Next week, Nigeria will host an International Security Summit on the fight against Boko Haram. The member states that surround the Lake Chad basin as well as other international partners such as President Francois Hollande of France, the United States and the British governments are expected to be in attendance.

On the 14th of May, the four Lake Chad basin states; Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger alongside the French, British and US governments will meet in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja for the regional security summit which will feature discussions on security issues plaguing the region as well as address vital policy issues on border control and the humanitarian effects of the Boko Haram conflict.

The Abuja Summit will be the second edition of a Conference first hosted by France in Paris in May of 2014. Joint cooperation between these affected countries in recent years has resulted in a lot of success against the terrorist group and leading to a decreased number of attacks.

Speaking about the military effort against the sect, President Buhari in December of 2015, declared that Nigeria had “technically won the war” against Boko Haram. However, Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) warns against hasty conclusions on the success of military actions against Boko Haram because although “the military response to Boko Haram has become more cogent, the Lake Chad states should not too quickly proclaim ‘mission accomplished’.”

In a report titled, “Boko Haram on the Back Foot?”, the group noted that even if the militant sect was forced to “abandon all territorial pretensions in Nigeria’s northeast and the Lake Chad area, or are forced to abandon their guerrilla war, some Boko Haram militants at least are likely to seek to continue their insurgency in some form, probably through terror attacks.”

It is hoped that next week’s meeting will address these future possibilities of terror attacks on soft targets along the border communities of the four Lake Chad basin states.


Author: Aderonke Adeleke

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