Friday, 19 October 2012
Posted by PublicInformationProjects at 06:49
|Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou(Right) And Nigerian Counterpart, Goodluck Jonathan; Photo Credit: AFP|
Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou and his Nigerian counterpart Goodluck Jonathan agreed Thursday to reinforce joint efforts against terrorism in their countries, which have been the target of attacks by armed Islamists.
During a visit by Jonathan to the Nigerien capital Niamey, the two nations' defence ministers signed security and defence agreements, aimed at "information exchange" to fight transborder crime.
The accords also allow the countries to seek help from each other if one were to be "threatened by an aggression or by an armed destabilization".
"We are facing the same threats... so we are preparing, organising to share" our information systems and defence and security forces, said Issoufou.
"There is a lot of work still to do," he added. "Our goal is to promote... a relentless fight against terrorism and criminal organizations."
Jonathan also pointed out that "the criminals don't restect national boundaries.
"For the two countries to protect themselves, we must work together," he said.
Both countries underlined their concerns with "international terrorism", citing groups such as Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Boko Haram.
Issoufou said the security situation had deteriorated since the start of a crisis in Niger's neighbour Mali, where Islamist groups including AQIM have seized control of the north.
"We cannot tolerate what is happening in Mali," he said, condemning "the return of barbarity" there.
"(It's) a matter of internal security for our country," he added.
Issoufou called for support of an October 12 United Nations Security Council resolution asking West African nations to come up with detailed plans within 45 days for sending a 3,000-troop intervention force to Mali.
The Islamists controlling northern Mali have been imposing their strict version of sharia on areas under their control, arresting unveiled women, stoning an unmarried couple to death and amputating suspected thieves' limbs, according to residents and rights groups.
AQIM, Al-Qaeda's North African branch, has for years made Niger a target for its kidnapping operations.
Five humanitarian workers from Niger and one from Chad were abducted Sunday in southeast Niger, on the border with Nigeria.
Nigeria for its part is struggling to combat Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, whose attacks are blamed for the deaths of at least 2,800 people since 2009.
AQIM and Boko Haram are believed to have established links in recent months.
Posted by PublicInformationProjects at 02:32
|Dr. Dlamini Zuma; African Union Commission Chairperson|
Report By: African Union Directorate Of Information And Communication
The African Union wants to work with Mali, with the UN and with ECOWAS, so that we can all come to some consensus about the way forward”, said AUC Chairperson Dr. Dlamini Zuma while responding to a journalist’s question regarding the African Union strategy for the Malian problem, upon her arrival in Bamako, Mali, yesterday 17th October 2012.
The AUC Chairperson explained that the AU would like to accompany Mali as it tries to regain its territorial integrity; when it goes to national elections and when it is trying to make sure that there is development in the post conflict period. “We would like to just say we want Mali to go back to its original democratic, united and developing country status”, said Dr. Zuma.
Mali is a great country with a great history and great heritage, but the crisis has the potential of dividing Mali, and the African Union does not want it divided, said Dr. Zuma, adding that the crisis has the potential of spreading to the rest of the region or even beyond the region. So it is a very important issue for the AU, for the continent and for peace in the world.
Responding to a journalist asking her about her thoughts on being the first woman to be Appointed Chairperson of the AUC, Dr Dlamini Zuma said “I think it's a credit to Africa and the leaders of Africa, because they are the ones who elected, who decided to elect a woman. But I think it's important for Africa, just as it is important for the rest of the World, to recognize that our continent has got both men and women, that there is talent both in the men and the women and that we should take responsibilities equally. So I
am very grateful to the leaders of this continent for having given me this opportunity as the first woman to lead the AUC”.
Posted by PublicInformationProjects at 01:53