LAGOS –  Mr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa, has announced plans by the UN and the African Union (AU) to deploy 7,800 troops to fight Boko Haram insurgency.
Chambas told newsmen yesterday in Lagos that the troops would be properly equipped to combat all forms of Boko Haram insurgency in West and Central Africa.
The special representative said the UN, AU and international partners met last month at two separate meetings to deliberate on the modalities for creating a multi-national joint taskforce.
Chambas added that the taskforce would be constituted with the contribution of troops from four countries.
“One of the top priorities of the UN today is the fight against Boko Haram. Boko Haram is not just a problem in Nigeria but has become an international concern.
“As we all know today, Boko Haram has also taken its atrocities to Cameroon, Niger and Chad.
“This is why the support for the Lake Chad Basin to be the platform for coordinating a joint fight against Boko Haram is a welcome development.
“The Lake Chad Basin countries, AU, UN and international partners have agreed to have a joint taskforce of 8,700 troops to be contributed by four countries from Central and West Africa.
“These troops would be properly equipped to aggressively fight Boko Haram activities in the sub-region and Central Africa,’’ he said.
Chambas said that there was a determination by the UN, AU and some international partners to “aggressively’’ face the insurgents headlong.
The UN official assured the Nigerian Government of the readiness of the international community to support it closely in fighting the scourge of Boko Haram in the North-East.
“The time has now come for us all to come all-out to stop Boko Haram activities in our communities.
“The fight against Boko Haram has become an international fight, an African fight for sure, and will be anchored around the Lake Chad Basin Commission but with support from us all,’’ he said.