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The Foreign Ministers of Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, as well as representatives of Benin, the European Union, France, Canada, the United States, the United Nations and the African Union met in London under UK chairmanship on 12 June 2014 to discuss security in Nigeria and the region.

We reaffirmed our strong and united commitment to fighting terrorism and insecurity in Nigeria and the region.  We condemn in the strongest terms the series of atrocities perpetrated by Boko Haram and other groups. Nigeria and its neighbours committed to strengthen further the cooperation among regional states to bring home the abducted school girls and defeat Boko Haram.  They reaffirmed their commitment to human rights and civilian security, to the prevention of sexual violence in conflict and to the empowerment and education of women and girls.  The abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls was a heinous example of the scourge of sexual violence, which we are determined to eliminate around the world.  The countries of the region have all endorsed the Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict declaration.

We reaffirmed the commitments made at the Paris summit on 17 May and welcomed the progress made since then, particularly the Memorandum of Understanding on the Regional Intelligence Fusion Unit, which was signed on 9 June in Yaounde.  We further pledged that:

-          Each of the member countries would contribute a battalion to the Multinational Joint Task Force and support its headquarters through military advisers in the framework of the Lake Chad Basin Commission.  We will quickly operationalise further simultaneous or coordinated patrols 

-          Following the addition of Boko Haram to the UN Al-Qaida Sanctions list, we will work quickly through the UN Security Council to finalise the addition of Ansaru and the leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, to the list.   We will work with other UN member states to help and encourage them to implement UN sanctions through appropriate domestic action. We will encourage member states to propose other appropriate individuals, groups or entities for listing. 

-          We commit to continue the close cooperation between the countries of the region and the international partners represented at the meeting in the search for the abducted girls and the fight against Boko Haram and other groups, including providing access and overflight clearances in agreement with regional governments.

Alongside our law enforcement, military and intelligence cooperation we recognised that  security and stability can be achieved only through an approach that includes respect for human rights, alleviating poverty and creating jobs, strengthening rule of law and accountable governance, improving education, protecting the rights of women and girls, and including women and civil society in efforts to resolve conflict. 

The countries of the region commit to further efforts to achieve these aims in the most affected areas, for example operationalising Nigeria’s Presidential Initiative on the North-East to accelarate economic recovery and redevelopment in the region.  International partners reaffirmed their commitment to support these initiatives including through their development programmes and technical advice. 

We welcome the work of the United Nations Office for West Africa, including the development of a UN integrated support package to assist Nigeria’s efforts against Boko Haram, the African Union Strategy for the Sahel, including the Nouakchott process on regional security, the Global Counter Terrorism Forum and other regional initiatives on border security and border management, and commit to strengthen these initiatives further and ensure they are well coordinated. We also welcomed the conclusions of the extraordinary ECOWAS Summit on 30 May.   The United Nations will continue to coordinate the implementation of the UN strategy on the Sahel.

We commit to maintain a regular dialogue at political level to ensure that operational agreements are followed up and that we regularly review the need for further action. We will remain united in our efforts to end terrorism in the region and bring security and prosperity to its people, while respecting the human rights of all.

 

 

The United Kingdom, France and the United States, along with other international partners, work closely with Nigeria and the region in the fight against terrorism. The Boko Haram insurgency represents a threat to the whole region and requires a regional response, which integrates civilian and military efforts. We have further increased our support following the horrific abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls, including through deploying surveillance assets and the generating and fusing of intelligence, deploying cross-disciplinary expert teams to Nigeria, mobilising our development programmes, providing help to victims, and strong political support including through the Paris and London meetings. We pledged today to increase that support further.  Between us, we will:

-          Ensure that the new regional intelligence fusion unit (RIFU) is operationalised quickly, following the signature on 9 June of a Memorandum of Understanding setting up the unit

-          Offer direct tactical training and advice to the Nigerian and regional forces engaged in the fight against Boko Haram and other terrorist groups

-          Continue to strengthen the Nigerian Government’s capacity to deliver a coordinated and effective response to the terrorist threat

-          Increase our support for girls’ education in Nigeria and our assistance to the Nigerian and other Governments as they ensure that basic services and infrastructure are provided to the populations most menaced by terrorism and instability. 

We will continue to coordinate our support closely between us and with other international partners, Nigeria and the region to ensure it is well-targeted and effective. These efforts require a deepening of our reciprocal partnership with Nigeria and the region. 

The Government of Nigeria has agreed to convene a follow on conference in Abuja in September.

Posted by Tchioffo Kodjo

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