UK Foreign Secretary William Hague
In line with the decisions reached at the Paris summit on security last month, the foreign ministers of Nigeria, Niger, Cameroun, Chad and the Benin Republic will be meeting in London on June 12 on the Boko Haram insurgency that has ravaged North-eastern Nigeria and has spilt over to the country’s neighbours in the north.
The African ministers will also meet with their counterparts from the United Kingdom (UK), United States of America (USA), France, Canada and the European Union (EU) on the sidelines of the World Summit on Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict.
According to a statement made available by the British High Commission in Abuja yesterday, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague would host the London Ministerial Meeting on Security in Northern Nigeria, which would consider what more could be done both to improve regional coordination, and on economic and social development to counter the threat of Boko Haram.
“Since the appalling abductions of over 200 school girls in Chibok by Boko Haram, the international community has worked together closely to support Nigeria in the fight against terrorism,” Hague said.
He added that all countries involved in the plan to rescue the girls had already reached agreements on intelligence sharing; coordinated border patrols; developing a regional counter-terrorism strategy; and wider action, including supporting the victims of sexual violence and the empowerment of women and girls.
This coordinated action has sent a powerful message of intent, Hague said, adding that the meeting would build on the agreements and consider further options to combat terrorism in northern Nigeria.
“This shows the determination of those in the region, with the support of the international community, to defeat Boko Haram. We continue to work through our close international coordination on the ground in Nigeria to help secure the release of the abducted school girls,” he added.
The UK foreign minister described as appropriate the meeting that would be taking place within the Summit on Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict, as the abduction of the Chibok girls underlines the dreadful risk posed to women and girls in conflict and why the UK is mobilising the world to tackle sexual violence during conflicts.
The statement also quoted Prime Minister David Cameron as expressing readiness to provide more assistance to Nigeria.
Speaking at the G7 meeting in Brussels, Cameron said: “In the longer term, we stand ready to provide more practical assistance to help Nigeria and the region to strengthen their defence and security institutions and to develop the expertise needed to counter these barbaric extremists.”