’We Need to Eradicate Boko Haram’ [document]

Speech by President Paul Biya of the Republic of Cameroon at the opening ceremony of the Extraordinary Summit of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Council for Peace and Security in Central Africa (COPAX), Yaounde 16 February 2015.

“Heads of State and Government,

-Heads of Delegation,

-The Representative of the UN Secretary-General,

-The Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission,

-The Secretary-General of ECCAS,

-The President of the Senate,

-The President of the National Assembly,

-The Prime Minister,

-The First President of the Supreme Court,

-The Procureur General of the Supreme Court,

-Members of the Diplomatic Corps,

-Members of Parliament,

-Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the Cameroonian people, I wish you a warm welcome and pleasant stay in Yaoundeacute. I would like to heartily thank you for attending this summit.

Just as you desired, this summit is devoted to attacks on some of our countries by the Boko Haram terrorist sect. Your presence here testifies to the solidarity within our Organization. Above all, it also reflects our determination to implement the various decisions we have already taken against Boko Haram, a movement which, as you are aware, rebuffs the values of human life. It uses methods of blind and ruthless terrorism.

Its atrocities have already claimed thousands of lives – Muslims for the most part – and caused extensive property damage in Nigeria and in neighbouring countries.

Chad, Niger and Cameroon, and of course Nigeria, are currently at the front line, so to say. Their armed forces are bravely waging battle… Needless to point out that their battle is also the battle of our entire Organization.

I would like to pay fraternal tribute to President Idriss DEBY. With the support of the Chadian people and as a sign of solidarity, he took the courageous decision to send a large contingent of Chadian soldiers to reinforce our troops. Their bravery is well known and has been demonstrated in the latest battles.

Furthermore, Cameroon commends the decision taken by the African Union at end-January 2015.

As you know, the African Union’s Council for Peace and Security in Central Africa, at its meeting of Heads of State and Government, authorized the deployment of a 7 500-man g Mixed Multinational Force. It also decided to convene an experts’ meeting in Yaounde from 5 to 7 February 2015 to specify the operational concept of this force. The meeting conducted an in-depth situation analysis and prepared the mandate of the Mixed Multinational Force.

The African Union’s decision also paves the way for referral to the Security Council with a view to adopting a resolution.

Permit me to point out, once again, that this is in no way whatsoever, a “crusade” against Islam or an episode in some kind of “clash of civilizations”.

The reality is simple. On one side, there are our forces, defenders of a modern and tolerant society which guarantees the exercise of human rights, including that of religion, as well as representative democracy. On the other side, namely Boko Haram and similar movements, there are partisans of an obscurantist and tyrannical society which has no consideration for human dignity.

You would agree with me that these two models of society are absolutely incompatible and, hence, compromise is absolutely impossible.

Therefore, we need to put an end to the actions and activities of terrorist movements. We need to eradicate Boko Haram. By so doing, we would be able to reassure our populations and better focus on the only worthwhile struggle: the struggle against poverty and for the dignity of Africans.

Thank you.”

Source : Cameroon Tribune

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