By Benjamin Oghenekome
The United Nations Envoy for the Sahel region, Hiroute Guebre Sellassie, on Wednesday insisted that Nigeria cannot fight defeat Insurgent Group, Boko Haram alone saying it must be willing to work with other regional armies in a new multinational force.
Earlier this month Nigerian security officials ruled out the need for a United Nations or African Union-backed force to fight Boko Haram, saying the country and its partners could handle the threat.
According to the envoy, “Nigeria cannot handle the problem alone, Boko Haram is not only confined to Nigeria. The Sahel is increasingly affected.”
“We see a flood of refugees to Niger, Cameroon and even Chad” warning that the group might be planning to set up a training camp in the north of Mali.
More than 13,000 people have been killed and more than one million made homeless by Boko Haram violence since 2009.
Security is expected to top the agenda of the African Union (AU) which meets on Friday.
The meeting is expected to discuss a proposed regional force of some 3,000 troops that would include soldiers from Nigeria, Niger, Benin, Chad and Cameroon.
“It is time to take action and to be aware of the danger of Boko Haram for the entire African continent,” she added.
AU chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on Monday said she was “deeply horrified” at the rise of Boko Haram, warning the group is “not just a threat to some countries, it is a threat to the whole continent.”
Dlamini-Zuma has said she will call on AU leaders for “renewed collective African efforts” to tackle the insurgents.