The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai today, Tuesday 13th September 2016, presented a paper titled “Nigerian Army Challenges and Priorities in the Ongoing Operations Against Boko Haram Terrorists and Other Threats to Peace and Security”, at the Africa Center of the Atlantic Council in Washington DC, United States of America.
The audience comprised of high level representations from the United States of America cutting across the executive, policy makers, Non-governmental organizations, serving and retired military officers. During the presentation, the Chief of Army Staff stated that the fight against terrorism should be of concern to everyone in the world and went further to dwell on the overview of Boko Haram terrorism and insurgency, as well as other security threats in Nigeria.
He also talked about addressing the issues of insecurity in Nigeria at the strategic, tactical and operational levels, challenges in tackling the threat of Boko Haram terrorists and his priorities.
burataOn the strategic level, he stated that President Muhammadu Buhari brought about the needed impetus on the fight against terrorism and insurgency by giving the right sense of direction to the country and the military. He enumerated that the Presidential strategic directive of relocating the Military Command and Control Centre from Abuja to Maiduguri, which was followed by the directive of defeating the insurgents by the end of December 2015 and involvement of neighbouring countries, as well as provision of necessary arms and logistics, assisted in the defeat of the terrorists.
The Chief of Army Staff stated that quite a number of steps were taken at the military strategic and operational levels which include the implementation of Presidential directives to relocate to the theatre of operations, changing the orientation and mindsets of troops from defensive to offensive actions, amongst others.
buratai_atlantic_councilGeneral Buratai stated that his top most priority as Chief of Army Staff was to undertake and sustain the current level of operations to ensure final and complete defeat of the Boko haram terrorists which was aimed at “ensuring the safety and freedom for all abducted persons and creation of favourable environment that would permit the return of all refugees and internally displaced persons to their original homes, which would pave way for the resumption of normal socio-economic activities in the North East.
He concluded by stated that the Nigerian Army would continue to develop capacity through local training and take advantage of international collaboration in the provision for equipment, training support, equipment maintenance, intelligence and respect for human rights. He also crave for support and understanding among all cooperating agencies and international partners for a collective action against Boko Haram terrorists.
After the presentation, during the roundtable discussion, eminent personalities including senior retired military officers, asked questions, made contributions and sought clarifications on the fight against terrorism and general security general problems in the country and areas of partnership and collaboration. issues of human rights were also raised which the COAS convincingly presented the Nigerian Army’s position. He emphasised that the Nigerian Army is first class human rights compliant.
Earlier on the Director of the Centre Dr. J Peter Pham received the Chief of Army Staff on arrival.
Present at the occasion were Ambassador Philip Carter III, Former Deputy to the Commander for Civil-Military Engagement AFRICOM, Serah Margon, Washington Director, Human Rights Watch, Ambassador Clarence Cook, Chair of the Ballard Group LLC, Ms. Lesley Anne Warner, House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ms. Morgan Vina, Policy Analyst, US Committee on Foreign Relations and Colonel Chris Wyatt, Director of African Studies, US Army War College, amongst others.
The Chief of Army Staff will also present another paper at the Virginia Military Institute, Lexington on Wednesday 14th September 2016 and pay courtesy call on Nigeria Embassy in Washington DC on Thursday 15th September 2016.