President Patrice Talon of Benin Republic; Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, president, transition and head of State, Republic of Chad; Mohamed Bilal, prime minister, Mauritania; Amina Mohammed, deputy secretary-general, United Nations (UN); and Moussa Mahamat, chairperson, African Union (AU) commission.

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