All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Organization has expressed happiness over the decision of the African Union (AU) to commit 7,500 troops in a multinational effort to fight the Boko Haram terror sect.
Leaders of the African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC) met yesterday and agreed to the plan to bring to an end the killings and maiming of residents of the North East part of Nigeria by the militant group and endorsed a plan for a regional task force of 7,500 Army to fight the sect.
The meeting which was presided by President Alpha Conde of Guinea, said the effort would end the militants, who recently expanded their attacks to the borders of Lake Chad region of Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger, Chad and Benin had earlier in the month requested the AU to seek U.N. Security Council mandate for their plan to take on insurgents who are allegedly fighting to create an Islamic state in northern Nigeria.
Smail Chergui, the AU commissioner for Peace and Security Council, told reporters on the sidelines of an African summit in Addis Ababa shortly after the meeting that: “We are thinking of a force of 7,500 women and men which will be submitted to the U.N. Security Council for approval.’’
Chergui hoped that the concept of the force would be better organised and “we can achieve the goal that we are looking for to really stop the killing and these barbaric acts of Boko Haram’’.
He said the African group would meet in Cameroon early February “to draw up a concept of operations and strategy, rules of engagement, command and control, and related issues.”
Each of the five nations would contribute a battalion with each contingent to base within its national borders, with operations to be coordinated from Chad.
And a statement from the Director of Media and Publicity of the APC Presidential Campaign Organisation, Garba Shehu, said that the decision of the AU to send troops to confront the Boko Haram onslaught will bring succour to many Nigerians who have haplessly waited for government intervention.
The statement, signed said: “for the victims of the Boko Haram onslaught and for Nigerians who are residents of areas most hit by Boko Haram attacks, this is the best news that has come for a long time.
“It is an action that has become necessary in the face of the seemingly show of ineptitude and a clear lack of proactive initiatives on the part of the PDP government, a government that prefers to muddle up and politicize issues of paramount importance than to squarely face them. such as the security of lives and property of those they swore to protect.
“We will only implore the AU troops to conduct themselves in accordance with the global rules of engagement, particularly as it relates to issues of fundamental human rights.” [myad]