The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, said on Wednesday that the Boko Haram terrorists had over the years received support and training from larger terror networks within and outside Africa.

The minister said although the Boko Haram sect killed many innocent citizens, sustained counter-insurgency operations by Nigeria and other countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission had helped in destabilising the Boko Haram network.

The defence minister stated this in a paper on regional security he presented at the 8th conference on international security in Moscow, Russia. The paper was made available to our correspondent by the minister’s Public Relations Officer, Col. Tukur Gusau.

Dan-Ali noted that Nigeria needed Russia’s support in the building of “nuclear power plants, petroleum pipelines, railways and other infrastructural development investments in the oil and gas sector.”

The minister said, “There is the worrisome rise in terrorism and insurgency on the African continent with specific reference to the Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Basin countries, Al-Shabaab in Somalia and Kenya, and the Islamic State in Mali. Since 2009, Nigeria has been combating terrorism engendered by the Islamic sect called Boko Haram.

“…The economic and developmental progress made by Africa is threatened by setbacks owing to traditional security concerns such as insurgency, armed conflicts, food insecurity, migration, economic crisis and political instability.

“Perhaps a greater security concern for the African region is the emergence of new security issues such as terrorism, militancy, piracy, cultism, political and electoral violence. Others are the growing youth involvement in substance and drug abuse, refugees and Internally Displaced Persons situation occasioned by conflicts, unemployment and poverty.”

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