Repeated atrocities committed on Cameroonian and Chadian soil by the terrorist Boko Haram sect, and of late in Niger, have provoked outright condemnation by all and sundry.
Apart from the countries directly affected like Cameroon that has not missed any occasion to draw international attention to the destabilising aggression by the militants, the United Nations Organisation, the African Union, sub-regional institutions and others have been unanimous in concurring with Cameroon that the danger is real and requires collective action to be eradicated.
Such a sense of collective action was evident through the various declarations at the opening of the Extraordinary Conference of the Council for Peace and Security in Central Africa (COPAX) created by the Economic Community of Central African States, ECCAS in 1999 in Yaounde. While encouraging the policy of non-intervention as far as internal affairs of each Member State is concerned, ECCAS countries equally envisage collective support toward each other in times of difficulties like the war being imposed on Chad and Cameroon, both being members of the sub-regional grouping.
Beyond ECCAS, the various resolutions of the UN, the meeting of Heads of State and Government of ECCAS in Addis Ababa on 31 January 2015 on the sidelines of the 24th Ordinary Session of the Conference of AU Heads of State and Government as well as the meeting of Defence Ministers and Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Lake Chad Basin in Niamey, Niger on 20 January 2015, are just a few examples of several efforts to stem the tides of violence and carnage by the obnoxious sect.
Conscious of the increasing level of harm that the sect is unleashing in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger, the other six countries of ECCAS made it a duty to attend the Yaounde Summit and make their voices heard. Such a sense of collective concern should not last with just one episode or with attendance at the summit but should entail effective contribution, through material and financial support, as decided at the Yaounde meeting.
Beyond all expectations, the group that had all along appeared to be an internal problem in the Federal Republic of Nigeria has extended its tentacles to countries that share boundaries with Nigeria. Now, the vicious cycle of violence, killings and general destruction being caused has been so alarming that no one can be indifferent. Consequently, all speakers at the Yaounde COPAX Extraordinary Conference on Monday, 16 February 2015, indicated the common concern and indignation against a nefarious opponent that operates with unparallel brutality.
Various international meetings on ways to tackle the foe, which are intended to justify the need for a global response, should call for immediate action as the Chadian President, Idriss Deby Itno said in Yaounde on Monday. The first of such responses could be the pledge by the African Union’s Council for Peace and Security to deploy 8,700 Mixed Multinational Force. The much-awaited resolution of the UN Security Council on the reinforcement of measures against the sect should therefore follow immediately given the urgency of the situation.
Luckily, several friendly countries have also pledged support to Cameroon and the fact that Chad and Niger have now been brought into the war, following repeated attacks on their own countries, points to the fact that the sect is bent on sowing terror across the entire sub-region if not stopped early enough.
In all, the sense of solidarity demonstrated at the Yaounde come together is indicative of the shared vision by ECCAS countries and that vision needs to be accompanied by concrete action on the field since the enemy has already shown the extent to which it can be damaging.
Source : Cameroon Tribune