Sunday, 26 May 2013

Boko Haram: We will continue our support for Nigeria

Oludare Ogunlana, presenting copies of the African Journal of Counterterrorism to Brig-Gen.  Linda Urrutia-Varhall, Director of Intelligence, (J-2) SOUTHCOM
Oludare Ogunlana and Hon. Alan Bersin
The United States government on Thursday reaffirmed its commitment to the Nigerian government in the ongoing war against Boko Haram insurgent group, operating in the country.

Honorable Alan Bersin, Assistant Secretary for International Affairs and Chief Diplomatic Officer, U.S Department of Homeland Security  explained to the audience during a question and answer session  at the ongoing conference of the International Association for Intelligence professional at the University of Texas, El-Paso, Texas.

He explained that the United States government is watching with a keen interest and will continue to offer assistance to the Nigerian people to make sure that the Boko Haram is defeated.

Hon. Bersin said apart from the fact that the country is the most populous black nation with huge resources, Nigeria is one of the fastest growing economy in the region of which the U.S government will lend a hand to the country to reach its full potential.

Hon. Bergen, who did not mention Boko Haram earlier in his keynote speech later gave a detail explanation when the participants from Nigeria drew his attention to the menace of the insurgent group in the country during the interactive session.

Mr. Oludare Ogunlana, a participant from Nigeria and a publisher of the African Journal of Counterterrorism in a question to the Hon. Bersin said “the Boko Haram is an overlooked threat to the United States and sought to know what the U.S government is doing”
“Findings from the Global terrorism Database indicate that there are twenty eight terrorist groups in Africa. Some of them are Algeria’s Armed Islamic Group, the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, Al Sadine and Tuareg in Mali, Al Shabaab in Somalia, while Boko Haram of Nigeria has become he most active at the moment.” He added

Hon. Bersin said the U.S government have been watching Boko Haram and how the insurgent group is recruiting, grown and its capability. “I can assure you that Boko Haram is on our watch list, we cannot overlook the threat” said Hon. Bersian

Mr. Ogunlana  and AVM. Bala Danbaba (rtd) in the afternoon session spoke on the panel on the “Emerging Security Threats in Africa”

The duo on the panel agrees that terrorism and drug trafficking is organized by complex criminal networks.  Drug trafficking in Africa is a complex phenomenon shaped by overlapping and interrelated dimensions. As illicit trade in commodities, weapons, narcotics, and humans and other items across numerous countries within and beyond the region, causing civil strife, the use of military force and other forms of violence, and ultimately human suffering.

Countries in Africa have in recent times become transit points for narcotic drugs from Latin America bound for Europe and North America.  West Africa is a famous transit point in view of its location on the globe.

According to  Ogunlana,  “Angola, Namibia, and South Africa are believed to be the main cocaine trafficking routes for Brazilian cartels.”
Prominent among these narcotic drugs are cocaine, heroin, and cannabis among others. The drug trade is well structured; the process starts from growing of raw materials such as cannabis plant, poppy plant and coca leaf.

He narrated further that African farmers in Ghana, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Zambia, Egypt and Morocco are recruited and motivated to cultivate huge expanse of these raw materials.

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