US-led Coalition Offers to Help Rid Nigeria and Other West African Countries of Terrorists

A global alliance, championed by the United States,  has committed itself to assisting Nigeria and other West African countries to combat terrorism.

The Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS resolved to apply lessons learnt from the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria to defeat Boko Haram and other terror groups in West Africa.

The US Department of State in a statement on Wednesday said the resolution was taken at a virtual meeting with members of the  coalition and representatives of West African states and relevant regional organisations convened by the United States and Nigeria, which held on Tuesday.

Tuesday’s meeting by the coalition was convened to discuss the threat of ISIS in West Africa and ways the coalition can contribute to collective efforts to ensure ISIS’s enduring defeat in the region.

The statement said the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Ambassador Nathan Sales, marking his first meeting as the newly-designated Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, outlined the coalition’s increasing focus on defeating ISIS’s global branches and affiliates.

Sales also thanked the Nigerian delegation, led by the Coordinator for the Counter Terrorism Centre in Nigeria’s Office of the National Security Adviser, Rear Admiral Yaminu Musa, for co-hosting the event.

 It stated: “With this focus on West Africa, the coalition also announced Mauritania’s accession into the coalition as the 83rd member.  Since January 2017, the coalition has welcomed 14 new members from Africa and Asia and continues to expand its reach and cooperation against ISIS branches and affiliates.

“Today’s (Tuesday) meeting included sessions on understanding and countering the threat, moderated by the U.S. Special Envoy for the Sahel Ambassador J. Peter Pham. Representatives from Global Coalition members Cameroon, Chad, Guinea, Niger, and co-host Nigeria provided key insights on troubling developments of ISIS affiliate activity in West Africa and suggested ways the coalition could enhance efforts to counter these trends.

“As the Global Coalition seeks to apply lessons learned from the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria to other locations, participants reviewed potential lines of effort, including the use of battlefield evidence and border security measures that could be applied in West Africa.”

The meeting affirmed the coalition’s commitment to countering the threat of ISIS and its branches worldwide, including in West Africa and to supporting ongoing international efforts in the region.

The meeting also outlined the ISIS threat in West Africa and focus on ways the coalition can strengthen its collective approach in specific areas such as battlefield evidence and border security.

The United States and the 82-member global coalition also restated that they were fully committed to the enduring defeat of ISIS and its branches, which is critical to the US national security and that of its partners and allies.

The United States Secretary of State, Mr. Mike Pompeo, has pledged Washington’s readiness to use all tools at its disposal in the fight against terrorists in Nigeria and West Africa.

Pompeo, after the virtual meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, co-hosted by Nigeria, said “great progress” was made at the meeting.

He tweeted: “Great progress was made at yesterday’s virtual Global @Coalition to Defeat ISIS meeting on West Africa. We will use all tools at our disposal to counter ISIS and its affiliates anywhere in the world. My thanks to Nigeria for co-hosting the event.”

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