President Muhammadu Buhari has asked border control agencies and security services within member countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission to stop the circulation of all illegal weapons in the region.
Speaking at the 16th Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission on Tuesday, the President reminded that illegal movement of arms into the region has heightened the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, a situation which continues to threaten the collective peace and security in the region.
Buhari, who is also Chairman of the Commission, noted that although terrorist threats have been significantly decimated in the region, military actions alone cannot effectively win the war against terrorism.
Illuminating budgetary concerns, which according to him, remains a challenge for all member countries, particularly against the backdrop of declining global inflows and increasing demands, Buhari asserted the need to regularly review the development projects and counterterrorism strategies operational in the region.
Established on May 22, 1964, the Lake Chad Basin Commission has six member countries bordering Lake Chad: Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Central African Republic and Libya.
The Commission manages Lake Chad’s shared water resources, preservation of the ecosystems and promotion of regional integration, peace and development in the Lake Chad Region.
Despite the successes recorded by the gallant troops of the MNJTF and the various ongoing national operations in the region, terrorist threats still lurk in the region.
Regrettably, the situation in the Sahel and the raging war in Ukraine serve as major sources of weapons and fighters that bolster the ranks of the terrorists in the Lake Chad Region.
A substantial proportion of the arms and ammunition procured to execute the war in Libya continues to find its way to the Lake Chad Region and other parts of the Sahel.
Weapons being used for the war in Ukraine and Russia are equally beginning to filter to the region.
This illegal movement of arms into the region has heightened the proliferation of small arms and light weapons which continues to threaten our collective peace and security in the region.
There is, therefore, the urgent need for expedited collaborative actions by our border control agencies and other security services to stop the circulation of all illegal weapons in the region.