African leaders meeting in Addis Ababa have called on member states of the AU to volunteer resources to combat the spread of the Boko Haram across the Lake Chad Basin and the Al Shabaab in East Africa.
The Peace and Security Council (PSC), holding its regular meeting at the Heads of State and Government level to discuss a response to terrorism, the crisis in Burundi and the stagnant efforts to end the political crisis in South Sudan, called for stronger measures to deal with the crises affecting the continent.
“Nobody can deny that our security is threatened by global terrorism,” said Teodoro Obiang Nguema, President of Equatorial Guinea and Chairman of the Council.
“This situation demands collective mobilization on our part in addition to cooperation and coordination.”
In an effort to enhance the cooperation and coordination, the PSC Chairmanship proposed to all African countries to consider providing support to countries affected by the Boko Haram crisis in West Africa.
“The PSC is ready to make its contribution to enhance this process and to help build a stable and prosperous Africa.
“Africa has continued to deal with conflicts, faced threats and increase in terrorist attacks, organized crime and the illicit smuggling of small arms,” the PSC Chairman warned.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, who also attended the high-profile Summit, said the extent of radicalisation and the expansion of terrorism threats across borders was a cause for great concern.
“There is urgent need for coordination…as I have said before, bullets make the terrorist but development prevents terrorism.
“I urge member states especially in Africa to be at the forefront of adopting the plans to enhance border security and efforts to stop kidnapping across borders,” Ban said.
Boko Haram, which has carried out a series of attacks in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad, emerged as the world’s deadliest terror group with its killing of 6,664 people in 2014, according to the Global Terrorism Index, which has been tracking the extent of deaths inflicted by terror groups.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari was among the African leaders who attended the PSC Summit.
Several other African heads of state, including President Omar El Bashir of Sudan, Macky Sall of Senegal and Allassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire attended the debate.
In her opening remarks, the AU Commission Chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, said the extent of terror attacks have grown to their highest proportions in the last 10 years, marked by “grim stories” of terror attacks against civilians.
“The Boko Haram attacks in West Africa, the attacks in Kenya and Somalia and other individual countries targeted by the threat of terrorism show it is a universal threat we need to tackle.
“We must also fight for the hearts and minds of our people, especially our young ones,” Zuma said.