Africa needs more than US military aid to defeat terror, by Muhammadu Buhari

Though some believe the war on terror winds down with the US departure from Afghanistan, the threat it was supposed to address burns fiercely on my continent. Africa is the new frontline of global militancy. Yet few expect the outlay expended here to be as great as in Afghanistan. The fight against terrorism begun under the George W Bush administration was never truly global.

Despite rising attacks across Africa in the past decade, international assistance has not followed in step. Mozambique is merely the latest African state in danger from terrorism. The Sahel remains vulnerable to Boko Haram, 20 years after its formation, and other radical groups. Somalia is in its second decade fighting the equally extreme al-Shabaab. Many African nations are submerged under the weight of insurgency.

As Africans, we face our day of reckoning just as some sense the west is losing its will for the fight. It is true that some of our western allies are bruised by their Middle Eastern and Afghan experiences. Others face domestic pressures after the pandemic. Africa was not then, and even less now, their priority. But the threat cannot be ignored. Covid-19 has been like oxygen for terrorism, allowing it to gain in strength while the world was preoccupied. Sooner or later, the reverberations will be felt beyond Africa. If extremist groups are able to hold territory, it can inspire disillusioned people living in the west to commit heinous acts of terror in their own countries. The self-proclaimed caliphate of Daesh in Iraq and Syria fulfilled that propaganda function, boosting transcontinental recruitment.

We must not complacently assume that military means alone can defeat the terrorists. If Afghanistan has taught us a lesson, it is that although sheer force can blunt terror, its removal can cause the threat to return.

The US and its western allies cannot be expected to underpin the security of others everywhere and indefinitely. Africa has enough soldiers of our own. However, more can be done to help with technical assistance, advanced weaponry, intelligence and ordinance. The US …

Nigerian Army confirms killing of General by gunmen

The Nigerian Army has announced the death of its former Provost Marshal, Major General Hassan Ahmed, who was killed by gunmen on Thursday.

The confirmation was made by the Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu.

In a statement on Friday in Abuja, Nwachukwu said the incident occurred when the senior officer’s vehicle was attacked by gunmen while transiting along Lokoja-Abuja Road on Thursday.

He said: “With a heavy heart, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya, Officers and Soldiers of the Nigerian Army regret to announce the passing on of Major General Hassan Ahmed, a former Provost Marshall of the Nigerian Army.

“A delegation from the Army Headquarters led by the Chief of Policy and Plans (Army), Major General Anthony Omozoje, has visited the widow and other members of the bereaved family.

“Members of the Nigerian Army Officers’ Wives Association (NAOWA) led by the Deputy National President, Mrs Stella Omozoje, have also visited the family to condole with them.

“The remains of the deceased senior officer will be accorded a befitting burial at the Lungi Barracks Cemetery on Friday, July 16 by 10am.”…

Buhari directs national flag to fly at half-mast, approves Monday work-free day for the military

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that the national flag be flown at half-mast in all public buildings, facilities, and official residences across the country from Monday, May 24, 2021, to Wednesday, May 26, 2021.

The presidential directive is in honour of the late Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru, as well as the other senior military officers and servicemen who died in a plane crash on Friday, May 21, 2021.

This disclosure is contained in a statement issued and signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, on Sunday, May 23, 2021.

Mustapha, in the statement, said that the President also approved Monday as a work-free day for members of the Nigerian Armed Forces.

President Buhari speaks with the wife of the late Chief of Army Staff

President Buhari described Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru, the late Chief of Army Staff, as an outstanding soldier and an institution builder, who fought valiantly for Nigeria until he breathed his last.

In a telephone conversation on Sunday evening with Mrs Fati Ibrahim Attahiru, wife of the late COAS, and the spouses of the other deceased officers through her, President Buhari hailed the sacrifices of the military men who lost their lives, and the Armed Forces in general, saying that Nigerians would continue to appreciate and support the fearlessness with which the country’s courageous soldiers were confronting the threats facing the nation.

He gave the grieving spouses assurances that the nation would never forget the supreme sacrifice of their spouses, urging them to take solace in the surge of extraordinary feelings of emotions across regions, religions, and tribes all over the country in appreciation of their sacrifices.…