From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Federal Government and the Republic of Cameroon have pledged to complement each other’s effort in securing the borders of both countries, particularly against terrorists and secessionists.
The Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, while declaring open the 8th Session of the Cameroon-Nigeria Trans-Border Security Committee Meeting in Abuja, said the committee has achieved a lot of appreciable strides since its establishment in 2012.
Dada disclosed that Nigeria will always welcome and support any initiative from the Republic of Cameroon that will strengthen the border relations and curtail security threats, especially from terrorists and secessionists.
Dada added that since the signing of the Cameroon-Nigeria Trans-border Security Agreement in February 2012 and the first session of the committee’s meeting in Yaounde in 2013, the committee has made efforts to collectively address the enduring challenges of terrorism and other forms of criminality along borders in order to promote peaceful coexistence.
Dada further said it was crucial to sustaining the level of cooperation between the two countries.
‘It is crucial that we sustain this level of cooperation in order to overcome our lingering border security concerns. It is for this reason that we are gathered here in Abuja, in line with the aforementioned agreement to ensure that our people in the border areas live in a peaceful and secured environment,’ Dada said.
Dada also stated that the Common Border Governance Strategy as agreed during the 4th Conference of African Ministers responsible for border management held in Addis Ababa in 2016, was critical in addressing challenges and opening doors of opportunities for trans-border economic cooperation.
‘It was unanimously agreed that Africa’s peace and security is directly intertwined with good border governance at the attainment of sustainable development in the border areas,’ Dada stated.
In his remarks, the Head of the Cameroonian delegation, Mr Atanga Nji Poul, described the committee as an important forum for both countries.
The Minister of Territorial Integrity of Cameroon disclosed that since the commencement of the Committee activities, Nigeria and Cameroon borders have recorded a lot of improvement in terms of security.
Poul maintained that due to the improvement in security, the activities of Boko Haram and other criminals have reduced drastically which led to the returning of many Nigerian refugees residing in Cameroon back home.
The Head of the Nigerian Delegation and National Security Adviser, General Babagana Monguno, said the 8th session’s main focus is the consolidation on gains of the previous ones.
Monguno added that multilateral platforms in the fight against terrorists must be sustained by both countries.
He reaffirmed the commitment of the two countries to resist any attempt to form alliances by secessionist groups to destabilise the region.
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